Apple Music 100 Best Albums

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Get Rich or Die Tryin'

50 Cent


Defying logic and modern medicine, a rap supervillain with an ear for a hook rises.

On the cover of Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 50 Cent essentially looks like a superhero—but if anything, the album was an origin story for one of rap’s all-time great supervillains. 50 learned the ropes under the mentorship of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay, landed a deal with Columbia Records, and built a buzz with single “How to Rob” before being hit with nine bullets outside of his grandmother’s home in Queens. After he recovered, his legendary mixtape run with his G-Unit crew reworked the hit rap and R&B records of the time, adding his own deadpan, street-savvy choruses.

“It’s so important to have your own style, your own sound, your own identity or you can’t impact as hard.”

50 Cent

When it came time for 50’s studio debut, those powers were on full display and his resources were abundant. “In Da Club” was an inescapable party starter, and “Many Men (Wish Death)” revisits his nearly fatal shooting, triumphantly boasting about his survival. And like any supervillain, he had a rival: Ja Rule, a chart conqueror in his own right whose street feuds with 50 made him the target of the haunting “Back Down.” Not bad for someone who was counted out a few years earlier.