50 Cent

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50 Cent
50 Cent 2012.jpg
50 Cent at the CES 2012 - International Consumer Electronics Show
Background information
Birth name Curtis James Jackson III
Born (1975-07-06) July 6, 1975 (age 38)
Origin South Jamaica, Queens, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, actor, entrepreneur, investor
Years active 1996–present
Labels

G-Unit, Caroline, Capitol (current)

Aftermath, Shady, Interscope; Jam Master Jay, Columbia, Violator (former)
Associated acts G-Unit, DJ Whoo Kid, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Sha Money XL, The Game, Olivia
Website 50cent.com
thisis50.com

Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, investor, and actor from New York City, New York. He rose to fame with the release of his albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003) and The Massacre (2005). His major-label debut Get Rich or Die Tryin', has been certified eight times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[1] 50 Cent also gained prominence with East Coast hip hop group G-Unit, of which he is the de facto leader.

Born in the South Jamaica neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, Jackson began drug dealing at the age of twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic.[2] After leaving drug dealing to pursue a rap career, he was shot at and struck by nine bullets during an incident in 2000. After releasing his album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, Jackson was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Interscope Records, Shady Records and Aftermath Entertainment. With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre, who produced his first major commercial successes, Jackson became one of the world's highest selling rappers. In 2003, he founded the record label G-Unit Records, which signed several successful rappers such as Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo.

Throughout his music career, Jackson has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and won several awards, including a Grammy Award, 13 Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and four BET Awards.[3] He has also pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin' in 2005, the Iraq War film Home of the Brave in 2006, and Righteous Kill in 2008. 50 Cent was ranked as the sixth-best artist of the 2000s by Billboard magazine. The magazine also ranked him as the fourth top male artist and as the third top rapper behind Eminem and Nelly.[4] Billboard magazine also ranked him as the sixth best and most successful Hot 100 Artist of the 2000s[5] and as the number one rap artist of the 2000s.[6] Billboard ranked his album Get Rich or Die Tryin' as the twelfth best album of the 2000s[7] and his album The Massacre as the 37th best album of the 2000s.[8] 50 Cent is currently working on his sixth studio album, Street King Immortal, which is to be released in 2014.

Early life

Curtis Jackson III was born and raised in South Jamaica, a poverty-stricken urban neighborhood in Queens, New York City. He was raised solely by his mother, Sabrina, who gave birth to him at the age of fifteen. 50 Cent stated that his mother worked as a cocaine dealer and was a lesbian.[9] The line "Coming up I was confused, my mommy kissing a girl" from "Hate It or Love It" featuring The Game also refers to his mother's sexuality.[10] In 1983, she became unconscious after having consumed a drugged drink and eventually died as a result of the gas in her apartment turned on amidst closed windows.[11][12] Following her death, Jackson moved into his grandparents' house with his eight aunts and uncles.[13][14][15] He recalls, "My grandmother told me, 'Your mother's not coming home. She's not gonna come back to pick you up. You're gonna stay with us now.' That's when I started adjusting to the streets a little bit".[16]

At age eleven, Jackson started boxing. The following year, Jackson started working with narcotics but informed his grandparents he attended school programs.[17] During this time, he began bringing guns and drug money to school. When Jackson was fourteen years old, a neighbor opened a boxing gym for local youth. He recalled: "When I wasn't killing time in school, I was sparring in the gym or selling crack on the strip."[18] In the mid-1980s, Jackson competed in the Junior Olympics as an amateur boxer. He later stated: "I was competitive in the ring and hip-hop is competitive too... I think rappers condition themselves like boxers, so they all kind of feel like they're the champ".[19] At the age of sixteen, he was caught by metal detectors at Andrew Jackson High School. He later explained that he was embarrassed by his subsequent arrest and confessed to his grandmother that he was selling drugs.[16]

Afterwards, Jackson was sent to correctional boot camp. Following his release, he adopted the nickname "50 Cent" as a metaphor for "change".[20] The name was derived from Kelvin Martin, a Brooklyn robber known as "50 Cent". Jackson chose the name "because it says everything I want it to say. I'm the same kind of person 50 Cent was. I provide for myself by any means".[21]

Music career

1996–1999: Career beginnings

In 1996, when he was 21 years old, Jackson started rapping in a friend's basement. He used turntables to record over instrumentals.[22] Another friend introduced him to Jam Master Jay of Run–D.M.C. who was organizing his label Jam Master Jay Records. Jay taught Jackson how to count bars, write choruses, structure songs, and create a record.[23][24] Jackson's first official appearance was on a song titled "React" with the group Onyx on their 1998 album Shut 'Em Down. He credited Jam Master Jay as an influence who helped him improve his ability to write hooks.[19] Jay produced Jackson's first album. The album was shelved and never released.[11]

