Best 50 Cent Songs: 30-1

The biggest bully in hip-hop is always the center of attention. Whether it’s potential Verzuz foes or hilarious social media headlines, 50 Cent always finds a way to get his name out in the universe. The hustler-turned-mogul has branched off far from his roots, so much so that many forget he was once the biggest celebrity in the world. At one point, the man’s mixtape cuts were getting more radio play than other artist’s frontrunning singles.

We’re going to take on the task of assembling the ultimate hustler catalog in a thirty-song list, excluding guest appearances. Note that Fif has an extensive catalog that could be arranged in a multitude of formats, so we’re just going to go with what we consider to be his best songs.

Honorable Mentions

Baby By Me (ft. Ne-Yo)

Album: Before I Self-Destruct

A lot could be said about the insanely forgettable senior record that was Before I Self-Destruct; however, this star-studded Ne-Yo collaboration managed to salvage the album from becoming a complete dud. A sleeper chart-camper, this unexpected pair did their thing on this joint.

Big Rich Town (ft. Joe)

Album: N/A

What’s a best 50 Cent songs list without the infamous theme song to the hit TV Show directed by Fif himself, Power. A grand opening into the multiverse of feds, felons and divas that 50 has managed to create for television, it would be wrong to leave out any mention of the music in Power.

Smile (with G-Unit)

Album: Beg for Mercy

A melodic tune that served as the final single for the G-Unit debut, 50’s hook-writing skills shined on this cut as Banks filled in the blanks with his verses. This would have made the list itself, but it’s tough to judge where it’d land consider 50 only did the chorus.

Get Up

Album: N/A

What was supposed to be the leading single to the Before I Self-Destruct album benefitted greatly from the last-minute roster cut. The high-energy hymn that helped keep 50’s head above water on the Billboard charts was a street anthem that kept club-dwellers on their feet until the end of the tracks. An explosive experience to witness in its heyday, the record could’ve been so much more with the right support system backing it.

Disco Inferno

Album: The Massacre

One of the many hard-hitting smashes from The Massacre album, “Disco Inferno” provided the definitive club record that would continuously appear in each deejay’s rotation for the night. You’d think this would be one of the thirty heaters on this list, but it just goes to show how impressive Fif’s catalog is.

30. If I Can’t

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

We’re kicking this list off with one of many anthems from the colossal classic that is 50 Cent’s debut. Fif was in his pocket throughout the entire creation of the record; from the tight schemes to the chanting chorus, the record speaks volumes as the hardheaded Queens emcee pours his soul onto the joint and etches his undying hustle into hip-hop history. Saying if he can’t do something then it can’t be done at all is a premium testament to Fif’s unmatched confidence and is a prime example of who 50 Cent the artist is.

29. I’ll Still Kill

Album: Curtis

Another radio attempt with a cheat code contributor – this time with the Konvict Music mastermind, Akon. The bouncy nature of the record compared with Fif’s rugged rhymes and Akon’s vibrant vocals shook up dance floors throughout the final years of the decade, but failed to the same impact as the singles from 50’s first few records. Still a great record nonetheless.

28. Hustler’s Ambition

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’ — Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Get Rich or Die Tryin Soundtrack was a weird collection of radio chiming joints and vintage 50 cuts. This record falls under the later however as we see 50 harness the energy of his early efforts, smoothly flowing over a soulful loop with a collage of gritty rhymes and a homegrown chorus. This cut off the original motion picture soundtrack would unknowingly set the stage for Fif’s final sets of studio albums (as of today at least).

27. Wanna Get to Know You (ft. Joe) (with G-Unit)

Album: Beg for Mercy

These types of records garner a different type of reaction each time 50 hops in the bag. You either love them or hate them. “Wanna Get to Know You” was different, however, as it created a comfortable atmosphere that was safe for the ladies but not too soft for the 2X-tee wearing men. The G-Unit posse record with a Joe feature worked better than most anticipated.

28. Ryder Music

Album: The Massacre

While The Massacre didn’t get the full love it deserved, glimpses of vintage 50 flickered throughout the album. Though “Ryder Music” was one of many tracks that was overshadowed by the monstrous hits on the record, Fif holds its down with the same slick rhymes and soulful chops that we initially came to love. You can’t help but play the record over and over once it comes up in rotation.

