Get Rich Or Die Tryin’

Aftermath/Shady Records

50 Cent.jpg (57191 bytes)

  To quote Prince, “this is the jam of the year.” Love him or hate him, 50 Cent is now the king of the gangsta heap. The former crack dealer/shooting victim and all around bad role model makes Eminem look like Mickey Mouse. Fittingly, Eminem signed his heir apparent and appears on a couple of the tracks. Surprisingly, these are the worst on the record. Both “Don’t Push Me” and “Patiently Waiting” pale next to the bare bones guttural kick in the head of the solo tracks “U Not Like Me” and “Life’s On The Line.” While the already mega smash “In Da Club” rides the partying, bling bling feel good train to number one, 50 Cent truly excels on darker cuts like “Many Men (Wish Death Upon Me).” With chilling ruthlessness, his words jab over a punishing beat. Alternating lines like “I’ll take your life away” and “have mercy on my soul,” 50 Cent evokes the desperation mixed with spirituality of early 20th century Delta blues and all that came out of it. “21 Questions,” on the other hand is possibly the smoothest rap love song ever and is destined to chase “In Da Club” to the top of the charts. By mixing his vitriol with genuine heart, 50 Cent manages to rise above the glut of sound-a-likes. Sure, of 19 tracks included, at least 5 could’ve been cut, but Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ is still the next step in the evolution spawned by N.W.A. in the late ‘80s. This is the disc you’re going to be hearing all year.

 (Chris McKay/concertshots.com)