The latest single from 50 Cent’s forthcoming album Before I Self-Destruct (which just got bumped up to a November 16 release date) is a “song for the ladies.” Or maybe it’s more accurate to call it a song “for prospective mothers,” since 50 spends much of “Baby By Me” explaining why he’d be a great father and partner. Hint: It’s because he’ll give all the women who have his children one million dollars—which, when you think about it, is kinda like having your book picked for Oprah’s Book Club.
At any rate, it’s a so-so song—, something like “21 Questions” for a middle-aged rapper—that would be much worse if it weren’t for Ne-Yo’s hook. The video is surprisingly awesome (Jay-Z: take note) because the second and third sections get all Mad Men-y, with 50 dressed vintage and living in a mid-century modern house in the suburbs with an iced tea-toting wife and sweater vested triplets (played, I’m fairly sure, by his actual sons); and then shopping and sipping espresso on an awfully European-looking cafe terrace.
It all turns out to be a fantasy though, and the epilogue reveals that 50 saw all that beautiful art direction while peering into the eyes of a woman he just saw on the street (a surprisingly popular music video trope). Which is good, of course, because how could 50 be a bad-ass gangsta rapper if he wanted to settle down in the suburbs and take vacations in (a backlot version of) Italy? No, he’s just a regular dude, fantasizing about women who are more mature than him and being driven around by a chauffeur in his Maybach Benz.