Beyoncé is widely considered one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. Alongside artists such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga, Beyoncé is revered worldwide for her exceptional vocals and incredible live performances. However, even Beyoncé has to jump on the bandwagon from time to time, and in 2003 when ‘In Da Club’ was dominating the airwaves, she did just that.
50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’ ruled the American airwaves in 2003 and was the biggest song in the country. Backed by Eminem and Dr Dre, under Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope Records, 50 Cent went straight to the top with his lead single ‘In Da Club’, and it was a worldwide phenomenon.
Produced by Dr Dre, The album’s lead single, ‘In Da Club’, has 1.5 billion views on YouTube and has been streamed 936.6 million times on Spotify alone. It is one of the most well-known hip-hop songs of all time. It was so popular even Beyoncé wanted to capitalise on its prevalence and did so by recording an unofficial cover.
Entitled ‘Sexy Lil Thug’, Beyoncé made her own version of the song. However, most likely due to a conflict of interest and fear that the new version would overtake the original, 50 Cent’s label refused to clear Beyoncé’s cover for official release.
This refusal meant Beyoncé did not have the original’s official stems (elements), so she could not have her song professionally mixed to a high standard. It also meant that Beyoncé could not sell her version for money. But most importantly, it also meant that ‘Sexy Lil Thug’ was not eligible to enter the charts.
Irrespective of its ability to enter the charts, the track did very well just through airplay alone. It received a lot of radio play on a local scale and was played extensively in clubs. However, it was not eligible for mainstream radio as it never achieved official single status.
Beyoncé did include the track in her live performance sets at the time, but to this day, it remains a relatively unknown hidden gem and a good one at that. Below you can listen to the song and watch Beyoncé perform it live.