Erick Sermon Almost Signed 50 Cent Before Inking Deal With Dr. Dre And Eminem

Erick Sermon Almost Signed 50 Cent Before Inking Deal With Dr. Dre And Eminem

One event could have changed the trajectory of hip-hop as we know it according to a recent admission from EPMD’s Erick Sermon.

On a recent episode of the My Expert Opinion podcast, Sermon, producer extraordinaire and one-half of the legendary hip-hop group, EPMD (Erick and Parrish Making Dollars) revealed that Curtis Jackson, who we know as 50 Cent, was an unofficial member of Def Squad. The producer was primed to sign the controversial rapper after producing one of his earlier songs, “Da Heatwave.” Yet, 50 Cent, who was once signed to Columbia Records, was shot several times and it curtailed any opportunity at the time to go ahead with the plan to get his signature on the dotted line.

Sermon explains that it was through another producer, Cory Rooney that he connected with 50. Rooney produced and wrote songs for the likes of Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, and The Fat Boys’ Prince Markie Dee. He was also a senior vice president at SONY Music. Living in close proximity to Rooney led to the suggestion of Sermon working with the young 50 Cent.

“Well, Cory Rooney lived next door to me. And Cory was with Sony and Trackmasters. So he brung 50 to the crib. 50 used to come to the house all the time, and we’d do records. So, it was Def Squad.”

He mentions that he produced the track, “Da Heatwave” which was done after 50’s first single that was released on Columbia Records, “How to Rob.” That record caught a lot of people’s ears because he described how he would rob many artists in the song. No one was spared, he went for Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, and whoever was hot at the time.

“That was the first single that I did after ‘How to Rob.” That was his first single before he got shot up.”

Sermon recalls that 50 shouted him and Def Squad out on the song he produced. He goes on to say that Rooney brought 50 to him because he felt it was the best place for him at that time.

“Cory just felt that it was best for him to be over here.”

50 Cent had a scheduled album release that was supposed to drop in 2000 but Columbia dropped him after he was shot nine times. Three years later, after Eminem brought him to Dr. Dre, 50 released “Get Rich or Die Tryin” after debuting the lead single, “In da Club.”

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