In 1999, after leaving Jam Master Jay, the platinum-selling producers Trackmasters took notice of Jackson and signed him to Columbia Records. They sent him to a studio in Upstate New York where he produced thirty-six songs in two weeks.[12] Eighteen were included on his unofficially released album, Power of the Dollar in 2000.[25] He also started the now-defunct Hollow Point Entertainment with former G-Unit affiliate Bang 'Em Smurf.[26][27]

Jackson's popularity increased after the controversial underground single, "How to Rob", which he wrote in thirty minutes while in a car on the way to his studio.[20][28] The track comically explains how he would rob famous artists. He explained the reasoning behind song's content as, "There's a hundred artists on that label, you gotta separate yourself from that group and make yourself relevant".[20] Rappers Jay-Z, Kurupt, Sticky Fingaz, Big Pun, DMX, Wyclef Jean and the Wu-Tang Clan replied to the song[28] and Nas, who received the track positively, invited Jackson to travel on a promotional tour for his Nastradamus album.[15] The song was intended to be released with "Thug Love" featuring Destiny's Child, but two days before he was scheduled to film the "Thug Love" music video, Jackson was shot and confined to a hospital due to his injuries.[29]

2000–2001: Shooting

On May 24, 2000, Jackson was attacked by a gunman, alleged to be Darryl "Hommo" Baum, outside his grandmother's former home in South Jamaica, Queens. He went into a friend's car, but was asked to return to the house to get jewelry.

His son was in the house, while his grandmother was in the front yard.[12] Upon returning to the back seat of the car and already seated, another car pulled up nearby. An assailant then walked up to Jackson's left side with a 9mm handgun and fired nine shots at close range. He was shot nine times: in the hand (a round hit his right thumb, to where the bullet passed through and out his little finger), arm, hip, both legs, chest, and his face (his left cheek).[11][16][30] The face wound resulted in a swollen tongue, the loss of a wisdom tooth, and a small slur in his voice.[15][16][31] (He maintains a bullet fragment in his tongue because it was thought that taking it out would further damage his nerves and taste buds.[32]) His friend also sustained a gunshot wound to the hand. They were driven to the hospital where Jackson spent thirteen days.

Baum, the alleged shooter, was killed three weeks later.[33] He was also Mike Tyson's close friend and bodyguard.[34]

Jackson recalled the incident saying, "It happens so fast that you don't even get a chance to shoot back.... I was scared the whole time.... I was looking in the rear-view mirror like, 'Oh @#!*% , somebody shot me in the face! It burns, burns, burns.'"[16] In his autobiography, From Pieces to Weight: Once upon a Time in Southside Queens, he wrote, "After I got shot nine times at close range and didn't die, I started to think that I must have a purpose in life... How much more damage could that shell have done? Give me an inch in this direction or that one, and I'm gone".[13] He used a walker for the first six weeks and fully recovered after five months. When he left the hospital, he stayed in the Poconos with his then-girlfriend and son. His workout regimen helped him attain his muscular physique.[11][16][35] While in the hospital, Jackson signed a publishing deal with Columbia Records. However, he was dropped from the label and "blacklisted" in the recording industry because of his song "Ghetto Qu'ran".[36]

Unable to find a studio to work within the U.S, he traveled to Canada.[37][38] Along with his business partner Sha Money XL, he recorded over thirty songs for mixtapes, with the purpose of building a reputation.

According to Shady Records A&R Marc Labelle in an interview with HitQuarters, Jackson shrewdly used the mixtape circuit to his own advantage saying, "He took all the hottest beats from every artist and flipped them with better hooks. They then got into all the markets on the mixtapes and all the mixtape DJs were messing with them."[39] Jackson's popularity rose and in 2002, he released material independently on the mixtape, Guess Who's Back?. Beginning to attract interest, and now backed by G-Unit, Jackson continued to release music including 50 Cent Is the Future. The mixtape revisited material by Jay-Z and Raphael Saadiq.[25]

2002–2004: Rise to fame and G-Unit

In 2002, Eminem listened to a copy of Jackson's Guess Who's Back? CD. He received the CD through Jackson's attorney, who was working with Eminem's manager Paul Rosenberg.[29] Impressed with the album, Eminem invited Jackson to fly to Los Angeles, where he was introduced to Dr. Dre.[11][23][29] After signing a $1 million record deal,[23] Jackson released the mixtape, No Mercy, No Fear. It featured one new track, "Wanksta", which was put on Eminem's 8 Mile soundtrack.[25] He was also signed to Chris Lighty's Violator Management and Sha Money XL's Money Management Group.