25. Life’s on the Line

Album: Power of the Dollar

Probably one of the earliest instances of 50 going at Ja Rule. The generational beef that we all came to watch started off in a somewhat peculiar manner. In fact, the initial details are still vague to this day. But what we do know is, 50’s barrage of humiliating disses were enough to bury the Murder Inc icon in purgatory. Though it was never revealed who this diss was aimed at, I think we can all take a simple guess with the lines, “Murrrdaaaa, I don’t believe you!”

24. Candy Shop (ft. Olivia)

Album: The Massacre

Depending on who you are and where you were at the time of it’s release, you either loved or hated “Candy Shop”. The second single to the infamous sophomore slam was a simple chorus over a Scott Storch beat that kept clubs alive and running throughout the mid-2000’s. Though 50 had already solidified himself as a hip-hop icon, seeing him release a simple-minded single was enough to have hip-hop heads nod in disagreement as they saw The Massacre singles fail to live up to the loosies of Fif’s grand debut. If you were part of the crew who enjoyed this record upon release, then you know the chokehold 50 had on the world with these records.

23. I Smell Pussy (with G-Unit)

Album: Beg for Mercy

Another instance of 50 finding new ways to humiliate his eternal foes at Murder Inc. Now, you had two street anthems and a barrage of loose freestyles going at the camp, but how else could you embarrass your enemy on wax – the answer would be found in a club-driven single for the ladies. Despite its vulgar title, this record was enough to have both ladies and men turn against the Murder Inc moguls. If there were any indication of a winner, this definitely declared 50 as the victor in this fued.

22. Rotten Apple

Album: Guess Who’s Back

Even though his early records were solid for street-driven debuts, the label saw 50 as too much of a liability to push his music. It was a shame to see Power of the Dollar and Guess Who’s Back live on the shelves of the music industry, but records like these were still potent enough to find a new life on the streets. A raw display of a homegrown chorus and gritty rhymes over an electric beat was a warning sign that the industry was about to be takeover by the underdog who was left for dead in the system.

21. Heat

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

By far the most creative that Fif has ever gotten with a record. Though it lived as a B-side on a colossal debut album with an array of hits, “Heat” manages to stand out amongst the crowd due to its innovative approach. Four full minutes of New York’s hardest rapper rhyming over loops of gunshots is the epitomizing example as to why you don’t want to mess with 50 Cent. Imagine barely hearing the news of him surviving the nine shots only for this to be the first record you hear.

20. Ski Mask Way

Album: The Massacre

This B-Side off of the globally popularized The Massacre showed how 50 was able to balance both worlds well. After hearing the first wave of hits over the album, the tracklist dips into a different zone, where we hear Fif back on his vintage hip-hop ish. “Ski Mask Way” was another one of many tracks off The Massacre that was soulful in sound yet gritty in spirit; it was like a look back into the early life of 50 Cent.

19. Poppin Them Thangs (with G-Unit)

Album: Beg for Mercy

The second single off of the official G-Unit album had the streets in a frenzy. The triple-headed threat that was 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo were finally on pace to turn the Guerilla Unit into a worldwide movement – that is until Yayo was booked amidst their quick rise to stardom. With ex-Cash Money signee Young Buck present to fill in Yayo’s role, the movement was back on track with the grittiest single to ever be released on a major label. All three emcees made it their mission to bring the streets back to the forefront – and that’s exactly what they managed to do with “Poppin Them Thangs”.

18. Just a Lil Bit

Album: The Massacre

What was said about “Candy Shop” applies the same to this track. “Just a Lil Bit” walks the same line of being a catchy tune over a monstrous beat, but depending on who you ask, this record was more tolerable than the cookie-cutter feel heads got from “Candy Shop”. Scott Scorch blessed both tracks with colossal beats and Fif came thru working his magic, but “Just aLil Bit” edges “Candy Shop” out by a tiny margin, despite the gap in placements.

17. Best Friend (ft. Olivia)

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’ — Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Whether we’re talking about the original version from the movie soundtrack or the Olivia-assisted remix that spawned on her debut, “Best Friend” was a crazy joint. 50 flawlessly created a safe song that would resonate the same among different audiences, whether you were from a street background or a corporate structure. When artists try to expand upon a preexisting idea created by another artists. In this case, “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie. It typically comes off as corny, but Fif was able to recreate this idea well enough for it to take on a life of its own. Simply put, if you don’t mess with this joint, you aren’t to be trusted!

16. Stunt 101 (with G-Unit)

Album: Beg for Mercy

The first single that kicked off the G-Unit album was a high-intensity showcase of how to stunt (hence the name “Stunt 101”). 50, Banks and Buck come together on this track to flash their collection of cars, jewelry and bars for the record’s front-running single. Not only was it a massive success, the chemistry between the trio was second-to-none, paving a bold path for the release of Beg For Mercy. Despite its flashy nature, the record still holds up today with all three verses walking the fine line of mainstream success and authentic hip-hop.

