"In da Club" is a hip hop song performed by American rapper 50 Cent from his debut studio album Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003). The song was written by 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, and Elizondo and Dre produced the song with co-production credit from Mike Elizondo. The track was released in January 2003 as the album's lead single and it was positively received by music critics. The song has since sold over 2,000,000 copies.
After 50 Cent was discovered by rapper Eminem in 2002, he flew to Los Angeles where he was introduced to record producer Dr. Dre. "In da Club" was the first of seven tracks he recorded in five days with Dr. Dre. 50 Cent described the studio sessions, saying:
Dre, he'll play dope beats ... [He'll say], 'These are the hits, 50. So pick one of these and make a couple of singles or something.' The very first time he heard [me rap on] 'In Da Club' he said, 'Yo, I didn't think you was going to go there with it, but, you know, it works.' He was probably thinking of going in a different direction with that song. Then he expanded it into a hit record.
The production was originally given to the hip hop group D12, but was passed on to 50 Cent because the group did not know how to approach the song. He recorded the track with only the drum beat present. Since much of the content on Get Rich or Die Tryin' was "dark", he wanted to write material that was "the exact opposite". He called the song a "celebration of life. Every day it's relevant all over 'cause every day is someone's birthday."
"In da Club" was positively received from music critics. AllMusic described it as "a tailor-made mass-market good-time single".The Source called the song a "guaranteed party starter" with its "blaring horns, funky organs, guitar riffs and sparse hand claps". The BBC also wrote that the song is "a spectacular party anthem" that "highlights 50 Cent's ability to twist his words effortlessly".Entertainment Weekly noted that 50 Cent "boasts unashamedly of his career objectives and newly flush bank account" with lyrics such as "I'm feelin' focus, man, my money on my mind/Got a mil out the deal and I'm still on the grind."Rolling Stone wrote that the song sports "a spare yet irresistible synth hook augmented by a tongue-twisting refrain".The Guardian called the track "irresistible" due to its "sparse orchestral samples and snaking chorus", and Pitchfork Media said, "the bounce on 'In da Club' is straight-up irresistible, Dre at both his minimalist best and most deceptively infectious."Splendid magazine called the song an "insanely catchy" single with its "stanky, horn-addled thump". The track was listed at number ten on Blender magazine's "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born". In 2008, it was ranked at number 18 on VH1's "100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs".
Phillip Atwell directed the music video on December 10–11, 2002. Almost all the film footage was used in the video except for a scene where 50 Cent raps in a glass box. The video is set in a fictional hip hop boot camp known as the Shady/Aftermath Artist Development Center. It begins with a black Hummer driving to the facility at an unknown location. Video clips from Eminem's single "Without Me" are seen playing in the entrance on flat screen TVs. We see Eminem & Dr. Dre looking down at the lab from a lab balcony with windows. 50 Cent is introduced by hanging upside down from the roof of a gym. Atwell commented, "I think I could have done better with it, but I really liked the way that it turned out". The video also contains a shooting range, which Atwell felt was appropriate because 50 Cent had been shot nine times. He said, "creatively, I felt like we were able to put guns in a video and have it play. And I like it when you are able to play within the standards and still give the artist something symbolic of what they are going for."
In 2003, American recording artist Beyoncé recorded a remix version of "In da Club" titled "Sexy Lil Thug". Her version sampled the original's instrumental and melody with the singer singing her own, newly added verses. In the song, she references Jimmy Choo shoes, Marilyn Monroe, Marc Jacobs, and Bailey Bank and Biddle. Makkada B. Selah of The Village Voice said, "Her version of 'In da Club' outed 50 Cent as a singing-ass rapper with lines like 'Don't wanna be your girl/I ain't lookin' for no love/So come give me a hug/You a sexy little thug.'" Joey Guerra of the Houston Chronicle coined Beyoncé's cover version as a "female spin" on the original. The song was officially released on Beyoncé's mixtape Speak My Mind. According to Guerra of the Houston Chronicle, the song was never an official single, likely because of permission issues. Beyoncé's version of the song charted for 7 weeks and peaked at number 67 on the US BillboardHot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In 2013, Mike Wass of the website Idolator put "Sexy Lil Thug" at number six on his list of "Beyonce's 10 Best Unreleased And Rare Tracks". He described it as a "radio staple" in 2003, adding that it "remains something of a lost gem" and concluded "Queen Bey spit iconic lyrics like 'I’m that classy mami with the Marilyn Monroe body'".