After Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 50 Cent was invincible. He’d made good on all the hype he’d earned by way of an extensive mixtape discography and released one of the most impactful debut hip-hop albums in history. So The Massacre—his follow-up to Get Rich—was the product of a man who’d suddenly gotten everything he wanted. He utilized all of the tools at his disposal—most specifically the talents and curatorial insights of Eminem and Dr. Dre—to make a bigger sequel, and the music has a sheen we see exemplified on The Massacre’s cover: The domineering Jamaica, Queens, street bully who continuously backed challengers off his corner is very much still here, except now he seems even stronger.
To introduce The Massacre, he released upbeat singles like “Disco Inferno,” “Candy Shop,” and “Just a Lil Bit,” understandably entranced by the crossover success of “In da Club.” But songs like “In My Hood” and “Gunz Come Out” are likely to go down as some of the hardest songs in his catalog. Which is not to mention “Piggy Bank,” where 50 calls out crosstown rivals Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Shyne, and Nas by name. And then there are ultra-smooth inclusions like “Ryder Music” and “God Gave Me Style.” 50 had it all on The Massacre, and he didn’t spare any of it in constructing the project’s 22 tracks. If we were to believe that “Many Men” wished death upon him as he claimed on Get Rich or Die Tryin’, then The Massacre was sweet revenge realized, 50 assuring everyone that he planned to live well for years to come.