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The Impact of 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin Album!

Impact | 50 Cent's | 2nd December 2021 | Virtual Wire

 

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Hip Hop has become a fascinating culture & Rap is a very interesting genre of music, where an album can be called a Classic, without massive commercial success.

It’s not like R&B music where albums such as TLC’s CrazySexyCool, Usher’s Confessions, Destiny’s Child-The Writings on the Wall & Mary J. Blige’s My Life all sold over 3 Million copies & were championed as Classics in the genre. Albums like Nas’ Illmatic, Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, T.I.’s Trap Muzik & Young Jeezy’s The Recession are albums that took some time to crack Platinum, 1 Million copies sold but the critical acclaim of those albums, outranked the sales. However, the debut album of 50 Cent will go on to cover all bases.


50 CENT GET’S RICH & DOMINATES

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On February 6th 2003, 50 Cent released his MASSIVELY SUCCESSFUL CLASSIC ALBUM, Get Rich or Die Tryin. It scored 2 #1 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100, 21 Questions featuring Nate Dogg & the ultimate birthday & club anthem, In Da Club. Also, another Top 10 hit, P.I.M.P. (#3) & a fan-favourite street hit “Many Men (Wish Death).” The album would become AN EVENT! A MUST-HAVE ALBUM! As someone who remembers when it was released, it was the 1st album I had ever witnessed people having to pre-order the album because it was in such high demand at the local record store.


It was also the 1st time, I saw people purchase the album illegally on a bootleg from street salesmen, weeks before its release & they loved the album so much that they bought the official album, TWICE, a copy for their house & 1 for their car. While rappers mostly despised bootleggers, 50 used them to his advantage to gauge how much of a demand there was for his music on the street, especially for his mixtapes that led up to his album. The album sold 872,000 in its 1st week, making it the biggest 1st-week sales for a debut Hip Hop album since Snoop Dogg’s “Doggystyle” album in 1993. The album sold another 822,000 copies in the following week. The album would go on to sell almost 9 million copies in the US & over 12 million copies worldwide.


After the success of getting Rich or Die Tryin, 50 Cent would go on to get a joint venture partnership deal with Interscope Records to start his own boutique label, G-Unit Records & he signed his group of the same name & they released their highly anticipated album Beg For Mercy in November of 2003. The album would go on to sell 3 million copies in the US & 6 Million Worldwide. His fellow group members, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck & Tony Yayo would go on to sign solo deals with 50’s G-Unit Records.

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From 2004-06, not only was 50 Cent the biggest rapper in that time period, but he could also make the case for Biggest Record Executive in the music industry at that time. The 1st album he executive produced after Beg For Mercy was Lloyd Banks’ Hunger For More, which would go on to sell over 3 Million Worldwide. He would release 2nd album entitled “The Massacre” in 2005. He would sell 1.15 million copies in the 1st week, making it the highest 1st-week sales for any African-American rapper & artist in general.


The album would go on to sell 6 Million in the US & almost 10 Million Worldwide. 50 also executive produced The Game’s The Documentary (5 Million Worldwide Sold) Young Buck’s Straight Outta Cashville (2 Million Worldwide), Tony Yayo’s Thoughts Of A Predicate Felon (1 Million Worldwide) & the Get Rich or Die Tryin Movie Soundtrack (3 Million Worldwide), making 50 Cent responsible for about 80% of the success at Interscope Records, dubbing himself Curtis “Interscope” Jackson.


All in all, the brand of 50 Cent was, well, the fact that he was a great songwriter & executive producer that knew how to craft hit records & great bodies of work. He has won ASCAP Pop Songwriter of the Year & ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Songwriter of the Year, TWICE, in 2004 & 2006, among many other awards. These days, 50 has gone on to produce & act in TV shows such as the new Power franchise, For Life & BMF. For what he has done in the music business from 2003-2007, is to be revered, simply because, we haven’t seen anything like it since & will probably never see anything like it again.

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He was deemed “The Bully of Hip Hop” but one can argue that when 50 was at the peak of his dominance, the business of Hip Hop SKYROCKETED, especially the cross-branding with Jay-Z for their Reebok campaign for their S. Carter & G-Unit Sneakers, the success of his G-Unit Clothing & of course with the success of his game-changing Vitamin Water deal. While 50 can be credited for his impact in Hip Hop as far as his branding BEYOND his music, but while doing so, his music was STILL Top-Tier in terms of quality, which complemented his BRAND altogether. So for that, I salute 50 Cent once again, for covering all bases. He went from being The Ultimate Hip Hop Hit-maker to the Black Norman Lear. His Hustler’s Ambition is Next Level, but I guess that’s 50’s Formula. Just my 2 Quarters on the man that “Got Rich & Kept Going!!!”

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