Allow me to introduce you to UPC’s newest column, Throwback Thursday‘s, hosted by yours truly. Every Thursday I will either put a past album or record into perspective and why it should still be appreciated today.

Last week was the 10 year anniversary of 50 Cent‘s monumental and life altering (to me) album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’.

In the modern era of hip-hop which we currently live in, you can break up the eras simply be mentioning the time before 50, and the time after him.

Before 50 mixtapes were strictly made by DJ’s featuring nothing but posse cuts and other tracks that would not be placed on a street artists album. After 50 however, the mixtape became an avenue for a cohesive project with original production.

After taking a one million dollar record deal with Shady/Aftermath records Get Rich set records by selling almost 900k copies in only four days. Despite the immense record sales however, 50 Cent introduced the world of piracy to me. I remember vividly being in fifth grade, my older brother being in seventh grade and he promised me that his friend could get us 50’s new album… FOR FREE! That concept blew my mind. And sure enough, when millions were going to Best Buy or Circuit City (R.I.P.), my brother with a cocky smile gave me a silver cd with Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ written on it in a black sharpie.

Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ completely tore down how an album was to be created. A New York artist had aligned himself with a West Coast legend but made a complete and cohesive record that shows no favoritism to any region. It simply was an album made for every hip-hop fan, plain and simple.

But what really solidifies Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ and 50 Cent as a cultural icon, is that you and me, for the rest of our lives, will forever be categorized as the youth part of the 50 Cent generation.

Allow me to explain. Today, 2dopeboyz posted a video from the Red Bull Music Academy titled “What is Cloud Rap?” To answer this question artists, all who are approximately of college age or just older, are interviewed to understand their perspectives when it comes to music. In the video there is a quote from SpaceGhostPurrp that perfectly sums it up. When asked about his generation he defines as us people that simply, “don’t give a fuck.”

And where do you think we get this attitude from? Our parents? Our environment that we were raised in? Our peers?

Sure all of these might be very plausible options, but when I was only ten I became infatuated with a record of an individual who had lost his mother to murder, sold drugs, been to prison, and had been shot nine times and sometimes survived. And when 50 Cent finally had his opportunity to let the world know what he was here for it was one purpose and one purpose only; get rich, and if he couldn’t he would die trying.

That is why those five words hold so much weight to us today. If we as a generation are not gonna reach the gratification, success, or reward we are searching for, then we simply dismiss it. But for 50 Cent it was much more real, it was either finally break through or end up like so many that he knew that fell victim to the streets.

So 50, thank you for molding our generation into the way that we are, because frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I was gonna post songs on the album that are often under-looked but do yourself a favor and just play the whole album from start to finish like I am doing right now while writing this.

Welcome to Throwback Thursday.