Fifteen years ago today, 50 Cent released what is arguably the most important album his career. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is his masterpiece full-on gangsterism coming to life.
When Fif dropped it on Feb. 6, 2003, fans were already mystified by him. The Queens, New York native survived a drive-by shooting that left him with nine bullets in his body with one slug still left in his jaw. Before the album’s release, he delivered a slew classic mixtapes that featured him spitting freestyles over popular singles by the top artists in rap.
The LP’s cover art was loved by both men and women — a tatted-up 50 Cent is peering through a bullet-riddled window. The album itself is a dark, methodical journey through 50’s tough beginnings, but he still had songs for the ladies.
Among the classic songs on GRoDT included “Wanksta,” “Many Men,” “Patiently Waiting” and “Life’s on the Line.” Tracks like “In da Club,” “21 Questions” and “P.I.M.P.” propelled the G-Unit leader to the top the Billboard music charts. To date, GRoDT remains 50 Cent’s best-selling album with over nine million copies in the United States.
Much in the same way the late Notorious B.I.G. changed the course hip-hop in the ’90s with Ready to Die, 50 Cent did the same thing with Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in the early aughts.
On Twitter, fans saluted 50 Cent for delivering what is now deemed a classic album — 15 years later.
“It’s hard to describe the feeling when ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ was released. It had to be the most anticipated album ever by a new artist. The roll out was nuts and 50 backed up all the hype with a classic album. Crazy that was 15 years ago,” wrote one user.
Another person tweeted, “I wasn’t even listening to much hip-hop in 2003. i got swept up in the get rich or die tryin hype just like everyone else though. heard it at my aunts house then went&bought it the next week. 50’s buzz at that time was unlike anything ive seen since.”