This song refers to Sean Bell, who on November 25, 2006 was shot dead by NYPD officers on the morning of his wedding day. This understandably provoked much criticism of the police and three of the detectives in question went to trial but were found not guilty of all charges.
Tony Yayo told MTV News that this his favorite track off the album. He said: "My favorite, hands down, is 'Straight Outta Southside.' Rest in peace to Sean Bell. It's a tribute to him. It starts off the album. It's real aggressive."
Yayo added in an interview with The Village Voice: "Matter of fact, I think G-Unit is number one in the Hip-Hop police book. We definitely on the radar. Banks and them got arrested at Madison Square Garden, leaving the Garden. We've been pulled over and harassed, but it is what it is. The police just shot Sean Bell fifty times, and they got a not-guilty verdict. That's why we got a tribute on our album called "Straight Outta Southside," a tribute to Sean Bell. So rest in peace to him and shout out to his family."
This features elements from N.W.A.'s 1988 track "Straight Outta Compton."
The bedrock of David Guetta's Nicki Minaj-featuring single "Hey Mama" is a sample of "Rosie," a 1940s prison recording from folk archivist Alan Lomax that songwriter Esther Dean first showed the French DJ on YouTube.