15. Window Shopper

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’— Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

By the time his biographical film was set to be released, 50 had complete control over the world. Everywhere you went, you couldn’t escape the G-Unit brand. The soundtrack that accompanied the blockbuster film was littered with catchy tunes, with “Window Shopper” standing out amongst them all. A flashy single that shows 50 flaunting his success over his competitors in the industry, you cant help but single along when the chorus kicks in.

14. Patiently Waiting (ft. Eminem)

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

The moment hip-hop heads were anxiously anticipating. Following the news of 50 signing with Dr. Dre’s ambitious Aftermath label with the help of Eminem, fans couldn’t wait to hear what the first collab between the two would sound like. The result: a masterclass performed by both parties. With Em behind the boards on this joint, the two were able to cook up an explosive barrage of bars, with Eminem delivering some of the best raps he’s ever spit on record. It’s safe to say Em got Fif on this one.

13. Outta Control (Remix) (ft. Mobb Deep)

Album: Blood Money

The “no features” rule is being slightly bent yet again but hear us out. The original “Outta Control” was a solo 50 joint that appeared on The Massacre. While the record itself was alright, the remix with Mobb Deep would completely overshadow its predecessor as it dominated the club scene immediately. With the legendary duo under the G-Unit imprint, this record was their coming out party, launching them back onto the billboards. The smash record was released as a separate EP with 50 Cent as the main artist so we’re counting it either way!

12. P.I.M.P.

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Let’s take it back to simpler times. The first time you heard this record was either (1) one of the first times you heard of 50 Cent or (2) one of the first times you seen an iPod endorsement. Fif was on the rise to stardom and that Apple sponsor for the “P.I.M.P.” video fuelled his hustle further. Every time you hear this record, you can’t help but feel good regardless of the situation you’re in. Add in a remix with hip-hop’s most notorious hustler/pimp, Snoop Dogg, and you got the recipe for success. Who knows, maybe you could score an Apple deal if you follow the chorus.

11. Bad News

Album: 50 Cent is the Future

This makes up for the lack of mixtape 50 throughout the list. In all fairness, Fif’s mixtape catalog is so extensive, we could make a whole list with that alone. In order to lessen the blow, we have a definitive classic from the 50 Cent Is The Future tape, exhibiting a more raw version of 50 and the G-Unit crew that we came to now. With nothing to lose, the Queens trio gave it their all on this cut, giving people a reason why they should follow to the title. Don’t get the lack of mixtape 50 twisted either, that’s a whole different realm compared to the mainstream mogul we see today.

10. Ghetto Qur’an

Album: Power of the Dollar

Arguably the most poignant record in the entire 50 Cent catalog. Early 50 Cent was a rapper that put his life on the line to make it in the music industry, even when dire situations could have been avoided. On “Ghetto Qur’an”, 50 name checks every kingpin and street legend in New York on wax, which made him an immediate target. Many suspect this led to the incident which left 50 with nine-shots in his body, barely managing to survive. The record itself was put together well but a story of this caliber definitely tallies up some extra point.

9. 50 Shot Ya (with DJ Kay Slay)

Album: The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1

First and foremost, rest in peace to the Drama King himself, DJ Kay Slay. Another instance where we bend the rules a bit, but 50 was riding dolo on this record with Slay hyping him up by his side. Slay managed to rev 50 up to deliver some of the best verses of his career over LL’s “I Shot Ya”. An emcee masterclass performed by 50 with an extensive array of quotables that continue to find a life of their own today. If there was any DJ that was able to bring the best out of 50, it was DJ Kay Slay.

8. I Get Money

Album: Curtis

The first two singles off of 50’s third album didn’t generate the buzz that the industry expected them to. With the release date slowly creeping up on the legendary matchup against Kanye’s Graduation, 50 needed a trump card to bring his rollout up to speed with the Roc-A-Fella signee. Fif’s response: a smash record that harnesses the energy of early 80’s hip-hop for its hook. From the title to the iconic tagline “I Run New York”, this record fit 50’s flamboyant image to a tee and made waves all summer as Curtis was set to release in the fall. 50 was also able to score features from Diddy and Hov for a Forbes Remix. The feud unveiled in the way that it did, but we still managed to get a good set of hits from both parties so I guess we can call that a win/win.

