It was probably a while back — i.e. you were jamming to Ja Rule on your first-generation iPod, and you insisted on your friends calling you Busta — but you know you went through a 50 Cent phase. (Or maybe you’re still in this phase, in which case, I feel compelled to remind you to take out your grill and remember that 2003 was 10 years ago.) You know where you were the very first time you heard “In da Club”. Like me, I’ll bet you remember thinking, “We are sooo on the same wavelength, 50! We should always party like it’s my birthday!”
As the hits kept comin’ (e.g. “Candyshop,” “Disco Inferno,” and “P.I.M.P.”), did you ever take a step back and analyze his lyrics to discover all the deep meanings contained therein? Maybe between Jagerbombs? Well I did, and I think it might be fair to consider 50 Cent a trailblazer with a rare sensitivity that current faves like Drake and Lil Wayne can only attempt to emulate. After all, 50 coined the phrase that remains universally appropriate when you’re ready to throw up your hands in a sticky social situation: “In the hood they say there’s no business like ho’ business.” But you already knew that, right?
Here, a quick sampling of the rest of 50’s dead-on insights as I see them:
1. “I love you like a fat kid love cake/You know my style I say anything to make you smile” (from “21 Questions”)
You wouldn’t expect a guy who’s been shot 9 times (including in the face!) to be a jokester, but that’s just the kind of guy he is. 50 understands the importance of laughter in a healthy relationship. So, no matter how bad things get in your relationships—for example, your partner buys non-organic cherry tomatoes and forgets to DVR Breaking Bad (can you imagine?)—remember, you’ve never been shot in the face.
2. “Girl what we do/and where we do/The things we do/They just between me and you” (from “Candy Shop”)
He understands that it’s important to give a new relationship a week or two before updating one’s Facebook Relationship Status. Understandably, there is significant gray area here, so when in doubt, ask yourself, “What would 50 do?” Note: this rule applies to new relationships, small arguments, and drug deals.
3. “My flow, my show brought me the dough/That brought me all my fancy things/My crib, my car, my pools, my jewels/Look bitc* I came up, and I ain’t changed” (from “In da Club”)
He understands that no one appreciates Nouveau Riche snobbery. Yuck! Additionally, I believe 50 is reminding us here that any female attracted by fancy things and jewels (like shipwreck jewels?) is probably not worth keeping around, and is likely a pirate in disguise.
4. “Damn baby all I need is a lil bit/Not a lot baby girl, just a lil bit” (from “Just a lil bit”)
He is dedicated to self control and the concept of “taking it slow.” He understands that deep, meaningful relationships need time to grow. 50’s really more of a kiss-on-the-2nd-date sort of guy, unless he spends over $200 on dinner. In that case, a lot more is happening on date #1.
5. “If ever you needed someone I’m the one you should call/You got problems, I can solve ‘em, they big or they small” (from “P.I.M.P.”)
He knows that sometimes we ladies need a fighter, a lot of the time we need a lover, but all of the time we need a solver. 50 clearly values critical thinking skills; after all, they not only helped launch his G-Unit brand, but they render him a sound provider of advice and opinions. Whether you need help thinking through a major career move, deciding on graduate school programs or a dinner party seating arrangement, 50 understands you need someone credible in your corner.
6. “Been hit wit a few shells, but I don’t walk wit a limp” (from “In da Club”)
No profound interpretation needed here. It’s badass to date a guy who’s been shot. Make that happen, ladies. Just make sure you don’t get shot. In fact, start carrying a small gun in your purse. Always check that you’re not being followed. Take self-defense classes. Never leave the house. Stop dating. On second thought, forget #6.