In February 2003, Jackson released his commercial debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. AllMusic described it as "probably the most hyped debut album by a rap artist in about a decade".[40] Rolling Stone noted the album for its "dark synth grooves, buzzy keyboards and a persistently funky bounce" with Jackson complementing the production in "an unflappable, laid-back flow".[41] Get Rich or Die Tryin' debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 872,000 copies in the first four days.[42] The lead single, "In da Club", which The Source noted for its "blaring horns, funky organs, guitar riffs and sparse hand claps",[43] broke a Billboard record as the most listened-to song in radio history within a week.[44]

Interscope Records granted Jackson his own label, G-Unit Records, in 2003.[45] He signed Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and Young Buck as the established members of G-Unit. Banks, Yayo and 50 Cent, or G-Unit as they are collectively known, released their debut album Beg for Mercy, on November 13, 2003, under the newly founded label. West Coast rapper The Game, was later signed under a joint venture with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment.

2004-2006: The Massacre

In March 2005, Jackson's second commercial album, The Massacre, sold 1.14 million copies in the first four days-the highest in an abbreviated sales cycle[42]- and peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 for six weeks.[46]

He became the first solo artist to have three singles on the Billboard top five in the same week with "Candy Shop", "Disco Inferno", and "How We Do".[47] Rolling Stone noted that "50's secret weapon is his singing voice - the deceptively amateur-sounding tenor croon that he deploys on almost every chorus".[48]

From left: With Olivia, Lloyd Banks, and Young Buck in Bangkok, Thailand, February 2006

After The Game's departure, Jackson signed singer Olivia and rap veterans Mobb Deep to G-Unit Records. Spider Loc, M.O.P., 40 Glocc and Young Hot Rod later joined the label.[49][50] Jackson expressed interest in working with rappers outside of G-Unit, such as Lil' Scrappy of BME, LL Cool J from Def Jam, Mase from Bad Boy, and Freeway of Roc-A-Fella, some of whom he recorded with.[51]

2007-2009: Curtis and Before I Self Destruct

In September 2007, he released his third album Curtis, which was inspired by his life before Get Rich or Die Tryin'.[52] It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 691,000 units in the first week,[53] behind Kanye West's Graduation, whom he had a sales competition with, as both albums were released on the same day.

He confirmed on TRL on September 10, 2008 that his fourth studio album, Before I Self Destruct, will be "done and released in November". On May 18, 2009, Jackson released a song entitled "Ok, You're Right". The song was produced by Dr. Dre and was included in Before I Self Destruct. In fall 2009, 50 Cent appeared in the new season of VH1's Behind the Music. On September 3, 2009, months upon the release of Before I Self Destruct, Jackson posted a video[54] for the Soundkillers' Phoenix[55] produced track "Flight 187" which introduced his mixtape, the 50th LAW, and was also featured as a bonus track on his iTunes release of Before I Self Destruct. The song ignited speculation that there was tension between rapper 50 Cent and Jay Z for Jackson's comments in the song.[56]

2010–2011: New business ventures

In an interview with the British entertainment website ContactMusic, 50 Cent announced that he was working on a dance album named Black Magic. 50 Cent said he was inspired by the European nightclubs. "First they played hip-hop which suddenly changed to uptempo songs, known as Eurodance".[57] He went on The Invitation Tour in the summer of 2010, in support of Before I Self Destruct album, and the then shelved Black Magic album. He "recorded 20 songs to a whole different album concept" before he put those to the side and did something different.[58]

50 Cent revealed that he wanted his new album to have the same "aggression" as his debut record, Get Rich or Die Tryin'.[59][60]

He later tweeted that the album was "80 percent done", and stated that fans can expect the album in the summer of 2011; however, the album was delayed to 2012, due to tensions and disagreements at Interscope Records, Later 50 Cent said that he will release his album in November 2011[61] and it has also been confirmed that "Black Magic" was no longer the album's title.[61] 50 Cent has already confirmed that Eminem will appear on the album, but he also confirmed that he has been working with new producers such as Boi-1da and Alex da Kid.[62] Cardiak, who produced Lloyd Banks' “Start It Up”, also confirmed that he had produced a song for the upcoming album.[63]

DJ Whoo Kid confirmed in an interview that 50 Cent was filming a new movie with Robert De Niro in New Orleans.[64]

50 Cent released the first song from his fifth studio album, titled "Outlaw", to the Internet on June 16, 2011.[65] The single was produced by Cardiak. It was released to iTunes on July 19, 2011,[66] although 50 Cent confirmed through his Twitter account that the song was not the album's first single.[67]

50 Cent is set to release a book titled Playground.

Unlike his previous literary efforts — which focus on his life story and the rules of power — this time he's aiming at a teen audience with a semi-autobiographical novel about bullying. According to a statement from the book's publisher, the first-person novel is slated for release in January 2012 and will tell the story of a 13-year-old schoolyard bully "who finds redemption as he faces what he's done."[68]

50 Cent has promised to deliver his fifth studio album album over the past few years, but the LP may be delayed until 2012. In a series of tweets, 50 Cent explained that him and his label Interscope Records aren’t on the same page on how to roll out the album and that he’s delaying its release until they see eye to eye.[61]

