Hear the isolated vocals of ‘What Up Gangsta’ by 50 Cent
(Credit: Alamy)

Old School Archives

Hear the isolated vocals of 'What Up Gangsta' by 50 Cent

50 Cent is one of the wealthiest men in hip-hop, and similar to his musical peers Diddy and Dre, the former G-unit rapper has achieved a lot of success outside of the hip-hop genre and is enjoying a fruitful career as a producer, filmmaker, and actor, making him a rapper turned media mogul. However, he will forever be known primarily as a legendary rapper.

The musician’s explosion was sensational, and the rapper’s 2003 debut album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ went straight to number one on the Billboard 200, selling 12million copies worldwide by the end of the year. The album’s lead single, ‘In Da Club’, was certified Gold by the RIAA but went three times platinum in the UK.

Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, was the kind of debut album everyone dreams of having. One that goes straight to the top and turns heads is exactly what this 2003 album did. With Eminem and Dr Dre credited as the album’s executive producers, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ sold 872,000 copies in its first week. By the end of 2003, the album had already been certified six times platinum.

The body of work is multi-faceted and features a vast array of songs, from heavy-hitting street anthems to emotional tracks and club records. Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ has it all. Many of the songs on the album were even contested by its supervisors. For example, ’21 Questions’ featuring the late rapper Nate Dogg, was described by Dr Dre as a “sappy love song.”

However, the single was extremely successful. ‘In Da Club’ is the most renowned track on the project and is one of the quintessential rap songs of the 2000s. Its hard-hitting strings set the blueprint for songs such as ‘Lean Back’ by the Terror Squad and shaped the sonics of rap moving forward.

Prior to the release of Kanye West’s Graduation, much of hip-hop was still driven by the Gangsta and Mafioso rap style perpetuated by the likes of Jay-Z and Jackson, and aside from ‘In Da Club’ one of the most prevalent street anthems from Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ was ‘What Up Gangsta.’

Produced by Rob “Reef” Tewlow, the track had an extremely catchy hook and was the first song on the project following the intro to get fans in the mood. You can hear the track’s isolated vocals below.