50 Cent "Get Rich or Die Tryin"
He's been shot nine times. Incarcerated. And stabbed up and down. And that's only what's happened on 50 Cent's down time. Hands down, 50 Cent is the biggest buzz emcee since Eminem (who just happens to be his label CEO), and Get Rich also features Dr. Dre on production, so it's a can't-miss record, right? Well, mostly. Get Rich is not filled with midtempo, radio-friendly numbers like "Wanksta," his thinly veiled Ja Rule dis first heard on the 8 Mile soundtrack. Instead, Cent brings the heat, not heater. He sheds his inner thug on "21 Questions," featuring G-funk crooner Nate Dogg showing some semblance of respect to the hotties, and then reverts right back to his thug persona on "In da Club," where he boasts "I'm into having sex, I ain't into making love." There's no "How to Rob, Pt. 2" here, although "Many Men" comes close, as he addresses some of the haters who may not fully get why he's now rap's big cheese. Surprisingly, the two Eminem-produced joints—"Patiently Waiting" (which thematically is very much like Em's "Lose Yourself"), and "Don't Push Me"—almost rival the beats supplied by Dre. Then again, it seems his most well-known cuts ("High All the Time" and "Wanksta," for example) are actually some of the weakest of the lot. Sure, Get Rich could never have lived up to the hype, it's nowhere near Biggie's Ready to Die or Nas's Illmatic, but there's no fast-forward material here, a near miracle in these times.
Record Label | Interscope