Before signing with Dr. Dre and having breakout success with “In Da Club,” 50 Cent was an artist on the rise. But, the 50 of back then wasn’t much different from the one first signed to Aftermath, who thrived on beef.
In 1999, he shook things up with a single entitled “How To Rob,” in which he detailed a plot to get paid… by robbing all the genre’s biggest artists, from Ol’ Dirty Bastard to Foxy Brown to Jay Z to Big Pun.
“I’ll snatch Kim and tell Puff, ‘You want to see her again?’ / Get your ass down to the nearest ATM’,” 50 raps on the song. “I’d rob ODB, but that’d be a waste of time / Probably have to clap him, run and toss the 9,” he spits later.
50 Cent recently revisited that song in an interview with XXL, explaining how the song came together.
“People came to mind based on what rhymes,” he said. “Once I was able to say it in different orders, I said the verse to Rich Nice. Before I brought it to him, I’d been doing it over a Beanie Sigel beat, other tracks. I was just playing with the concept in my head… It wasn’t hard to come up with the concept of robbery, when you’re not in a great financial space. It kind of felt like I was being rejected during that time, while I was trying to make music. And after it got even worse.”
Before it dropped, 50 said he wasn’t concerned about it’s reception. He just wanted to do something different.
“I was doing what [rappers] were afraid to do at that point,” he explained. “They were actually afraid to mention each other’s names, because Biggie and Tupac had kinda gotten out of hand… [When] Rich heard the lyrics, the whole song was done. I laid both of the verses, and then it was time for us to record the chorus. He got D-Dot… to create clarity, to show that it wasn’t a dead-serious attack at them. Without D-Dot, it was straight robbery lines. There was nothing that said whether you dead serious or you ain’t… I kinda went after everybody who was relevant, and it was really like doing my own [version of Biggie’s] ‘Dreams Of F*ckin’ An R&B Bitch.’ ”
Read the full story over at XXLMag.com.