50 Cent moves up album release to stem piracy. His long-awaited second album, ''Massacre,'' will come out five days early, on March 3

By Gary Susman
February 23, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was the top-selling CD of 2003, so it’s no wonder that his follow-up is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Massacre was initially supposed to be out by St. Valentine’s Day (get it?), but the rapper wasn’t ready, and he pushed the date back to March 8. That delay may have cost him, as the record leaked to the Internet and to the streets on Monday. Taking a page from his mentor, Eminem, 50 will now attempt to stem the damage from the piracy by releasing the album five days early, on March 3, MTV News reports.

As the title suggests, the record is full of what made him famous as an underground mixtape rapper: dis tracks. Massacre‘s targets reportedly include Fat Joe, Nas, Kelis, Jadakiss, Shyne, and longtime nemesis Ja Rule. Already, Fat Joe has promised a response on his new CD, All or Nothing, which goes on sale the same day, March 3. Hmm, two high-profile rappers confronting each other on a Thursday (not Tuesday, when everyone else releases new CDs)? You’d almost think they’d planned it together.