Released: 2005Features: The Game, Tony Yayo, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks”Hate It Or Love It”, by 50 Cent and The Game, is a quintessential hip-hop anthem that dwells deep into the harsh truths of the street life while simultaneously serving an uplifting message. The song creates a vivid picture of a life shaped by adversity, yet holding onto ambitions with a relentless spirit. It’s a raw narrative about rising from the bottom, the struggle for success, and the determination to keep shining, despite the hate.
The song kicks off with The Game’s verse, reminiscent of his troubled upbringing. His lyrics speak about his mother’s sexual orientation, his absent father’s felonies, and the cold reality of growing up in a harsh neighborhood, underlining the early exposure to life’s harshest lessons. With the line ‘my favorite rapper used to sing ch-check out my melody’ he’s giving nods to Rakim—a titan in the game and inspiration for countless emcees, giving the reader a taste of the soundscape of Game’s formative years.
The stirring hook, ‘Hate it or Love it, the underdog’s on top’, echoes the resilience and determination to succeed despite the odds. The Game describes himself as ‘rap’s MVP’, asserting his dominance in the rap game, and pushing back against those who might question his claim to that title. This line establishes his status and declares that he’s going nowhere, inviting listeners to watch, learn, and even envy his progress.
As the song progresses, The Game lays down facts about his journey. He talks about the beef he inherited, the troubles he bore for his team, and his commitment to ensuring the prosperity of Compton. He even makes a bold reference to the infamous ‘Columbine’ massacre portraying the intensity of the beefs and the possible danger. His lyrics also directly jab at his rivals, maintaining the assertiveness in his narrative.
In the later verses, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks add their own perspectives to the struggle. Yayo, starts with a reflection of the hard reality of their world -where winning isn’t just expected, but a necessity – equating survival with victory. He also offers an insight into a world where luxuries like a television were a rare commodity, reminding the listeners of their humble beginnings.
Lloyd Banks’ verse carries the heaviest emotional weight of the song. He reflects on lost friends and the certainty of betrayal paving the way to violence. The brutality of his world is exemplified with the line ‘My boy just got poked in the throat’, adding a raw touch to the narrative.
Young Buck’s verse loops back to the broader theme of struggle, persistence, and eventual success. Telling the tale of his youthful days of doing whatever it took to get by, he reflects on the hustle mentality that propels individuals from the grim hardest parts of the city. He’s also seen sippin’ ‘easy Jesus’ – which is a street term for cheap wine, another nod to his humble beginnings.
The song rounds off the narrative by reminiscing on the journey, the lessons learned, and the victories won. ‘A seven-figure nigga who ain’t seen a royalty check’ signifies their success in the music industry despite not having seen a royalty check yet, adding an ironic twist to their triumphant claim.
In essence, “Hate It Or Love It – G-Unit Remix” champions the resilience and determination of individuals who rose from the gutter despite all odds. It melds personal narratives with the broader landscapes of the hip-hop culture, street life, and the relentless pursuit of success. It’s a testament to both the grim realities of their world, and their refusal to be defined by it.