Originally slated for a February 11th release date, Get Rich or Die Tryin had to be moved up due to severe bootlegging. When released, it seemed like every DJ, from every region, was playing his records. At times the entire album would be played from front to back all day long.

When an up-and-coming rapper ‘makes it,’ its not common that he brings his friends or crew along for the ride. No one did this better than 50 and its all due to this album.

G-Unit was his crew and they weren’t just along for the ride. They were a part of it as well. Aside from Eminem, his G-Unit artists at the time, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and Young Buck were the only other rap acts to be featured on Get Rich or Die Tryin. He was determined to place his team on immediately even at the expense of himself. A bold move that paid off, because each member of the Unit went on to have solid solo debuts.

The rags to riches story of Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson can be understood and admired, and is relatable to everyone, even those from different backgrounds and ethnicities. We are all trying to make it to the top in some form or fashion and that is also part of his appeal.

Since 2003, 50 has without a doubt gotten rich. A savvy business man, he has a string of successful albums, a deal with Coca-Cola’s vitamin water, book deals, movies etc; he has turned himself into a true entrepreneur. His music on the other hand is in a less progressive place, and understandably so.

With a debut album that’s still to this day held in such high regard, it makes that type of success difficult to duplicate.

Nevertheless, if he were to stop making music today, hip-hop will always be thankful for the energy that Get Rich or Die Tryin brought to the game.

Chris Martin is a Brooklyn-based writer. He is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and co-editor of itstheratpack.com. You can follow him on twitter at @SozeSays.