18. 50 Cent "Corner Bodega"
In the space of 94 seconds, 50 takes us inside the life of an interstate narcotics trafficker and reveals the inner workings of his business with vivid clarity that any documentary film maker would envy. The action starts in the car, as 50 gives his crew instructions on protecting the money during a transaction-and on what to do if he doesn't come out of the coke spot within ten minutes. As soon as he hits the door 50 starts negotiating the price of a brick, demanding that his connect treat him like "fam" even as he eyes the room for threats. "Papi-what the fuck is the matter with your man? Standing against the wall with a gun in his hand."
It's truly amazing how much information can be conveyed by this mixtape cut's single verse. The Giuliani era crackdown, the narcotics task force patrolling on mountain bikes, the use of out-of-state license plates to throw the cops off the trail, the fact that the DA already has a file open on 50 and his crew. But in the mind of the narrator, the hustle is so seductive he can't leave it alone. Just cop from the corner bodega like you were buying beers and snacks for a Super Bowl party, "then hit the highway and take it to a town near you-and get that money man."
As with all things Curtis Jackson, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line. Long before Get Rich or Die Tryin' 50's mission was clear. As he puts it on this track: "I'm not on no funny shit i'm on some get this money shit." And his music spoke for thousands of other street entrepreneurs.