"Summer days wouldn't be special if it wasn't for rain/Joy wouldn't feel so good if it wasn't for pain," 50 rhymes on "Many Men (Wish Death)," where he delivers this disc's thesis: If it wasn't for hurt, we wouldn't know happiness.
And so 50 brings plenty of the former via a tongue as sharp as a box cutter and a scowl as icy cold as an Ohio winter. "I don't smile a lot/'Cause ain't nothin' pretty/Got a Purple Heart for war/And I ain't never left the city," he spits on "If I Can't," a cocky cut that's like bottled testosterone. Throughout Get Rich, 50 Cent backs up such bravado with an album as rock solid as his pecs. Dr. Dre's spectral keys turn the Ja Rule-bashing "Back Down" into a hotheaded highlight; "Like My Style," a combustible blend of gin and gunpowder, rides a bass line as funky as morning breath; album-closer "Gotta Make It to Heaven" is Mean Streets set to wax. As such, it's a fittingly violent climax to an album as indelible as scar tissue.