50 Cent rattled the cages of Hip Hop’s mainstream with the release of his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’, but one standout song nearly didn’t make the cut.

During a recent appearance on Big Boy’s Neighborhood, 50 confirmed that Dr. Dre didn’t believe the Nate Dogg-assisted “21 Questions” was a fit for the acclaimed 2003 project, but the G-Unit boss’ intuition said otherwise.

“He said, ‘I don’t know why you want?’ Why I wanted the record,” he explained. “I’m like, ‘Damn, I gotta do all these muthafuckin’ push-ups?’ Dre would say this is N.W.A… ‘We didn’t do that.’

“Like they didn’t have to reach to make a commercial record or anything that sounded like a commercial record. And that’s just in his DNA. Like on his path, he’s like, ‘We don’t need that.'”


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Produced by “Dirty Swift,” the storytelling love ballad would prove 50’s gut right and “21 Questions” became his second Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit as the single topped the chart for four weeks and remained on the Hot 100 for 23 weeks.

Dre allegedly didn’t understand how a love song could fit into 50 Cent’s gangster persona, but 50 always wanted to maintain a duality and commercial appeal.

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“Dre was, like, ‘How you going to be gangster this and that and then put this sappy love song on?’ ” 50 recalled in 2005. “But I told him, ‘I’m two people. I’ve always had to be two people since I was a kid, to get by. To me that’s not diversity, it’s necessity.'”

While “21 Questions” could be a lethal go-to track to play in a Verzuz battle, don’t expect to see 50 Cent in one anytime soon, according to Tony Yayo.

“I think 50’s on the level where he’ll never do a Verzuz, bro,” the G-Unit cog said. “He’s not interested in certain things like that. I just think, you know, that guy sold a lot of records, he gets a lot, a lot of money — and not saying that anything is wrong with Verzuz I just think he’s not interested in doing it, you know?”