50 Cent later suggested that his album will be releasing in November 2011, along with his headphone line SMS by 50.[61]

50 Cent spoke to MTV in relation to the possibility of leaving Interscope Records. "I don't know," 50 told MTV News when asked if he would ink back with Interscope once his five-album deal was fulfilled. "It will all be clear in the negotiations following me turning this actual album in. And, of course, the performance and how they actually treat the work will determine whether you still want to stay in that position or not."[69]

On June 20, 2011, 50 Cent announced that he will release an LP titled Before I Self Destruct II. The announced sequel to his 2009 LP is suggested to be released after his fifth studio album.[70]

On June 26, 2011, 50 Cent planned to shoot a music video for the lead single from his fifth studio album titled "I'm On It".[71] However, the music video never surfaced.[72]

50 Cent spoke to Shade45 in relation guest appearances for his fifth studio album. "I did four songs in Detroit with Eminem. I did two with Just Blaze, a Boi-1da joint, and I did something with Alex da Kid. We made two that are definite singles and the other two are the kinds of records that we been making, more aimed at my core audience, more aggressive, more of a different kind of energy to it."[73]

In September 2011, 50 Cent released a song titled "Street King Energy Track #7" in attempt to promote his charitable energy drink Street King.[74] On September 28, 2011, it was confirmed that 50 Cent is shooting a music video for his lead single from his fifth studio album titled "Girls Go Wild", which features Jeremih.[75][76]

2012–present: Departure from Shady/Aftermath, Animal Ambition and Street King Immortal

50 Cent's fifth studio album, Street King Immortal, was due to be released on November 13, 2012.[77] Initially reported to be released during the summer of 2012,[78] the release date of Street King Immortal has since been revised on several occasions, largely due to disagreements between 50 Cent and Interscope over the release and promotion of the album, which led to the album's brief cancellation. The first single, "New Day", was released on July 27, 2012, featuring Dr. Dre and Alicia Keys. The song was produced by Dr. Dre, mixed by Eminem, and written by 50 Cent, Alicia Keys, Royce da 5'9", and Dr. Dre. A solo version by Alicia Keys was leaked by her husband, Swizz Beatz. "My Life" was the album's second single, featuring fellow rapper Eminem and Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine, released on November 26, 2012. 50 Cent confirmed the album's release date to February 26, 2013, in commemoration of 10 years anniversary of his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin'.[79] However, the album is still yet to be released and currently has no set release date.[80]

In January 2014, 50 Cent said he plans on releasing a project called Animal Ambition in the first quarter of 2014 and that Street King Immortal will come out after.[81][82] On February 20, 2014, 50 Cent left Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope, after a 12-year union and subsequently signed himself and his G-Unit imprint to Caroline Records and Capitol Records[83] 50 Cent owed Interscope one more album due to the deal he initially signed but was let out of the deal anyway due to his friendship with Eminem and Dr. Dre. Speaking on the matter 50 Cent said, "I’m a special case and situation. It’s also because of the leverage of having the strong relationships with Eminem and Dr. Dre. They don’t want me to be uncomfortable. They value our friendship to the point that they would never want [to jeopardize] it over that little bit of money."[84] On the same day he announced that his fifth studio album Animal Ambition, would be released on June 3, 2014.[85] On February 21 along with the news of his leaving Interscope Records, 50 Cent also released the first track off of his Animal Ambition. The track, entitled "Funeral", was released with an accompanying video via Forbes.com. The track was produced by Jake One and is a continuation of his song 50 Bars, from a previous album. It was also announced that 2 more tracks from Animal Ambition would be released on March 18.[86] While performing at SXSW in Austin, Texas 50 Cent performed a new song from his forthcoming Animal Ambition Lp entitled "Hold On."[87] That song as well as another track entitled "Don't Worry 'Bout It" were released with accompanying videos for each on March 18.[88] 50 Cent has stated that prosperity will be a theme of the album stating, "This project, I had to search for a concept, a really good concept, in my perspective, and that was prosperity. I outlined all the things that would be a part of prosperity, positive and negative [for Animal Ambition]." [89]

Acting career

Film and television

In 2005, Jackson made a cameo appearance on The Simpsons episode "Pranksta Rap", in which he makes light of his legal troubles. The same year, he starred alongside Terrence Howard in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin'. He starred in the 2006 film Home of the Brave, as a soldier returning home from the Iraq War, traumatized after killing an Iraqi woman.[90] Jackson is working[when?] on a role as a fighter in an Angola State Prison in Spectacular Regret alongside Nicolas Cage, and starred opposite Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in 2008's Righteous Kill, a movie regarding a police death.[91]

In 2008, Jackson started a reality television show on MTV titled 50 Cent: The Money and the Power; the winning contestant, Ryan Mayberry, won a $100,000 investment from Jackson.[92]

Video games

Jackson provided the voice-over as the protagonist in the video game 50 Cent: Bulletproof, which was released for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and the PlayStation Portable. Its sequel, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, was released in early 2009.[93][94]

