XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:

March 3, 2005: On this day in 2005, 50 Cent dropped his second album, The Massacre, on Shady Records/Aftermath Records/Interscope Records.

Coming off the home-run success of his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', and positioning himself as the leader of New York rap by way of his G-Unit crew, all eyes were on 50 to deliver a fire follow-up project. And deliver he did.

According to Billboard, the LP moved 1.14 million copies in its first five days alone, a feat that's only bested by Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP for the highest first-week sales of any hip-hop album ever.

The 22-song collection spawned four Billboard Top 10 singles: "Just a Lil Bit," "Disco Inferno," "Outta Control" and "Candy Shop." The Scott Storch-produced "Candy Shop" featuring Olivia, went on to be the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became 50's third chart-topper of his career.

Upon its release, The Massacre was praised by fans and critics alike for having a nice mix of radio-friendly bangers and lyrical deep cuts. The album solidified Fif's place at the top of rap in the early 2000s.

In a 2015 interview with XXL, 50 looked back on his thought process behind his previous projects, including The Massacre, for the album's 10th anniversary.

"I was approaching The Massacre initially without writing anything sexual on the record," he recalled. "I was giving them 'Hate It or Love It' and these other things that didn’t have any sexual energy to them."

"Before I Self-Destruct was aimed at the street; I was making a street record. I wanted people to embrace it, but I’m making what I want to make, creatively. So that record is harder," he continued. The Curtis album is more like my actual personality. I did things creatively, I collaborated with people, worked with them. Me and [Justin Timberlake], No. 1 records, 'I Get Money' and different things."

Eighteen years later, 50 Cent's The Massacre album still bangs.

Watch 50 Cent's "Outta Control" Video Featuring Mobb Deep

Watch 50 Cent's "Just A Lil Bit" Video Below

Watch 50 Cent's "Piggy Bank" Video Below

See 50 Facts About 50 Cent

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