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50 Cent is straight up one of the greatest hook writers in hip hop history. It’s the main reason why his debut album (and subsequent releases) were such commercial successes.

Balancing out the hardened gangsta tales with melodic choruses over production geniuses made him a sure bet to top every pop music chart that existed. From the game-changing “In da Club” to the records he wrote for The Game, here are the 15 best 50 Cent hooks of all time.

15. 50 Cent ft. Kendrick Lamar – “We Up”

Released: March 25, 2013

Album: N/A

Producer: Davaughn

We on now; we pullin’ off the lot
Brake hit the button then we pulling, down the top
Shine’s on stuntin’ and I’m pullin’ out a knot
Strapped with the Glock won’t pull it out a lot but front, I’ll make it pop
Y’all don’t do it how we do
Niggas ain’t on the shit we on (we on, we on)
Everything new
Spikes on the Louboutins (boutins, boutins)
We up, nigga!

50 may not have been the hottest rapper in the game around this time, but he proved he still had it with the hook for “We Up.” Featuring the best rapper alive at the time, the single built up some hype for Street King Immortal, which sadly, still hasn’t come out yet.

14. 50 Cent – “P.I.M.P.”

Released: August 12, 2003

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Producer: Mr. Porter

I don't know what you heard about me (Woo!)
But a bitch can't get a dollar out of me (Me)
No Cadillac, no perms, you can't see
That I'm a motherfuckin' P-I-M-P
I don't know what you heard about me
But a bitch can't get a dollar out of me
No Cadillac, no perms, you can't see
That I'm a motherfuckin' P-I-M-P

This is as perfect a pop rap record as you can get. The beat, courtesy of D12’s Mr. Porter, is infectious and there’s no way you can forget the hook once you hear it.

13. 50 Cent – “Best Friend”

Released: January 19, 2006

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (soundtrack)

Producer: Hi-Tek

If I was your best friend, I want you 'round all the time
(I want you 'round me all the time)
Girl, I'll be your best friend
If you promise you'll be mine (Girl promise you'll be mine)
Please say he's just a friend (Uh huh) now girl let's not pretend (Come on)
Either he is or he ain't your man (Ha Ha!)
Please say he's just a friend
If I was your best friend, I want you 'round all the time
(I want you 'round me all the time)
Girl, I'll be your best friend
If you promise you'll be mine (Girl promise you'll be mine)
Please say he's just a friend (Uh huh)
Now girl let's not pretend (Come on)
Either he is or he ain't your man (Ha Ha!)
Please say he's just a friend
If I was your best friend

An unlikely collaboration between 50 Cent and Reflection Eternal producer, Hi-Tek, yielded this gem. Former G-Unit member Olivia appears on the remix, but to be honest, 50 didn’t need her to make the song catchier.

12. 50 Cent ft. Eminem – “Patiently Waiting”

Released: February 6, 2003

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Producer: Eminem

I been patiently waitin' for a track to explode on (Yeah)
You can stunt if you want and yo' ass'll get rolled on (It's 50)
And it feels like my flow's been hot for so long (Yeah)
If you thinkin' I'ma fuckin' fall off, you're so wrong (It's 50)

One of the first tracks you hear on Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is this atom bomb featuring one of the last great verses of Eminem’s legendary five-year run. The production, also done by Em, sounds like an apocalypse coming, and for many rappers in the game, it might as well have been with 50 rolling through with his G-Unit army.

11. 50 Cent – “Back Down”

Released: February 6, 2003

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Producer: Dr. Dre

It's easy to see when you look at me
If you look closely 50 don't back down
Everywhere I go both coasts with toast
Eastside, Westside, I hold that mac down
Every little nigga you see around me
Hold a gun big enough to fucking hold Shaq down
Next time you in the hood and see an O.G
You ask about me, the young boy don't back down

It wasn’t enough that 50 dedicated the whole of “Back Down” to firing shots at Ja Rule, he also dressed it up with a catchy hook to make sure it was being played everywhere for Ja to hear.

10. 50 Cent – “Wanksta”

Released: November 5, 2002

Album: No Mercy, No Fear

Producer: Sha Money XL, John “J-Praize” Freeman

You say you a gangsta, but you never pop nothin'
We say you a wanksta and you need to stop frontin'
You go to the dealership, but you don't never cop nothin'
You been hustlin' a long time and you ain't got nothin'
You say you a gangsta, but you never pop nothin'
We say you a wanksta and you need to stop frontin'
You go to the dealership, but you never cop nothin'
You been hustlin' a long time and you ain't got nothin'

First released on 50’s classic 2002 mixtape, No Mercy, No Fear, “Wanksta” was the beginning of the end of Ja Rule. Once 50 signed with Dr. Dre and Eminem and had the power of Aftermath and Shady behind him, it was a wrap for the Murder Inc. rapper. Shots would continued to be traded back and forth, but once “Wanksta” came out, the result was inevitable.

9. 50 Cent – “If I Can’t”

Released: September 16, 2003

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Producer: Dr. Dre, Mike Elizondo

If I can't do it, homie, it can't be done
Now, I'ma let the champagne bottle pop
I'ma take it to the top
For sure, I'ma make it hot, baby (Baby)

Released in September 2003, seven months after his debut dropped, “If I Can’t” was the last single of Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and it sounds exactly like a victory lap song. Over Dre’s triumphant keys, 50 never sounded as confident or assured as he does on here.

