50 Cent has said that songwriting is far more critical than being lyrical, noting that the biggest hits all have standout hooks and follow proper song structure.
In a sprawling interview with Vulture, the G-Unit leader reflected back on his blockbuster career and said his music started to take off when Jam Master Jay helped him structure songs in a more radio-friendly way.
"I hustled my way into the music business. When I met Jam Master Jay, I already had a 400 SE Benz. I was right at the peak point of what you could have in my neighborhood selling drugs," he said. "I started telling him I wanted to rap. Then he gave me a tape with beats, and I went and wrote to it. He was like, 'Yo, where the hook?' I’m like, 'It’s right there.' He’s like, 'That ain’t a hook.' And he taught me how to count bars. I was forced to write the chorus multiple times before I could rap. Because in Jam Master Jay’s head, he was like, Anybody can rap. You’ve got to get the song structure together."
He continued, "Some guys could come up with punch lines and it’s lyrical, but they can’t necessarily write a song to save their lives. Their music is so much better than everybody else’s that nobody buys it. But the money is in writing the right songs. So that was way more important to me for my entire career."
The interview comes as 50 Cent gears up to celebrate his monumental career via his Final Lap world tour in July, which will coincide with the 20th anniversary of 50 Cent's debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
The expansive, 64-date tour kicks off July 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah and journeys across North America until September 17, making stops in cities such as Toronto, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and 50’s hometown of New York City.
The European leg begins on September 28, and includes shows in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and the U.K., where it comes to a close in November.
Fiddy recently implied that this lap could indeed be his last, noting on Instagram that as he dives further into his bustling TV empire, he won't have the time or energy to bounce around the globe like this anymore.
“Because ticket sales are doing so well they’re adding new markets so the UK, North America and possibly Australia will be in there,” 50 said on Instagram. “I gotta get to Africa. I got a lot of spots I gotta hit before I be done, because this is the Final Lap Tour.”
He continued: “I won’t be running around like this no more. I gotta do my film and television stuff and got a lot of other things going on behind the scenes that I gotta work on, so I won’t be out touring as much as I’ve been touring…I’m having fun this time because it’s set up to enjoy myself, we not feeling pressure.”
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ dropped on February 6, 2003 via Interscope Records, Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records, Eminem’s Shady Records, and 50’s own G-Unit Records. The album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200, selling over 872,000 copies in its first week, and has since been certified 9x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).