50 Cent’s “Many Men” Was Originally a Nas Song
This week, Nas' compilation album The Lost Tapes celebrates its 15-year anniversary, and in a new interview, it's been revealed that 50 Cent's "Many Men" originally belonged to none other than Esco himself.
During an interview with Mass Appeal reflecting on The Lost Tapes, former A&R Lenny "Linen" Nicholson shared the fun fact about the Darrell "Digga" Branch instrumental.
“50 [Cent’s] song ‘Many Men’ was a Nas track first—he actually vocalled it," says Nicholson. "He was developing another artist named Nashawn… he had to massively impress Nas. If Nas started something, he would add his vocal to it and see if Nas would be impressed enough to keep it. [Nas] didn’t finish that track… that was a track that he just fell out of love with."
Nicholson, with permission from Nas, then gave the beat to Fif, a move that was pretty organic considering both artists were on Columbia Records' roster at the time.
"At that time 50 was looking for something just to stay busy and to keep writing," Nicholson adds. "I gave it to 50, and it turned into ‘Many Men.’"
The track, which appeared on 50 Cent's 2003 album Get Rich or Die Tryin', was later certified Gold by the RIAA, with Eminem, Luis Resto and Branch all credited as producers.
While beats get passed around all the time, this historical tidbit becomes that much more interesting when factoring in 50 Cent and Nas' previous, and relatively shortlived, beef. The Queens emcees went head to head two years after GRODT, with the two going at one another on wax.
50 Cent first dissed Nas on his track "Piggy Bank," which was met with several rebuttals from Nas including "Queens Get The Money," "Don't Body Ya Self" and the unreleased "Spastic." Allegedly, the now-semi-forgotten beef began when 50 vocalized his belief that Nas had kicked him off a remix to Jennifer Lopez's 2001 single "I'm Gonna Be Alright." After going at one another, the beef was squashed during Hot 97's annual Summer Jam in 2014.
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