Q&A: 50 Cent And Pauly D Talk Global Music And Shelved ‘Black Magic’ LP



VIBE: Which international music scenes are most intriguing?
Pauly D: Spain was cool, I went to Pacha in Spain, and they played a lot of good dance music. They know what’s up out there. It reminded me of New York. I always wanted to check out Australia’s clubs—I think the crowd would be crazy!

You spent a lot of time in Africa, 50. Were you influenced by any of their native tunes?
50 Cent: There are different perceptions of Africa. You start seeing bongos and shit, motherfuckers shaking. I didn’t pick up on that. In each of those different territories, they’re doing their version of American music.

But in the States, we’re emulating a lot of European sounds. Would you say the U.S. is leading or following in music trends?
PD: I like to think it starts from us.
50: We’re still leading. Look, we can have things in music culture that originated somewhere else. What American artist doesn’t have [Euro pop] hits? The producers are smart enough to find [a sound]. Generally it’s one guy’s idea that grows. That’s why it’s special, because everyone decides it’s cool at that point. I feel like reggaeton is hip-hop. The artists are using [our] cadences. I hear melodies, like, “What the fuck did you just say, homeboy? That right there was ill.” So we all influence each other.

How will your album influence global music, Pauly?
PD: I’m an open-format DJ, so it’s gonna be a bit of everything. I put my personality into the album. People call me “the Bridge,” because I bridge that gap between dance, house and hip-hop.

Did 50 test any of his shelved Euro-inspired Black Magic material on you?
50: I played him “Vegas Girl,” a song I did for recreational purposes. I’ll be somewhere and see the audience respond to it.
PD: I was like, “This song is perfect!” It’s like a dance track, but it had that 50 Cent sway. He goes hard. Las Vegas is one of my favorite places to DJ—I love those girls. [Laughs]

Is there a DJ from outside of the U.S. that you’ve learned from?
PD: I held the same residency as [London DJ] Paul Oakenfold in Las Vegas. He’s very, very talented, and all into the music like I am. I admired when he did the Perfecto tour, seeing what songs work for him, the crowd’s reaction…
50: It’s the timing, too. I have actually seen DJs that just do a playlist. DJ Whoo Kid. He’d play a record, and I know what’s coming next. [Laughs]
PD: I never made a set in my life, ever. Because I play clubs I’ve never spun at before. I gotta look at the people and how they react to each song. That’s how I’ll determine what I’m gonna play that night. They came to see me, so I wanna make their experience the best they ever had. —John Kennedy