Happy 18th Birthday to “Get Rich Or Die Tryin'” by 50 Cent. If this album was a human, it could enlist in the military, buy pornography, and be on its way to graduate high school(unless you’re a prodigy of course). Seems like these days 50 Cent is known for throwing that ridiculously errant first pitch before a New York Mets game and for initially supporting Donald Trump until his celebrity girlfriend Chelsea Handler called him out on Twitter. He proceeded to retract his support for Trump and endorse Joe Biden for President. The album “Get Rich Or Die Tryin'” by 50 Cent is significant in Black History Month for Music.
In the creation of this album, 50 Cent was shot 9 times in front of his grandmother’s house in South Jamaica and LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT. Five months later, he recovered in Ponocos, and he wrote a song called “Ghetto Qu’ran”, which caused him to be blacklisted by Columbia Records, since he couldn’t work in a U.S. studio, 50 Cent went to Canada. Then, he wrote “Guess Who’s Back?” and Eminem was so impressed that he immediately had 50 Cent sign a million dollar contract. After creating 5 songs with Dr. Dre in the studio and writing and mixing the album “Get Rich Or Die Tryin'” was born and AllMusic called it “the most hyped artist in a decade”. The album, a debut album mind you, sold 872,000 copies in its first week of release. That’s insanity. Those are mind-boggling numbers then and it’s especially mind-boggling now since people stream instead of buy music these days.
What struck me is how the beats sounded hard yet laidback at the same time. The beats were persistent enough to where the listener had no choice but to vibe to it. “21 Questions” immediately causes the head to bob same with the classic “In Da Club”. 50 Cent also showed that he can collab with the greats as the chemistry was instant between Nate Dogg in “21 Questions” and “Patiently Waiting” with Eminem. Another aspect this album showed was how personal the album was in the songs “Many Men(Wish Death)” and “Heat”. 50 Cent never strayed from controversy or hate in the industry. I mean look at his unlikely story. Being blacklisted by major American studios and Columbia Records over ONE SONG and taking that hate and penning some of the most provocative lyrics in the game is what 50 Cent was about in his career. “Heat” took on the story of 50 Cent being shot nine times in South Jamaica.
This album is a landmark in Black History Month for so many reasons. 50 Cent wrote the blueprint on what 2000’s hip-hop is all about while paying homage to the gangster rap era of the 90’s. With the exception of a small handful of albums in the 2000’s, this album is just as relevant today as it was back in 2003. I could state more but his album figures back it up. Numbers don’t lie. 12 million copies sold worldwide. It also won Top Billboard 200 album at the Billboard Music Awards. It also won Favorite Hip-Hop/Rap album at the American Music Awards. Lastly, in 2020, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked this album at No. 280 in the Top 500 Albums of All Time list. Check out this album: