50 Cent used to rule a portion of the world for a while and Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ was his crowning achievement. For 69 minutes and 23 seconds, Curtis James Jackson III hit you with a barrage of club records, gun shots, marijuana odes, career killers and so much more. A decade after it impacted, there has not been an album commercially or culturally quite like it ever since. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of this seminal release, here are 10 lesser known facts about 50 Cent in during the Get Rich or Die Tryin’ era.
50 Incorporated a Jay-Z Diss In His Shows
Jay made it a hot line. 50 made it a his intro. DJ Drama recently told Complex that 50 used “to open up his shows with that Jay-Z line, ‘I’m about a dollar, what the f*ck is 50 cents?’” Clever twist from the man who told listeners to “call him Flipper” on GRODT’S “Patiently Waiting”.
Some Gun Sound Effects On Songs Were Not Sound Effects
Sometimes life imitates art. Sometimes art imitates life. But usually 50 Cent circa-2003 was rolling around with some sort of guns. During 50’s track-by-track breakdown of GRODT with MTV he revealed that the gunshots in the album’s song “Heat” were actual guns. “The actual gun clicks and all that stuff was real,” the Jamaica, Queens native tells MTV “we had them with us, let us go to the booth and use them instead of going to sound effects. Luckily the drive-by in the song was purely theatrics. We think.
50’s voice complicated Get Rich or Die Tryin’
During the recording process of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, 50’s popularity began to rise and subsequently so did his number of performances. The producer of “What Up Gangsta”, Rob “Reef” Tewlow, recently told HipHopDX that after the success of “Wanksta”, 50 started doing “two or three shows a night, and his voice kind of changed a little bit.” The change is its most noticeable in the higher pitched flow found on the bonus track, “U Not Like Me”.
Entertainment Weekly thought Get Rich OR Die Tryin’ was “a’ight”
For many Hip Hop fans, GRODT was a classic from the second “Gotta Make It To Heaven” faded out. Entertainment Weekly felt the opposite, entitling their original review of the album “50 Cent ‘Get Rich’ is a’ight”. Among the many questionable critiques of the seminal album, the reviewer wrote 50’s collaborations with Eminem were “dollar-store versions” of Eminem’s best work. Dumb reviews need teaching.
Roughly 40% of 50 Cent’s Total Record Sales are from Get Rich Or Die Tryin
50 Cent has sold over 30 million records internationally in his 10 year major label career and over 12 million of those sales come from Get Rich Or Die Tryin’. One could perceive this as a testament to a gradual decline in 50 Cent’s relevancy. However, one could also notice that only one other rap album has sold over 8 million records internationally in the 10 years since GRODT (Outkast’s Speakerboxx/The Love Below released 7 months later). To put it into better perspective, Eminem and Nelly released two albums that would go on to sell over 8 million records less than a year before GRODT. 50’s debut was the last of a dying breed.
50 Cent Was Sued By Doctor Who Helped Save His Life
“When the 50 Cent album came out, I didn’t hear a damn thing about the music. All I kept hearing was ‘he got shot nine times’.”-Chris Rock in 2003 MTV Video Music Awards opening monologue
No matter who you asked, one of the top three things circa-GRODT era mentioned when talking about 50 Cent was his May 24th shooting back in 2000. Each bullet wound increased the veracity of his hardcore lyrics and thus helped his meteoric rise. So you can imagine a doctor’s surgrin when a multimillionaire has not paid a medical bill of $32,511.87 medical bill. Dr. Nader Paksima sued 50 for that amount after “repeated requests for payment” were unanswered. No word on if 50 finally payed the bill.
50 Cent purchased Mike Tyson’s mansion only 7 months After GRODT release
A little over 3 years after being shot nine times and on the brink of death, Sabrina’s Baby Boy purchased a mansion once owned by Mike Tyson for $4.1 million. The Connecticut 52-room home came with a boathouse and its new owner instantly became the talk of the New Britain community. The police captain at the time, James Rio informed USA Today that the community was “concerned for his safety as well as the safety of the public.” He’s currently trying to sell the property with little luck. Who has $9,999,999?
50 Cent was shot at a week after a Murder Inc artist was killed
The 50 Cent story could have ended in September of 2003 as he was shot at near a Jersey City Doubletree Hotel. 50 luckily escaped the crime scene where ten bullet casings were found. A week prior to the incident, Murda Inc Records artist D.O. Cannon was killed. No connection was made but given 50’s volatile past with Murda Inc, it is entirely likely.
Suge Knight came to the In Da Club video set
Complex’s Editor-In-Chief and Chief Content Officer Noah Callahan-Bever interviewed 50 Cent, Dr. Dre and Eminem on the set of the video for Get Rich Or Die Tryin’s nuclear bomb “In Da Club” for the historic 2003 XXL Magazine cover story. While Eminem shot his video for “Sing For the Moment” 10 feet away an unlikely visitor came bearing gifts:
Suge stopped by the set, to “congratulate” 50 with a box of cigars (and creep everyone out). He was wearing red.
— Noah Callahan-Bever (@N_C_B) February 6, 2013
However, Noah asserts the former Death Row kingpin was near either Dr. Dre.
Bonus Fact: Funkmaster Flex played “In Da Club” 100 times on the radio the day he debuted it.
50 rode in military grade vehicles before Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ Release
“Cuz my windows on my motherf*ckin’ Benz is bulletproof n*gga‘/
Cuz my motherf*ckin’ vest is bulletproof n*gga‘/
Cuz my motherf*ckin’ hat is bulletproof n*gga”-50 Cent on “Heat”
Heavy is the head that wears the crown and the bulletproof hat. 50 was stabbed by Murda Inc affiliates and shot nine times within two months of each other in 2000 and his net worth grew considerably since those altercations. MTV personality and internationally renowned radio host, Sway Calloway described the level of security 50 employed even before GRODT‘s became successful:
“I never anticipated riding with 50 to his concert in a Level 4 security bulletproof/bombproof Jeep Cherokee. He described the at least 4-inch-thick windows and the steel plate underneath the car. He told me that at point-blank range a 9mm handgun wouldn’t even scratch the windows. He even told me that originally he was going to purchase a Level 4 security Mercedes until the original owner was murdered.”