50 Cent’s Animal Ambition came out today, but for some of the producers, the project has been in the works for years.
In an interview with XXL, the producers for each of the 14 songs explained the process behind their beat.
Charli Brown Beatz had to wait the longest to hear his beat make the big stage. He made the beat for “Don’t Worry Bout It” in 2008 and says he sent it as early as 2009. He heard the song for the first time on the radio.
“It’s been an honor to work with someone of 50’s caliber,” Charli Brown Beatz says. “I wasn’t in the studio with him—I never got to meet him—but it must’ve been recorded a little while back…. I’ve been a fan of 50 since Power Of The Dollar. Me and my friend used to ride around listening to that over and and over again. I would’ve never guessed that one day I would be working with him.”
Frank Dukes has produced several songs for G-Unit and says they used three of his beats in a row back when they were making a lot of mixtapes. A G-Unit A&R got in touch with him and gave him a song deal. He produced Animal Ambition’s opening track, “Hold On.” He, like Charli Brown Beatz, says he sent his beat about five years ago.
“It was a surprise to me, when I heard it eight or nine months ago, because I had sent it to him so long ago,” Frank Dukes says. “But I was glad he used it because it was one of my favorite beats. It was really cool that he decided to go back to that old beat.”
A third beat is also about five years old. Steve Alien made his beat for “Everytime I Come Around” and sent it in a package of about 100 beats to G-Unit in 2009. He had given up on a production career and started pursuing film editing. Then, he got a phone call from G-Unit and was asked about the beat, which he couldn’t find among his old files.
“Finding a needle in a haystack would have been easier,” Steve Alien says. “The crazy part is I was unable to locate the original beat and in a panic had to re-make it again from scratch. I found all the same drum sounds and re-created the beat to sound even better than the original.”
Nonetheless, 50 Cent ended up using the original beat.
“Working with 50 was a longtime dream I had that has finally come to fruition years later,” Steve Alien says. “It validated all the hard work I had put into making beats for nights on end for all those years. I’m definitely proud and thankful. I’m blessed to to have these opportunities and be able to work with such veterans of the music industry.”
Jake One has made several beats for 50 Cent and said that he has actually never met the rapper. He produced two songs for Animal Ambition, “Hustler” and “The Funeral.” He says he initially made the beats in 2010 or 2011 and was also inspired by ScHoolboy Q’s 2012 album, Habits & Contradictions.
Q has a guest verse on the final track, “Flip on You,” which was produced by Nascent and QB. The beat was actually meant for Oxymoron, but didn’t fit the overall tone of the project. 50 Cent picked it up last minute and that is why it is the last song of the album.