Business ventures

In the business world, Jackson has established himself in a variety of industries. Most notably, he started his own record label G Unit Records after gaining national success in 2003.[45] In November 2003, he signed a five-year deal with Reebok to distribute a "G-Unit Sneakers" line as part of his G-Unit Clothing Company.[95][96]

He worked with Glacéau to create a vitamin water drink called Formula 50. In 2007, Coca-Cola purchased Glacéau for US$4.1 billion. Forbes estimated Jackson, who owns a stake in the company, earned $100 million from the deal after taxes.[97] He has teamed up with Right Guard to launch a body spray called Pure 50 RGX Body Spray and a condom line called Magic Stick Condoms,[98] in which he planned to donate part of the proceeds to HIV awareness.[99] Jackson has signed a multi-year deal with Steiner Sports to sell his memorabilia.[100]

In August 2007, Jackson announced plans to launch a dietary supplement company in conjunction with his movie Spectacular Regret.[101]

50 Cent with Val Kilmer at the AMAs 2009

Jackson has also started two film production companies, one called G-Unit Films in 2003 and another called Cheetah Vision in 2008.[102][103] G-Unit Films later folded and Jackson began to focus his efforts on his second film company.[104] In 2010, Jackson's second film production company Cheetah Vision landed $200 million in funding.[105]

In July 2011, Jackson shifted his entrepreneurial ambitions towards philanthropy. He revealed his initiative to provide food for one billion starving people in Africa by 2016. 50 Cent teamed up with Pure Growth Partners to launch a charitable energy drink called Street King that will help aid in combating world hunger. For every purchase of Street King, a portion of the sales will go to providing a daily meal to an underprivileged child around the world. The partnership coincides with Jackson's mission statement of feeding a billion people in Africa over the next five years: "50 Cent and I share a common vision: to address the world's problems through smart and sustainable business models," said Chris Clarke, the founder and CEO of Pure Growth Partners. "With the rampant starvation in Africa and hunger afflicting children worldwide, we need socially responsible businesses that affect real change now more than ever." Similarly, Jackson stated: "I'm inspired by Clarke's vision and innovative approaches to tackling serious issues. It's our mission with Street King to really change children's lives around the world."[106][107] Jackson founded SMS Audio, selling headphones with the name Street by 50. He has pledged to donate a portion of the sales to charity.[108]

Wealth

In 2007, Jackson was the second wealthiest performer in the rap industry, behind Jay-Z.[109] He resides in Farmington, Connecticut, in the former mansion of ex-boxer Mike Tyson.[110] He is consistently ranked among the richest figures in the American hip hop scene. In 2014, Jackson was ranked the fifth richest figure in American hip hop with a net worth estimated at $140 million.[111]

In December 2008 Jackson told the Canadian press that he had been affected by the recession, losing several million dollars in the stock market as an investor. He also went on to say that he had been unable to sell his Connecticut mansion and pushed Before I Self-Destruct back because of the recent economic downturn.[112]

Boxing promotion

TMT Promotions

On July 21, 2012, Jackson moved into the sports entertainment business where he announced that he became a licensed boxing promoter, for his new company TMT, short for The Money Team. He acquired a license to promote in the state of New York and is in the process of being licensed in Nevada, where most of the major boxing events are held. As a former amateur boxer himself, Jackson has begun scouting for boxing talent. He has already signed gold medalist and former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa and middleweight, and former Olympic medalist Andre Dirrell.[113] On July 29, 2012, Jackson and his close friend Floyd Mayweather, Jr. signed IBF Featherweight Champion, Billy Dib. They also revealed plans to challenge MMA for box office dominance and change the landscape of boxing, with TMT Promotions.[114] The boxer Zab Judah stated a deal with 50 Cent, making him a possible fourth athlete signed to the company.[115]

SMS Promotions

In December 2012, Floyd Mayweather and Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson announced they had gone their separate ways with the latter taking over their promotions company. Jackson then founded a new promotion under the name SMS Promotions without the help of Mayweather.[116] Current boxer's signed to SMS are Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andre Dirrell, Billy Dib, James Kirkland (boxer), Luis Olivares and Donte Strayhorn.

Endorsements

Books

In August 2005, shortly before appearing in Get Rich or Die Tryin', Jackson published an autobiography entitled From Pieces to Weight: Once upon a Time in Southside Queens. In it, Jackson explores the cultural and economic forces that led him to sell cocaine and crack, details his entrepreneurship as a drug-dealer and then as a rapper, and reflects on his own ethos and on society.

