The roll-out for 50 Cent's iconic debut Get Rich or Die Tryin' seemed flawless, popping Fif out of his mixtape street grind with his first official single: "In da Club." But how different would things have gone if the G-Unit juggernaut chose another lead off for his classic? Well, it almost happened.
MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway first sat down with Fif in 2002, a few months before he dropped GRODT on February 6, 2003. At the time, the then-rising rap star hadn't decided on his first single and was debating between "In da Club" and "If I Can't."
"Me and Dre did both of 'em and he's twirling his fingers right now like, which one should I go with first," 50 revealed to us, still unsure of which way to go.
The bouncy, motivating "If I Can't" almost made the cut, but the G-Unit/Shady/Aftermath team went with "In da Club," helping Get Rich move over 872,000 copies in the first sales week after its release exactly 10 years ago.
During the interview, a fresh-faced 50 also rapped "21 Questions" before anyone had heard the Nate Dogg-assisted single. "I did a record called '21 Questions.' That's where I ask 21 questions to a female that are really relevant to me right now," he explained back then.
Fif spoke on another record which didn't make Get Rich's final cut. "I did a record with Trina called 'The Magic Stick,' " he bragged. The song would eventually surface, without Trina, but with 50 as a guest star on Lil Kim's 2003 La Bella Mafia LP.
With every album recording there is natural creative process, where things are falling in and out of place, but 50 always had a plan. "In the street, my balance has been a little different because I've been targeting the street with the music," 50 began, describing his transition from mixtape artist to major-label rap star. "I feel like your commercial single is not gonna be so effective in the hood. In the hood they don't wanna hear what's radio ready; they wanna hear something that was made for the hood."
How different would things have gone if 50 Cent chose "If I Can't" as his first Get Rich single? Sound off in the comments!