If you were put together a list of the greatest hook-writers in rap, 50 Cent would be top five, dead or alive.
With a catalogue of hit singles with unforgettable hooks like “In da Club”, “P.I.M.P.”, “If I Can’t”, “Candy Shop”, “Hate It or Love It”, “How We Do” and plenty more, 50 is one of the best songwriters in the game during his prime years.
As 50 has revealed in several interviews over the years, it was the late Jam Master Jay who mentored him in the art of songwriting. After being introduced to the Run-D.M.C. DJ in ’96, 50 was JMJ Records where he was taught how to structure his songs and add melodies to his hooks.
“I didn’t have any song structure,” 50 recalled. “I didn’t know how to count bars. I knew a chorus was supposed to be on a song, so I put that area where it was repetitive, but there wasn’t a four-bar chorus, or an eight-bar chorus that would have things that you would remember.”
Jam Master Jay put 50 through a songwriting bootcamp, helping him develop his songwriting skills by practicing writing multiple hooks for one song.
50 Cent: It gave me the habit as a writer to up with more than one melody for the record. So on “P.I.M.P.,” you’ll hear the chorus area, and then you’ll hear an area that feels like a bridge on the record, but that’s out of the habit that I write two or three melodies on every song. It’s like what Jay would say to me, “That’s good, but if it is what we think it is, you need another one.”50 Cent on the ’90s Hip-Hop Scene, Drake, and the Beyoncé Video He Never Got to Make | Vulture