Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard those jumpy string samples, and that infamous chant, “GO. GO. GO. GO Shawty.” Yep, if ever there were a single line of music to transport your lulling mind back to the excessive hedonism of early 2000s hip-hop, then chances are it’ll come from those three and a half minutes of Dre-produced excellence.
While ‘In Da Club’ was by no means 50 Cent’s ‘debut’ single, it certainly catapulted the once-stagnant wordsmith from Queens into the hip-hop, and not to mention mainstream, radio stratosphere. It showcased a lean, young, and hungry rapper on the verge of being the curator of his own proverbial shitstorm of fame.
But just as his mentor, and frequent collaborator, Dr Dre pioneered low-riders and 40oz-galore summer cookouts back in the early ’90s, so too did Curtis James Jackson III a decade later make a name for anthemic club numbers, brimming with sexual innuendos and brash, unashamed mafioso aphorisms.
As the great man turns 41 today, we thought what better way to celebrate than taking a Gucci-clad stroll down the exclusive quarters of memory lane, and into the IYF, wealth-flaunting years of the early noughties.
These were the years hip-hop began to leave behind its previous sense of underachievement, and began to reap all the hard-earned benefits, with bucket hats, white do-rags, baggy throwbacks, scantily clad mistresses in the hundreds and, let’s not forget of course, videos chock-full of slow-mo, angular walking shots.
For a brief, but significant period, Fiddy changed the game with this brandishing aesthetic and his poised, collected attack on the mic. Here’s to him.
- Words: Vincent Dwyer