A long weekend winds down with a return to the wave of hip-hop and the #1 selling album of 2003, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”, the debut album from 50 Cent. This album is the next extension of the hip-hop lineage from Dr. Dre, with a significant assist in production and performing from Eminem, who embraced 50 Cent and helped him move this album forward after a controversial shooting. There are some iconic songs on this record, and in general, I enjoyed it a lot.
“Patiently Waiting” and “Don’t Push Me” are the two tracks that feature Eminem, and the two of them blend together well. He is a co-producer on several other tracks, and in general his presence adds to the style of the album. As an MC, I find 50 Cent to be fairly high on my list. He’s not quite Snoop or Rakim level, but I find his flow and tone to be pretty solid.
The second-most successful single on this album was “21 Questions”, which is a slightly bizarre and unusually placed rap love song. Supposedly Dre didn’t care for this song either, but it did go to #1 and apparently it did very well, even if neither Dre or I really love it.
To me, the second-most recognizable song on this album is “P.I.M.P.”. It has a very infectious steel-drum hook, and as far as brag rap goes, this one is pretty good. I think I like the backing track and the chorus more than the rest of the song, but overall, it is a favorite.
The definitive track of this album and 50 Cent’s career is the smash hit “In Da Club”. Dre and 50 Cent created one of the most recognizable hooks in all of hip-hop, and this song remains a true classic today. We have all heard this song countless times, but I do have one memory of this song that stands out. The year was 2017, and I was in Miami for the MLB All-Star Game. I was at a bar that I believe was called The Batting Cage after the Home Run Derby on Monday night, and the bar was pretty full with baseball fans. The music playing was a steady stream of hip-hop, and there was one “round-ish” middle-aged white guy sitting in the corner at a table by himself. John Candy in National Lampoon’s Vacation is a good starting point for who this guy looked like. He was absolutely euphoric, grinning ear to ear with the selection of music, and was bouncing up and down on his bar stool and rapping perfectly in sync with each song. At no point did he seem to be having more fun than when 50 Cent came on with “In Da Club”, and he was grooving and rapping “Go shorty, It’s your birthday, we gon’ party like it’s your birthday, we gon’ sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday, and you know we don’t give a fuck it’s not your birthday.” Music is truly a universal language and common bond, and that night, The Batting Cage was Bouncing Rapping White Dude’s world and we were just living in it.