7. Back Down

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

So far, we’ve covered how 50 has humiliated Ja through an extensive set of formats; but none come close to what was achieved on “Back Down”. Fif managed to turn a simple diss into a street anthem, which heavily amplified the intensity of the blow. Hearing crowds of people yell about how you’re sweet like a pop tart and soft in the middle in the middle of a big machismo wave in the culture was like a slug shot to the chest. Though it didn’t fully end things between the G-Unit mogul and the Murder Inc squad, it still dealt a lot of damage towards the cookie monster clique.

6. Wanksta

Album: 8 Mile Soundtrack

50’s first ripple in the pond that was the culture was a placement on Eminem’s 8 Mile Soundtrack. With the opportunity of a lifetime, 50 honed in and delivered a stellar record that revived the authentic street energy in the forefront of the culture. Now, you could argue whether the long term effects were for the better or for the worse, but “Wanksta” was a moment in time that can’t be replaced. The record was so strong that the term “wanksta” was used to describe phoney gangsters both inside and outside of hip-hop. Nothing screams street-level hip-hop more than this record.

5. 21 Questions (ft. Nate Dogg)

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Back when the legend Nate Dogg (Rest In Peace) was featured all over chart-topping records, 50 utilized his newly acquired Aftermath contact in the best way possible. Say what you want about 50 singing after he clowned Ja for doing the same, “21 Questions” is a timeless record that speaks to that “ride-or-die” mentality on a lighter note. The innocence of the record allows it to traverse across varying audiences, but it doesn’t lose the street cred in the process. This is one of those timeless records that continues to resonate with each generation as well as those to come.

4. How to Rob

Album: Power of the Dollar

We mentioned that “Ghetto Qur’an” possibly placed the target on 50’s back but to be fair, its hard to pinpoint a definitive starting point when your whole image consists of controversial commentary. That being said, the creative scheme of how 50 would rob famous names in the industry was painted as the driving force of the shooting. Fresh off the streets of Southside Jamaica, Queens, 50 used this record as his plan to instill fear in the industry, indicating the arrival of a threatening power that was looking to takeover the music world as a whole. The humor aspect played the main role in the life of the record, but even some people questioned who would get a kick out of such activity. They clearly didn’t know who they were dealing with just yet.

3. In da Club

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Has a birthday celebration passed where this record wasn’t played for at least 5 seconds? 50 Cent’s coming out party to the world was an epitomizing club record that shattered speakers in functions throughout the world. The release of “In da Club” was the day that 50 Cent took over the industry because the G-Unit mogul would continue to have a chokehold on the music world for years to come. While the rhymes come off as very straightforward to many, the colossal beat from Dre along with 50’s smooth flow highlight the beauty in the simplicity of this record. Even if you’re anti-establishment or partied-out, you can’t deny that “In da Club” is a staple in the Aftermath catalog.

2. What Up Gangsta

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

There’s no perfect record used to hype you up for any occasion than track 2 off of the infamous Get Rich or Die Tryin album. The first concrete record listeners hear off of the electric debut was a lively start to an experience that matches the explosive essence of the track. You can’t help but bask in the eruptive nature of 50’s persona as he says outlandish stuff like (“They say I walk around like I got an S on my chest / Nah, that’s a semi-auto and a vest on my chest”). 50 Cent had middle America set-tripping in the middle of living rooms and we’re going to act like that’s not one of his best records? If 50 Cent were to ever engage in a hit-for-hit battle with anybody and this isn’t his introduction track, he automatically loses.

1. Many Men (Wish Death)

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

The soundtrack for champions. The ultimate comeback story. The most exhilarating story-driven record in hip-hop. “Many Men” is one record in 50 Cent’s massive catalog that perfectly represents the polarizing star to a tee. Not only is the situation itself quite miraculous, but the way in which Fif locked in and managed to channel the same emotions present throughout an event that many would immediately try to suppress is the perfect portrayal of how relentless his hustle was.

Fif was willingly to sacrifice his physical and mental in order to be in the position he’s at today. The track perfectly compliments the magnitude of the situation, with the lines “In the Bible, it says what goes around comes around / Hommo shot me, three weeks later he got shot down / Now it’s clear that I’m here for a real reason / Cause he got hit like I got hit, but he ain’t fuckin’ breathin’”) forever being solidified as the coldest lyrics ever delivered in a rap song.

Even if 50’s career never took off the way it did following the release of Get Rich or Die Tryin, Fif would forever be a legend for this record alone.

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