The Impact of 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying
Around that time period, I’ve never in a long time have I witnessed such hype surrounded around one album and one artist. The story of 50’s come up was nothing short of phenomenal. After getting shot 9 times, dropped from his label, and being blackballed by labels for being “too violent or too threatening” It seemed that 50’s career was over before it was proposed to even start. In a circumstance where many rappers would just fall back and let their career die. 50 did the opposite. He started from the bottom and started going back to the streets to build his name up. When I heard 50 Cent make his return on DJ Kay Slay’s State of emergency and debuted his street single 50 Shot Ya. 50 was back with a vengeance, He rapped with a slower flow due to him getting capped in the mouth but that only added to his authenticity.
Shortly after From 2002-Mid 2003 50 got himself a crew, He came out with a new look from chubby to straight chiseled. He reinvented everything about himself and revolutionized the mixtape with releases such as God’s Plan, Beg for Mercy, and Guess Whos Back. Their sound was hardcore and they gangstafied even the softest tunes. By the time it was time to release his album, He had built him self a very HUGE buzz and this cat hasn’t even released a official album!
Although the hype that surrounded 50 can be also be credited to clever marketing from Eminem and Dre, There was never denying 50 Cent’s talent and thats what got him noticed in the first place. Many may label him as another NYC thug rapper but dude unlike most mix tape emcees has actual skills and not to mention street credibility(Yes it does help) I find 50 as a very dope emcee, He has charisma, punchlines, and brought a lot of personality, His words may look like your basic simple written raps on paper but the way he brings them to life is what made Get Rich entertaining.
So the question is did 50’s debut live up to the hype? Well it depends on the listener but me personally I felt that 50 may have takened a step back a bit lyrically in comparsion to Guess Who’s Back but it was good enough to please his core along with attracting new fans to his brand He makes listeners and the streets respect his gangsta on tracks such as What Up Gangsta, Many Men where he talks about his shooting in 2000 and how he abstracted revenge on his Shooter.Heat is one of those songs thats very violent but at the same time so sinister and proceeds to be guilty pleasure, But the track that mainly had people talking was the very controversal Back Down where he delivers hard blows to Murder Inc camp.
Although 50 has taking swipes at Ja Rule and Murder Inc, This was possibly the first song where he really digs in at them. 50 attacked them on their lack of Street credibility, Calls Irv is a wanna be Suge Knight and Ja sounds like the cookie monster, The track takes a very bizarre turn when a homosexual male on the end of track and takes stab at Ja Rule’s manhood. The Inc would never be the same afterwards
The Eminem featured songs on here are also pretty good as well. patently Waiting is the better of the two because Eminem’s beat on here is just sick, 50’s lyricism however is a bit lazy and could have come alot better but it remains as one of the albums main highlights.
The other track featuring Eminem Dont Push Me features Lloyd Banks and Eminem where Em coming off sounding more hardcore(which is very questionable) his verse is nice as he challenges all people who talk bad about him to war physically or lyrically. Seems Eminem was getting a bit extra since signing 50.
Of Course the album also has some commercial shit, The album’s first single In Da Club is the club banger that crossed 50 into the mainstream and made him a phenomenon. You can tell from listening to the beat that you know that it was gonna be a smash hit and the Good Ol Dr never disappoints.
The other half of the album is a bit more mainstream but it doesn’t entirely bring the album down. Songs such as 21 Questions and PIMP are perfect for radio rotation(Which it eventually did for Fif after In Da Club blew up. Overall this album would stand out as a classic? Why I say it’s a classic? Because it’s the type of album that hip hop needed at the time. Too many rappers were turning into R&b singers and started follow Murder Inc’s R&B blueprint for radio play or easy sales.
The Release of Get Rich or Die Trying changed the game and the direction of hip hop for better or worse. It changed it for the better because 50 showed that you can sell being yourself and putting out aggressive music. It was also positive because Fif made alot of rappers step their game up and made the mixtape market in NYC from 2003-2007 more competitive between the camps G-Unit, The Diplomats and D-Block.
The negative is 50 milked the beef gimmick to the point where it was takened as a joke and not seriously anymore. Nevertheless nobody can deny the impact that this album made in hip hop and the game is in desperate need for another album like this to shift the tide.