On January 4, 2007, Jackson launched his G-Unit Books imprint at the Time Warner Building.[121] He also co-wrote The Ski Mask Way, a novel about a small-time drug dealer who attempts to rob his employers, which is to be turned into a film.[99] Jackson said he read Robert Greene's The 33 Strategies of War and worked with the author on a book titled The 50th Law, an urban take on The 48 Laws of Power.[99][122] In May 2008, Jackson met billionaire Patrice Motsepe to forge a joint venture selling 50 Cent-branded platinum.[123]

On September 8, 2009, he published his book The 50th Law.[124]

In 2012 50 Cent signed a deal with Smarter Comics to produce his first graphic novel. The novel is a semi-autobiographical story about how people can obtain the life style of 50. The book is available online and through Amazon.[125]

Personal life

On October 13, 1997, Jackson's then-girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins gave birth to their only child, a son named Marquise Jackson.[2][126][127] The birth of Jackson's son Marquise changed his outlook on life. He stated: "When my son came into my life, my priorities changed, because I wanted to have the relationship with him, that I didn't have with my father."[128] He credited his son for inspiring his career and being "motivation to go in a different direction".[129]

He put the mansion for sale at $18.5 million to move closer to his son who lives in Long Island with his ex-girlfriend.[130] On October 12, 2007, the Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut declared it "50 Cent Curtis Jackson Day". He was honored with a key to the city and an official proclamation.[131]

Jackson has a tattoo of "Marquise" with an axe on his right biceps. "The axe is 'cause I'm a warrior. I don't want him to be one, though,"[38] he explains. He also has "50", "Southside", and "Cold World" inscribed on his back because "I'm a product of that environment. It's on my back, though, so it's all behind me."[38]

Jackson was injured in a car crash on New York's Long Island Expressway on the night of June 25, 2012. About 11:18 p.m., a Mack truck rear-ended the bullet-proof SUV in which he was traveling and almost caused his vehicle to flip over, reported the New York Post. Jackson suffered neck and back injuries, but was released from the hospital within hours. His unidentified driver was also hospitalized.[132]

Political and social causes

In 2005, Jackson expressed support for President George W. Bush after rapper Kanye West criticized him for the slow response in assisting the Hurricane Katrina victims.[133] If his felony convictions did not prevent him from voting, he claimed he would have voted for Bush.[134] He later stated that Bush "has less compassion than the average human. By all means, I don't aspire to be like George Bush."[135] In September 2007, Jackson told Time magazine that he was not endorsing any candidate in 2008, but that he "liked Hillary," referring to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.[136] Six months later, the rapper told MTV news he had switched his support to Barack Obama after hearing him speak, but was generally not interested in politics.[137][138] When asked his view of President Barack Obama's May 9, 2012 endorsement of gay marriage, 50 Cent said "I'm for it," as well as "I've encouraged same-sex activities. I've engaged in fetish areas a couple times."[139] However, he has been criticized for anti-gay comments[140] and making jokes about anti-gay violence in the past.[140][141][142]

Legal issues

On June 29, 1994, Jackson was arrested for helping to sell four vials of cocaine to an undercover police officer. He was arrested again three weeks later when police searched his home and found heroin, ten ounces of crack cocaine, and a starter gun. He was sentenced to three to nine years in prison, but managed to serve six months in a shock incarceration boot camp where he earned his GED. Jackson said that he did not use cocaine himself, he only sold it.[13][143][144]

His ex-girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins sued Jackson for $50 million, claiming that he said that he would take care of her for life; the suit, which includes 15 claims was later dismissed by a judge, calling it "an unfortunate tale of a love relationship gone sour."[145]

50 Cent was arrested on January 1, 2003 with four other members of his entourage. Police reportedly found two guns inside a parked car outside a Manhattan nightclub. The rapper, 27 at the time, was arrested shortly before 2 a.m. and charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Police conducted a search of the vehicle due to tinted windows. They recovered a .25 caliber handgun and a .45 caliber pistol.[146]

50 Cent was sentenced to two years probation on July 22, 2005 from an incident in May 2004 when 50 Cent jumped into the audience after being hit with a water bottle.[147] He was charged with three counts of assault and battery.[147]

In May 2008, one of his homes in New York purchased for 2.4 million dollars in January 2007 and at the center of a lawsuit between Jackson and ex-girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins caught fire on May 30, 2008 while he was out of town filming for a movie in Louisiana.[148]

On August 5, 2013, 50 Cent entered a not guilty plea to domestic violence and vandalism charges in a Los Angeles Count court. He was charged with one count of domestic violence and four counts of vandalism. If convicted of all 5 charges, he could face up to 5 years in jail and $46,000 in fines. Model-actress Daphne Joy, accused 50 Cent of kicking her and ransacking the bedroom during an argument at her condo in the Toluca Lake neighborhood in Los Angeles on June 23. Authorities allege 50 Cent caused $7,100 in damage to property and left the scene before police arrived.[149]

Lawsuits

On July 21, 2007, Jackson filed a $1 million lawsuit against advertising company Traffix Inc. of Pearl River, New York for using his image in a promotion which he claimed threatened his safety. He became aware of the Internet advertisement after one of his staff members saw it on a MySpace page. According to court documents, the advertisement features a cartoon image of the rapper and the message, "Shoot the rapper and you will win $5000 or five ring tones guaranteed". Although the advertisement did not use his name, the image allegedly intended to resemble him, suggesting he endorsed the product. The lawsuit calls it a "vile, tasteless and despicable" use of 50 Cent's image that "quite literally calls for violence against him". The lawsuit seeks for unspecified punitive damages and a permanent injunction against the use of his image without permission.[150][151]

In November 2009, 50 Cent won in a lawsuit against Taco Bell over the fast food chain using his name to promote the brand without his permission.[152]

Feuds

For more information, see The feuds of 50 Cent.

