NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 20: Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson performs onstage at STARZ Madison Square Garden "Power" Season 6 Red Carpet Premiere, Concert, and Party on August 20, 2019 in New York City.

These days, 50 Cent might be more well known for his beef with other celebrities and his Power series. But 50’s longtime fans know him for his iconic hits in the early 2000s. 50 started his career with his mixtape Guess Who’s Back? in 2002 after his Power of the Dollar was never released (due to the rapper getting shot). He addressed the shooting on “F— You,” which is on Guess Who’s Back?.

“I’m havin’ flashbacks, I can feel the shells burnin’/Comin’ up, I was taught never back down/That’s why I act the way I act now, hold the Mac down/32 shots, squeeze til there ain’t a shell left,” he raps on the track. That mixtape helped 50 get his record deal with Eminem’s Shady Records. Shady Records is an imprint of Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records.

50’s debut album released in 2003, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was a huge commercial success. It spawned singles such as “In da Club,” and “21 Questions” featuring Nate Dogg which both topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart shortly after their release. In 2003, 50 also founded G-Unit Records and the rap group G-Unit which consisted of himself, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo. Throughout the years, The Game, and Kid Kidd were also were short-lived members of the group. Young Buck replaced Yayo after the latter’s 2003 imprisonment but also later left the group before it officially disbanded in 2022, according to 50. As a group, they produced two studio albums, Beg for Mercy, and T·O·S (Terminate on Sight), as well as an EP titled The Beauty of Independence.

Besides his musical success, 50 has taken his talent on and off the screen. His Power series has been a mainstay in the culture that has created several spin-offs such as Power Book II: Ghost, Power Book III: Raising Kanan and Power Book IV: Force. These productions are under his G-Unit Films and Television company.

Whether you know 50 for his beef, television series or music, take a look at five essential songs from 50’s discography:

  • "In da Club" 'Get Rich or Die Tryin'' (2003)

    “In da Club” is one of 50’s most notable and popular songs. The song was nominated for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards. That year his debut studio album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was also nominated Best Rap Album and 50 was nominated for Best New Artist.

  • "21 Questions" featuring Nate Dogg, 'Get Rich or Die Tryin'' (2003)

    “21 Questions” features Nate Dogg and is also found on the rapper’s Grammy-nominated debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin. The song is about 50 asking his girlfriend if she would stick around if he stays locked up in jail. The music video stars actress Meagan Good as 50’s girlfriend.

  • "Candy Shop" 'The Massacre' (2005)

    While the song talks about candy, this is not a song for kids. “Candy Shop” was the second single off of 50’s second studio album The Massacre. The project was released in 2005. The song was nominated for Best Rap Song at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards. The Massacre was nominated for Best Rap Album that year as well.

  • "Just A Little Bit" 'The Massacre' (2005)

    “Just A Little Bit” is from 50’s second studio album The Massacre. The song was the third single for the rapper’s album. The music video takes place in Cancún, Mexico where 50 has his associates set up by models. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  • "Many Men" 'Get Rich or Die Tryin'' (2003)

    “Many Men” is from 50’s debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin. “Many Men” has had a lasting impression on current hip-hop songs as well. In 2020, the song was sampled twice. First on Pop Smoke’s 2020 track “Got It on Me”, and later Metro Boomin sampled the song on his and 21 Savage’s 2020 track “Many Men.” In 2022, Lil Tjay made a freestyle of Many Men titled “FACESHOT” (Many Men Freestyle). “Many Men,” is certified platinum by the RIAA.

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