50 Cent’s debut album “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” was a turning point in Hip Hop, but the inclusion of one song was met with resistance.
While speaking on Big Boy’s Neighborhood, 50 revealed that Dr. Dre did not think that the Nate Dogg-assisted “21 Questions” was a good fit for the project.
“He said, ‘I don’t know why you want?’ Why I wanted the record,” he explained. “I’m like, ‘Damn, I gotta do all these muthafuckin’ push-ups?’ Dre would say this is N.W.A… ‘We didn’t do that.’
“Like they didn’t have to reach to make a commercial record or anything that sounded like a commercial record. And that’s just in his DNA. Like on his path, he’s like, ‘We don’t need that.’”
50 apparently insisted on keeping the song, which proved to be a wise decision as it went on to become his second Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit, remaining on the chart for 23 weeks.
The love ballad, which was produced by “Dirty Swift”, challenged the idea of 50’s gangster persona but the rapper had always wanted to maintain a duality and commercial appeal.
“Dre was, like, ‘How you going to be gangster this and that and then put this sappy love song on?’ ” 50 recalled in 2005. “But I told him, ‘I’m two people. I’ve always had to be two people since I was a kid, to get by. To me that’s not diversity, it’s necessity.’”
With or without the 21 Question’s track, many could argue that the album still would have been a hit either way. What was your favorite track off that album? Sound off in the comment section below.