Climbing the mountain rap and claiming himself king after surviving an attempt on his life, 50 Cent‘s meteoric rise from the intensive care unit to the top the Billboard charts is one the biggest success stories rap has ever scene. Hip-Hop has long had an affinity for the underdog and someone that has been dropped from their record label and left for dead after being riddled with bullets and blackballed by the industry makes for the perfect candidate.
Building his fan base and leverage with a string high-powered mixtapes, 50 Cent created a bidding war among music’s biggest executives and brands, ultimately partnering with Eminem and Dr. Dre and siding with the Shady/Aftermath machine. What would follow would be one the most historic coming out parties in music history, as 50 Cent’s major label debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin‘ would become one the most successful albums the decade and turned him into an international star and the undisputed sales king in rap.
Following up Get Rich or Die Tryin’ with his sophomore release, The Massacre, which sold a whopping 1.15 million copies in its first week, 50 Cent was on an unprecedented run success that has been yet to be duplicated, however, his reign would be threatened in the years following The Massacre, as a certain Louis Vuitton Don’s music and brand was also rising in popularity. Being the alpha male that he is, 50 Cent, reading the writing on the wall, went on the fensive, challenging Kanye West to a head-to-head sales battle with their third solo albums, creating one the biggest musical events its time.
In the end, 50 Cent’s third solo LP, Curtis, would be bested by Kanye West’s Graduation album on the charts, effectively signaling a shift in the landscape hip-hop. However, ten years later, 50 Cent remains much in the mix things, proving that we all can bounce back from a loss, especially one where the consolation prize is a platinum plaque.
In celebration its 10 year anniversary, we highlight five the best songs from 50 Cent’s Curtis album that have stood the test time.