The Inc.

Before signing with Interscope, Jackson engaged in a well-publicized dispute with rapper Ja Rule and his label The Inc.. Jackson claims that a friend robbed Ja Rule of his jewelry and that Ja Rule accused him of setting it up.[153] However, Ja Rule claimed the conflict stemmed from a video shoot in Queens because Jackson did not like seeing him "getting so much love" from the neighborhood.[154] In March 2000, while at The Hit Factory studio in New York, Jackson had an altercation with Murder Inc. associates. He was treated for three stitches after receiving a stab wound.[153][155] Rapper Black Child claimed responsibility for the stabbing, saying he acted in self-defense because he thought someone reached for a gun.[156]

An affidavit by an IRS agent suggested that Murder Inc. had ties to Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, a New York drug lord who was suspected of being involved in the murder of Jam Master Jay and the shooting of Jackson. An excerpt of the affidavit read:

The investigation has uncovered a conspiracy involving McGriff and others to murder a rap artist who has released songs containing lyrics regarding McGriff's criminal activities. The rap artist was shot in 2000, survived and thereafter refused to cooperate with law enforcement regarding the shooting. Messages transmitted over the Murder Inc. pager indicate that McGriff is involved in an ongoing plot to kill this rap artist, and that he communicates with Murder Inc. employees concerning the target.[37]

In an interview with MTV, Ja Rule acknowledged his defeat against 50 Cent and stated that his 2009 album, The Mirror, will not be continuing any past feuds that he has engaged in. He said: There was a lot of things I wanted to say, and I didn't want there to be any bitter records on the album. Because I'm not bitter about anything that happened [in the past few years].

In May 2011, it was confirmed that both Ja Rule and 50 cent squashed the feud. Ja Rule said "I’m cool. We ain’t beefing no more. We’ll never collaborate. That’s just what it is. You don’t have to be at war with somebody, but it’s also kind of like U.S. and another country that they may not get along with. We don’t gotta go to war, but we’re not friends either. But we can coincide inside of a world. He’s doing him, and he’s not thinking about me, and I’m doing me and I’m not thinking about him."[157]

Game

Although he was close with The Game, before The Game released his debut album The Documentary, they soon became at odds. After its release, Jackson felt The Game was disloyal for saying he did not want to participate in G-Unit's feuds with other rappers and even wanting to work with artists they were feuding with. He also claimed that he wrote six songs on the album and was not receiving proper credit for his work, which The Game denied.[158]

50 Cent performing at a concert in 2007

Jackson later dismissed The Game from G-Unit on Hot 97 radio. After the announcement, The Game, who was a guest earlier in the evening, attempted to enter the building with his entourage. After being denied entry, one of his associates was shot in the leg during a confrontation with a group of men leaving the building.[159][160] When the situation escalated, both rappers held a press conference to announce their reconciliation.[161] Fans had mixed feelings as to whether the rappers created a publicity stunt to boost the sales of the albums they had just released.[162] Nevertheless, even after the situation deflated,[163] G-Unit criticized The Game's street credibility. The group denounced The Game and announced that they will not be featured on his albums. During a Summer Jam performance, The Game launched a boycott of G-Unit called "G-Unot".[164]

After the performance at Summer Jam, The Game responded with "300 Bars and Runnin'", an extended "diss" aimed at G-Unit as well as members of Roc-A-Fella Records on the mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 3. Jackson responded through his "Piggy Bank" music video, which features The Game as a Mr. Potato Head doll and also parodies other rivals.[165] Since then both groups continued to attack each other. The Game released two more mixtapes, Ghost Unit and a mixtape/DVD called Stop Snitchin, Stop Lyin.