8. The Game ft. 50 Cent – “Westside Story”

Released: February 24, 2004

Album: The Documentary

Producer: Dr. Dre, Scott Storch

If you take a look in my eyes
See I'll be a gangsta 'til I die
That California chronic got me so high
Game, tell 'em where you from (Nigga, Westside!)
If you take a look in my eyes
See I'll be a gangsta 'til I die
That California chronic got me so high
Game tell 'em where you from (Nigga, Westside!)

In an interview with Complex about the making of his debut, The Game gave some insights into how 50 worked on hooks. “The way 50 used to write hooks—he’s so melodically driven—all he would do is listen to the beat, and whatever the beat told him to say he would say it,” Game said. “Most rappers, they listen to shit and they write lyrics based on how they feel. 50 writes it off whatever the beat makes him say.”

7. 50 Cent – “Ghetto Qur’an (Forgive Me)”

Released: 1999

Album: Power of the Dollar

Producer: Trackmasters

Lord forgive me, for I've sinned
Over and over again just to stay on top
I recall memories, filled with sin
Over and over again
And again (And again and again)

Recorded in 1999 for his unreleased Columbia Records debut album, Power of the Dollar, 50 was already showing the world how great he was at writing and singing melodic hooks. As gritty as the stories were on “Ghetto Qur’an (Forgive Me),” 50’s hook made it catchy enough to be played on the radio.

6. 50 Cent – “How We Do”

Released: October 12, 2004

Album: The Documentary

Producer: Dr. Dre, Mike Elizondo

This is how we do
We make a move and act a fool while we up in the club
This is how we do
Nobody do it like we do it so show us some love
This is how we do
We make a move and act a fool while we up in the club
This is how we do
Nobody do it like we do it so show us some love

Released as a follow-up to Game’s debut single “Westside Story” which dropped almost a year earlier, it was the commercial success of “How We Do” that pushed the record label to put out The Documentary. Debuting at number one on the charts, the album sold 586,000 units in its first week, becoming one of the biggest releases of 2005. Much of this was thanks to 50’s hook.

5. 50 Cent – “U Not Like Me”

Released: May 21, 2002

Album: Guess Who’s Back?

Producer: Red Spyda

If you get shot and run to the cops, you not like me
You ain't got no work on the block, you not like me
It's hot, you ain't got no drop, you not like me
Like me, dude, you not like me
If you get shot and run to the cops, you not like me
You ain't got no work on the block, you not like me
It's hot, you ain't got no drop, you not like me
Like me, dude, you not like me

While Guess Who’s Back? would feature some classic joints like “50 Bars” and “Your Life’s on the Line” as well as a couple of dope collaborations with Nas, “Too Hot” and “Who U Rep With,” it was the melodically-driven “U Not Like Me” that would set the blueprint for Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

4. 50 Cent – “In da Club”

Released: November 26, 2002

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Producer: Dr. Dre, Mike Elizondo, DJ Quik

You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub'
Look, mami, I got the X if you into takin' drugs
I'm into havin' sex, I ain't into makin' love
So come give me a hug if you into gettin' rubbed
You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub'
Look, mami, I got the X if you into takin' drugs
I'm into havin' sex, I ain't into makin' love
So come give me a hug if you into gettin' rubbed

What more can you say about this song? It was 50’s first of many number one singles and a certified global smash hit. As seen at the recent Super Bowl LVI halftime show, “In da Club” is a straight up timeless classic. Fun fact about this song: DJ Quik actually helped with the drums.

3. The Game ft. 50 Cent – “Hate It or Love It”

Released: January 18, 2005

Album: The Documentary

Producer: Cool & Dre, Dr. Dre

Hate it or love it, the underdog's on top
And I'm gon' shine, homie, until my heart stop
Go 'head envy me, I'm rap's M.V.P
And I ain't going nowhere, so you can get to know me
Hate it or love it, the underdog's on top
And I'm gon' shine, homie, until my heart stop
Go 'head envy me, I'm rap's M.V.P
And I ain't going nowhere, so you can get to know me

A lot of the records on The Documentary could have easily ended up on 50’s The Massacre, which would have turned that record from a good album into a classic.

Sha Money XL: 50 got the whole thing started. He wrote the hook for “Hate It Or Love It.” He wrote almost all the hooks on the album, seriously. You’ll see it on the credits. That song could have ended up on The Massacre. That record stood out enough for him when he recorded it, before Game even heard it. Game didn’t even know what he was walking into. He came into the house, Fif had the records all laid out for him. When Game heard “Hate It Or Love It,” he jumped on it and magic happened.

The Making of Game’s “The Documentary” | Complex

2. 50 Cent – “What Up Gangsta”

Released: February 6, 2003

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Producer: Reef Tewlow

What up, blood? (What?)
What up, cuz? (What?)
What up, blood? (What?)
What up, gangsta?
What up, blood? (What?)
What up, cuz? (What?)
What up, blood? (What?)
What up, gangsta?

The hook for “What Up Gangsta” is as simple as you can get, but the animalistic energy over the defiant production made it an instant classic.

1. 50 Cent – “Many Men (Wish Death)”

Released: May 24, 2003

Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Producer: Darrell “Digga” Branch, Eminem, Luis Resto

Many men
Many, many, many, many men
Wish death 'pon me
Lord, I don't cry no more
Don't look to the sky no more
Have mercy on me
Have mercy on my soul
Somewhere my heart turned cold
Have mercy on many men
Many, many, many, many men
Wish death 'pon me

“Many Men” is the perfect example of what makes 50 Cent so unique. The subject matter and his raps are as dark as you can get, but the chorus is just so damn perfect and unforgettable. This isn’t just 50’s best hook, it’s the best song he’s ever recorded. And to think it almost became a Nas song.

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