No matter who you were in 2003 — a New York gangster, a Los Angeles record executive, suburban high school nerd, whatever — you feared, cheered and/or revered Curtis James Jackson III. The man better known as 50 Cent grabbed the world by the throat with his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. It simultaneously scared the hell out of listeners and made them dance dirty. In a word, it was awesome, and it launched a multi-faceted career that makes the G-Unit rapper one of the most well-known and decorated rappers of his generation.
Signed to Eminem‘s Shady Records via Dr. Dre‘s Aftermath, 50 Cent has become a business empire of his own. He famously partnered in the Vitamin Water company and rapped about selling the company to Coca-Cola for an exorbitant amount of money. He’s straddled the line of street rap and hip-pop more deftly than most, somehow never losing his hard edge even while delivering romantic odes. He can bop, freak and totally eff a mother up, and he does it all with enough style to catch the charts.
It’s been a few years since 50’s last album, Animal Ambition, dropped in 2014, but his music continues to inspire DJs and producers to put his tunes in heavy rotation. If you’re looking for a fresh take on some of your 50 Cent favorites, we recommend these five remixes below.
50 Cent – “21 Questions” (SNBRN Remix)
Without a doubt, “21 Questions” from Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is one of the best love songs in hip-hop history. It’s so quotable, Kanye West had to reference it in “We Don’t Care,” literally the first song on his first album. This remix from SNBRN is beachy-keen, updating the 2003 classic into something perfect for your next summer pool party. We love the pitched-down vocal over the disco-fever groove. If the question is “would we still love 50 Cent if he went house?” the answer is “yes.”
50 Cent – “Just a Lil Bit” (Rusty Hook Remix)
Your boy 50 is from the mean streets of New York City, but Rusty Hook takes the Guerilla trapper to the deep desert for some heat. The bass booms heavy with this one, so get ready to send sand in all directions. Pull a slow creep on the haters, but don’t stick around too long. This remix is short, cutting off before the second full-minute mark. That just means you have to play it again.
50 Cent – “Candy Shop” (BigJerr Remix)
Looking for more Middle Eastern-inspired trap? BigJerr’s remix is an electric trap explosion with plenty of side-winder appeal. The synths are designed to get your booty rockin’ like a belly dancer on fire. It’s got all the animal instincts of the original, but with a lot more boom, which is something we’re sure 50 can appreciate.
50 Cent – “P.I.M.P.” (Hedegaard Remix)
Moombahton is a romantic genre, as long as your bae likes bass. It’s a good fit for “P.I.M.P.,” which is kinda of a love song as long as the woman in question doesn’t mind, you know, being pimped a bit. Hedegaard brings serious bite to this rump shaker. It’s got dark undertones, but it’ll still get you to the dance floor.
50 Cent – “In Da Club” (Woody Remix)
We finish our list by taking it all the way back to the beginning. It’s not “The Birthday Song,” it’s “In Da Club,” and it was the breakout hit heard around the world. This remix from Woody re-imagines it as a cool, laidback, soul-sample groove. This is for the dudes in the club who stand back, let the smoke blow and nod their heads. You can dance to it, too. You can do whatever feels right, and this beat feels as right as rain.