What Millennials Should Know About... 50 Cent's 'Get Rich Or Die Tryin''
VIBE spotlights music's most essential timepieces for Gen Y. You gon' learn today
Get Rich Or Die Tryin' (2003)
Elevator Pitch: Whether taunting a fuckboy ("Don't Push Me") or allergic to monogamy ("P.I.M.P."), 50 Cent's GRODT is the stuff hood dreams are made of
The singles: "In Da Club," "P.I.M.P.," "21 Questions," "If I Can't" (Note: "Wanksta" was an 8 Mile soundtrack single)
Peak moment: "What Up Gangsta" Only mean mugs allowed here. Fif introduces you to la familia from jump with a shout out to his crew by first line ("G-Unit, we in here/ We can get the drama popping, we don't care"). Within the next 15 seconds, he acknowledges the notorious gangs Bloods and Crips before proceeding to lay the smackdown all over Rob "Reef" Tewlow's hard-hitting beat.
Still gets repeats to this day: "Back Down" The third offering on Get Rich produced by Dr. Dre still rings off. While 50 Cent was tangled in beef with fellow Queens spitter, Ja Rule, the G-Unit chief had no hesitations calling out Murder Inc.'s quarterback. Sample line: "Your success is not enough, you wanna be hard/ Knowing that you get knocked you get fucked in the yard/ You's a Pop Tart, sweetheart, you soft in the middle/ I eat ya for breakfast, the watch was an exchange for your necklace."
Bet you didn’t know: Aside from his gritty, sing-song flow and cocky charm, 50 Cent's unique name snagged his fans' attention. In a vintage interview, Fif explains how the pocket change reference is a secondhand rap alias. "The original 50 Cent is from Fort Greene," he said of the fallen G from Brooklyn. "I took a name from a n---a from the hood that passed, that was gangsta. Through me, that name lives on."
Bet you (also) didn't know: Before pioneering the art of surprise album drops, Beyoncé was steady on the grind as a girl-group-leader-turned-solo-artist. No stranger to the occasional remix, she decorated songs like Justin Timberlake's "Until The End of Time" and Usher's "Love In This Club." But in an unexpected twist, Mrs. Carter two-stepped on her own version of Fiddy's monster birthday smash "In Da Club." Go shawty, it's your B'day!
Lines best for status updates:
> "If it feels like my flow's been hot for so long/If you thinking I'mma fuckin' fall off, you're so wrong" — ("Patiently Waiting")
> "I got pennies for my thoughts, now I'm rich" — ("Patiently Waiting")
> "I'm the diamond in the dirt that ain't been found/I'm the underground king and I ain't been crowned" — ("Many Men")
> "Sunny days wouldn't be special if it wasn't for rain/Joy wouldn't feel so good if it wasn't for pain" — ("Many Men")
> "If you watch how I move you'll mistake me for a player or pimp" — ("In Da Club")
> "Finna crush my enemies like I crush the hashish" — ("High All The Time")
> "Behind that twinkle in ya eyes, I can see the bitch in you" — ("Heat")
> "Tell niggas, "Get they money right," 'cause I got mine" — ("If I Can't")
> "You can buy cars, but you can't buy respect in the hood" — ("Back Down")
> "Some say I'm paranoid, I say I'm careful how I choose my friends" — ("Gotta Make It To Heaven")
> "I don't smile a lot 'cause ain't nothin' pretty" — ("U Not Like Me")
> "You're just a small player in this game, play your part, son" — ("Life's On The Line")
Synopsis: It's been over a decade since 50 Cent's freshman LP Get Rich Or Die Tryin' put the rap game in a chokehold. Before breaking the bank with Vitamin Water and SMS Audio, 50 Cent was pocketing hits on hits as one of Queens' most ambitious MCs. For his first major label offering (via Interscope/ Shady/ Aftermath), Fif looped in hip-hop heavyweights, Dr. Dre and Eminem, off the strength of his 1999 "How To Rob" but stunted all on his own. The lengthy 19-track sound trip starts in the hood and stays there, rolling around with a bulletproof vest and zero fucks. Get Rich gets familiar with the Southside Queens rapper as he navigates the thug life, saluting real G's by Track 1 (See: Peak Moment above) and dragging all humblebrags to the trash. With buzz record "Wanksta" relegated to bonus track status, the singles are stacked like a trip to Perfection but the filler joints supplement his hood tale. While the rapper born Curtis Jackson has said he doesn't mess with drugs or alcohol IRL, crafting songs like the smoky "High All The Time" or the gat-loving "Blood Hound" are necessary for the street narrative he sells extremely well (GRODT was the fourth best-selling hip-hop album in the U.S. with over 8 million units sold). Fitty Stans may have poured a little out for the 50 Cent of yesteryear (still SMH at Animal Ambition), his first album paved the way 2003's Beg For Mercy with the colorful cast of G-Unit and shiny headlines on Forbes. With a net worth of $140 million as of last year, we can rest easy knowing 50 got his wish.—Stacy-Ann Ellis (@stassi_x) and Adelle Platon (@adelleplaton)