Before he allegedly made $400 million from selling Vitamin, sued Taco Bell, named his Schnauzer after Oprah, dropped 50 pounds to star in a film that no one saw, and made Young Buck cry over the phone, 50 Cent was the hottest young rapper in the game who released one of the biggest hip-hop albums of all-time.
Released ten years ago today, Get Rich Or Die Tryin was one of those albums that everyone just flocked to buy – yes, in person, at an actual store. The pre-release hype, story of how he survived getting shot nine times, the affiliations with Dr. Dre (Aftermath) and Eminem (Shady), and that undeniable earworm-ring of first single “In Da Club” set up Get Rich to become a true blockbuster. From his first person accounts of his crime-filled life, to his inimitable mumbled delivery to the surprisingly diverse range of production, the album made Fiddy a phenomenon. (Though, can we just agree to erase his fictitious biopic of the same name from our memories?)
It’s hard to believe that the album has reached its tenth anniversary (that’s tin, right?), but here are ten facts about Curtis Jackson’s debut album.
1. It is the fourth best-selling hip-hop album in the world, ever. (Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP is the highest.)
2. It is the best-selling debut album by a rapper. Yes, he can hang that over the heads of Kanye, Jay-Z, Eminem and Baby Boy Da Prince.
3. Released two months before iTunes, 50 sold 872,000 physical copies in its first week, and 400,000 in the first day. Yes, some of those were cassettes.
4. 50 Cent was so upset that he didn’t win Best New Artist at the 2004 Grammy Awards that he stormed the stage when Evanescence won. He later said, “Man, f**k the Grammys! I couldn’t care less about the Grammy Awards.” It would take him six years to finally win one, though as a guest on Eminem’s “Crack A Bottle.”
5. Get Rich also lost the Grammy for Best Rap Album to OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. 50 didn’t protest that one. How could he?
6. Seven songs on the album were recorded in just five days: Dr. Dre produced four and Eminem did two. “In Da Club” was one of Dre’s tracks.
7. In fact, Dr. Dre’s production on “In Da Club” was originally offered to D12, but Eminem and his crew turned it down. The song became 50’s biggest hit and spent eight weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. According to Tech N9ne, the song made 50 enough money to buy Mike Tyson’s mansion.
8. Dr. Dre didn’t want his collabo and the album’s second single, “21 Questions,” on the album because it was too soft and not “gangsta” enough. 50 defended the song, saying, “‘I’m two people. I’ve always had to be two people since I was a kid, to get by. To me that’s not diversity, it’s necessity.'”
9. “Back Down” was written as a diss track to Ja Rule and his label Murder Inc. Their beef dated back to 2000, when the two had an altercation in Atlanta that led to 50 punching out Ja Rule. To this day, the feud is still alive.
10. Billboard magazine ranked Get Rich or Die Tryin’ at #12 on its Top 200 Albums of the Decade, Rolling Stone named it #37 on its 100 Best Albums of the 2000s, and Complex called it the second best album in the magazine’s existence.
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