50 Cent Releases ‘In Da Club’ – Today in Hip-Hop
XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:
Jan. 7, 2003: Twenty years ago, 50 Cent kicked off 2003 with the release of "In Da Club," the first single from his soon-to-be-released debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
Produced by Dr. Dre and Michael Elizondo, "In Da Club" would become one of the best-performing singles of 2003, and rule the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for nine consecutive weeks. The song garnered two nominations for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Song for the 2004 Grammy Awards, along with a Best Rap Album nod for Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
Initially, "In Da Club" was slated for Eminem's group D12 to use for the 8 Mile soundtrack but was eventually scrapped. Weeks later, Dr. Dre played the instrumental for 50 Cent and he immediately wrote the song (verse and chorus) within an hour. "He recorded the bulk of his vocals that night as he wrote," recalled Michael Elizondo. "While he was writing, we started laying the idea to Pro Tools and built the track."
Surprisingly, "In Da Club," wasn't the first choice for a lead single since there were other songs in the running. Em favored "If I Can't," but Dre was steadfast on "In Da Club" for the LP's first single.
"We couldn't decide on the first single from Get Rich [or Die Tryin']. It was going to be either 'If I Can't' or 'In Da Club,'" recalled Eminem. "We were torn, so me, 50, Paul, Chris Lighty and Jimmy Iovine decided to flip a coin." And the rest is history.
On Nov. 16, 2020, the music video for "In Da Club," directed by Philip Atwell, reached 1 billion views on YouTube, the second rap video to reach this milestone from the pre-YouTube era. The first is Eminem's "Without Me." In December of 2022, the song reached 1 billion streams on Spotify.
Twenty years after its release, "In Da Club" is still breaking records.