While speaking with VIBE, 50 Cent revealed his inspirations behind his upcoming album Animal Ambition, and his inspirations may surprise you. 50 Cent revealed that inspiration for the project came from Rakim and former rival, Nas‘ lyrical abilities.

50 tells VIBE that the sheer lyrical originality that both Rakim and former rival Nas brought to the table proved to be invaluable inspiration during the recording of Animal Ambition.
“When I fell in love with hip-hop it was more important that you had your own style than you being able to master a version of Rakim or a version of another artist’s style,” he says alluding to artist he has publicly called his idol. “Nobody does that better than [Rakim]. Even with new content that flow is still his flow. Nas is [also] one of those guys…he has his own. Even if some people make comparisons that was just Queensbridge, man. That period for me…Mobb Deep, Prodigy is in his own class in my mind.”

In 50’s view of the current hip-hop landscape, today’s MC are too consumed with fitting in. [Rakim and Nas] had their separate individual thing,” he explains. “And now I see so many things trend. They follow each other so often that it’s different.”

Animal Ambition will release on June 3rd, but you can pre-order the album and get 2 new songs on March 18th.

Read 50‘s full VIBE story here.