Jackson posted a cover of The Game's head on the body of a male stripper for "Hate It or Love It (G-Unit Radio Part 21)" mixtape, as a response to The Game displaying pictures of G-Unit dressed as Village People.[166] Although he was signed to Aftermath Entertainment, The Game left the label and signed with Geffen Records to terminate his contractual obligations with G-Unit (although others claim Jackson pressured Dr. Dre to kick him off).[167] G-Unit member Spider Loc had also began to insult The Game on various songs. In addition, The Game released "240 Bars (Spider Joke)" and "100 Bars (The Funeral)" both attacking G-Unit, Spider Loc and others. Jackson's response was "Not Rich, Still Lyin'" where he mocks The Game.[168] Lloyd Banks replied to the Game on a Rap City freestyle booth session. The Game quickly released a "diss" record called "SoundScan" where The Game pokes fun at Lloyd Banks' album Rotten Apple falling thirteen spots on the Billboard 200 chart and disappointing second week sales. Lloyd Banks replied on his mixtape Mo' Money In The Bank Pt. 5: Gang Green Season Continues with a song called "Showtime (The Game's Over)". Lloyd Banks states that Jackson wrote half of The Game's first album The Documentary and pokes fun at The Game's suicidal thoughts.

In October 2006, The Game extended a peace treaty to Jackson, which was not immediately replied to.[169] However, a couple days later, on Power 106, he stated that the treaty was only offered for one day.[170] On The Game's album, Doctor's Advocate, he claims that the feud is over on a few of the songs.

In July 2009, The Game stated the beef was squashed with help from Michael Jackson and Diddy,[171] and he apologized for his actions during the beef.[172] Tony Yayo said that neither Jackson (50 Cent) or G-Unit would accept his apology.[173] Since then, The Game continued his old "G-Unot" ways at live concerts. Jackson released "So Disrespectful" a diss song on Before I Self Destruct targeting Jay-Z, The Game and Young Buck.[174] Game later responded with the song "Shake", poking fun of the music video for 50's single "Candy Shop", quote, "Me and 50 aint agreeing on shit so I had to (Shake) Aint no telling what he putting in that protein (Shake) Seen the candy shop video look at this nigga (Shake) And thats the same shit that made the nigga Young Buck (Shake)". He also takes shots at Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, in which he says, "I'm surprised that Lloyd Banks and Yayo didn't (Shake) Wasn't selling no records Jimmy Iovine said (Shake)". Game also dissed G-Unit several times on the song "400 Bars".

In September 2011, 50 Cent dissed Game on the song "Love, Hate, Love", in which Game responded to on his Twitter, saying he was going to diss him back after his tour was finished, quote:

[@50Cent I'm on tour doin shows but as soon as @avanterose find a studio for me i'm killin yo "Planet of the Apes" face havin ass nigga

Rick Ross

In January 2009, Rick Ross started a feud with 50 Cent because he supposedly looked at him the wrong way at the BET Awards. However, Jackson told news sources that he did not even remember seeing Rick Ross there.[175] In late January, a track entitled "Mafia Music" by Rick Ross, leaked onto the Internet. There were several lines that seem to diss Jackson. Days later, Jackson released "Officer Ricky (Go Head, Try Me)" in response to Rick Ross's disparaging remarks on his "Mafia Music" song. The next day Rick Ross appeared on Shade 45, and told Jackson to come up with something better in 24 hours.

Before going to Venezuela, Jackson uploaded a video entitled "Warning Shot", where he warns Rick Ross: "I'ma fuck your life up for fun". In addition, Jackson released the first of a series of "Officer Ricky" cartoons. Early February, Jackson once again made a video which he uploaded to YouTube where he interviews "Tia", the mother of one of Rick Ross's children. She verifies his being a correctional officer and claims his whole persona is fake and fraudulent.[176] On Thursday, February 5, 2009, The Game, who Jackson has a long-standing "beef" with, called up Seattle's KUBE 93 Radio Station. When asked about the beef between Jackson and Rick Ross, The Game sided with Jackson and said that things are not looking good for Rick Ross. However, he offered to help Rick Ross get out of this situation, stating "Rick Ross, holla at your boy, man," and "50 eating you, boy."[177]

On his album Deeper Than Rap, Ross references Jackson in the song "In Cold Blood". A video for the song was released that portrayed Jackson's mock funeral. Upon release, Ross stated that he has ended Jackson's career.[178]

In an interview, Jackson said: "Rick Ross is Albert From CB4. You ever seen the movie? He's Albert," he added. "It never gets worse than this. You get a guy that was a correctional officer come out and base his entire career on writing material from a drug dealer's perspective such as "Freeway" Ricky Ross."[179]

Their feud was reignited recently at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards. Members of G-Unit (Kidd Kidd, Mike Knox, Tony Yayo) and 50 Cent are seen on video beating up Gunplay, a member of Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group. Gunplay's Maybach Music diamond necklace was also taken during the brawl. Days later, 50 Cent made an appearance at a bowling alley in Washington D.C. sporting his chain.[180]

On January 30, 2013 50 Cent claimed via Twitter that the drive-by shooting that Rick Ross experienced on his birthday two days ago was "staged," reigniting the feud again.[181]

Discography

Studio albums
Collaboration albums

Awards and nominations

Filmography

References

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External links

Preceded by
Sound of... (BBC poll)
2003
Succeeded by
Keane