Today in Hip-Hop History: February 4th, 2003
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ by 50 Cent
Today in hip-hop history marks the thirteen year anniversary of 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’. This was Fiddy’s debut studio album that would mark him down in history as one of the cornerstones of modern gangster rap. The album was released by Aftermath, Interscope, and Shady Records. Selling over 800,000 copies within its first week, the preparation and cosigns behind the project matches albums like The Blueprint and Illmatic. Four singles were pushed before and after Get Rich or Die Tryin’s release date. Critics gave an average of 73 out of 100 based on aggregation by metacritic, and although a commercial hit, reviewers had a mixed stance. While Robert Christgau of the Village Voice and Sam Chennault from Pitchfork gave it a 2/5 and 7/10 respectively, Rolling Stone writer Christian Hoard gives it a 4/5. “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is so full of life,” Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone says. “It makes you hope the only bullets 50 will need to fire from now on are metaphorical.”
Harsher critics were concerned that the album played too close to the mainstream, that its cliche and overbearing efforts would be too much for commercial success. Unbeknownst to them at the time, RIAA would soon certify Get Rich or Die Tryin’ 6x platinum, selling over 6 million units. 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is a staple of hip-hop history today and whether you like or not, an album with this amount of recognition is worthy of giving a listen to.