After the session, packaging and label work, the bomb dropped. Intense, infectious and influential. 50 Cent officially arrived. There was something poetic about the video, Dre bringing Em in as a doctor/scientist, manufacturing the next star. It was almost a passing of the torch, induction of a new member to a hit factory. Also in that video, the display of the proper place to play the song, a live environment that tucked stars away: The Game, Young Buck, Tony Yayo, DJ Whoo Kid. All beneficiaries from the success of the record were able to see the development of how it was created and likely salivating at the opportunity to rock a club with releases in their own career.
The numbers and accomplishments were astounding. “In Da Club” spent nine consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, 30 weeks straight overall, and topped every category allowed by its genre. The single went platinum at a time were iTunes wasn’t as prevalent as it was a couple years later in the ringtone rap era and the distant future of streaming.
In comparison: Nelly’s debut single “Country Grammar” peaked at #7 on the Hot 100 in 2000 and is certified Gold, Eminem’s “My Name Is” debut peaked at #36 and Ludacris’s “What’s Your Fantasy” at #21 and Kanye West’s “Through the Wire” that reached #15 and went gold. No one found the immediate debut success of 50 Cent. At the time, 50 also smashed established artists; the aforementioned Jay-Z The Blueprint 2 was pushed by “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” and “Excuse Me Miss” but failed to compare to the output of 50. Further, into the decade, we can cross-examine Soulja Boy’s “Crank That,” which nearly reached the length of success at the top spot with seven weeks. While the single did sell 5 million downloads as of February 2014, the consumption of music via .mp3 was more widely utilized and made the method of obtaining music more accessible. What did these label boardrooms feel about this new titan? How did rappers react to the hottest name in the game before and after Get Rich or Die Tryin’ came through and broke more records and dropping quality records that only a rapper could dream? Ironically, if we were to ask 50 Cent, he would say it sounded much like line inserted into “Back Down” to mock Ja Rule: “The rap game is all fucked up now, what are we gonna do now? How we gonna eat man? 50 back around.”