50 cent reveals surprising inspiration behind ‘hold on’

50 Cent‘s 2003 Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ inspired a generation of MCs, just ask Schoolboy Q, who admits to picking up the mic because of the G-Unit juggernaut. But who inspires 50?

With his latest single “Hold On,” Fif tells MTV News that he borrowed a vibe from 1980s rap duo EPMD.

“I wrote it, and at the time, I’ll be honest I was listening to ‘You Gots To Chill’ [by] EPMD,” he said of the lead single off of his upcoming Animal Ambition LP, due out June 3.

In 1988, the Long Island, New York duo fused samples from Kool & the Gang and Zapp to create the slow-rolling “You Gots To Chill,” an early rap single that urged listeners to just sit back and relax. The sentiment on 50’s “Hold On” is similar, except Fif isn’t asking you to chill; he’s telling you while waving a gun.

“I was looking for something to match the tempo and energy that was there, because these are the things that I fell in love with when I was actually falling in love with hip-hop,” 50 explained. “I’m looking for something to mirror that because it’s far away from what is actually going on right now in the culture.”

“Hold On” is just the lead track from the G-Unit MC’s upcoming project. He plans to release new records and videos every week leading up to the release.

During a special interview on Eminem’s SIRIUS XM satellite radio station on March 31, Fif will break down the meaning behind specific tracks. He’ll explain why he chose to bait his one-time foe James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond, who is currently serving life in prison for drug trafficking.

In addition to the actual lyrics, 50 just felt he had to get the record right sonically, and using EPMD was the perfect template for him. “When I actually got it together ‘Hold On’ was perfect,” he said. “You hear me saying, ‘Just relax, relax.’ I’m saying relax instead of ‘You gots to chill.'”