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50 Cent

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50 Cent
50 Cent (Cropped).jpg
50 Cent in 2006
Born Curtis James Jackson III
(1975-07-06) July 6, 1975 (age 39)
South Jamaica, Queens, New York
Occupation
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • entrepreneur
  • investor
  • actor
Years active 1998–present
Home town South Jamaica, Queens, New York, New York, U.S.
Children 2
Musical career
Genres Hip hop
Instruments
Labels
Associated acts
Website www.50cent.com

Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper, singer, entrepreneur, investor and actor from New York City. Born in the South Jamaica neighborhood of the borough of Queens, Jackson began selling drugs at age twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. Although he left drug-dealing to pursue a musical career, he was struck by nine bullets in a 2000 shooting. After Jackson released the compilation album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, he was discovered by Eminem and signed by Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records.

With the aid of Eminem and Dr. Dre (who produced his first major-label album, Get Rich or Die Tryin'), Jackson became one of the world's best selling rappers and rose to prominence with East Coast hip hop group G-Unit (which he leads de facto). In 2003 he founded G-Unit Records, signing his G-Unit associates Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo. Jackson had similar commercial and critical success with his second album, The Massacre, which was released in 2005. He released his fifth studio album, Animal Ambition, in 2014 and is working on his sixth studio album: Street King Immortal, scheduled for release in 2015.

During his career Jackson has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and won several awards, including a Grammy Award, thirteen Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and four BET Awards.[1] He has pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005), the Iraq War film Home of the Brave (2006) and Righteous Kill (2008). 50 Cent was ranked the sixth-best artist of the 2000s, the third-best rapper (behind Eminem and Nelly), and Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre were ranked the 12th and 37th best albums of the decade by Billboard.

Life and music career

Early life

Jackson was born and raised in the South Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York City. He was raised by his mother, Sabrina, who gave birth to him when she was fifteen. A cocaine dealer, Sabrina raised Jackson until she was murdered when Jackson was eight. She lost consciousness after an unknown assailant drugged her drink; the assailant then turned on the gas and closed the windows of her apartment.[2][3] After his mother's death, Jackson moved into his grandparents' house with his eight aunts and uncles.[4][5][6] The rapper recalled, "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."[7]

He began boxing at about age 11, and when he was 14 a neighbor opened a boxing gym for local youth. "When I wasn't killing time in school, I was sparring in the gym or selling crack on the strip," Jackson remembered.[8] During the mid-1980s, he competed in the Junior Olympics: "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."[9] At age 12, Jackson began dealing narcotics when his grandparents thought he was in after-school programs[10] and brought guns and drug money to school. In the tenth grade, he was caught by metal detectors at Andrew Jackson High School: "I was embarrassed that I got arrested like that ... After I got arrested I stopped hiding it. I was telling my grandmother [openly], 'I sell drugs.'"[7]

On June 29, 1994, Jackson was arrested for selling 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 starting pistol. Although Jackson was sentenced to three to nine years in prison, he served six months in a boot camp and earned his GED. He has said that he did not use cocaine himself.[4][11][12] Jackson adopted the nickname "50 Cent" as a metaphor for change.[13] The name was inspired by Kelvin Martin, a 1980s Brooklyn robber known as "50 Cent"; Jackson chose it "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."[14]

1998–99: Beginnings

Jackson began rapping in a friend's basement, where he used turntables to record over instrumentals.[15] In 1996 a friend introduced him to Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC, who was establishing Jam Master Jay Records. Jay taught him how to count bars, write choruses, structure songs and make records.[16][17] Jackson's first appearance was on "React" with Onyx, for their 1998 album Shut 'Em Down. He credited Jam Master Jay for improving his ability to write hooks,[9] and Jay produced Jackson's first (unreleased) album.[2] In 1999, after Jackson left Jam Master Jay, the platinum-selling producers Trackmasters signed him to Columbia Records. They sent him to an upstate New York studio, where he produced thirty-six songs in two weeks;[3] eighteen were included on his 2000 album, Power of the Dollar.[18] Jackson founded Hollow Point Entertainment with former G-Unit member Bang 'Em Smurf.[19][20]

50 Cent's first underground single, where he comically describes robbing celebrity musicians.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Jackson's popularity began to grow after the successful, controversial underground single "How to Rob", which he wrote in a half-hour car ride to a studio.[13][21] The track comically describes how he would rob famous artists. Jackson explained the song's rationale: "There's a hundred artists on that label, you gotta separate yourself from that group and make yourself relevant".[13] Rappers Jay-Z, Kurupt, Sticky Fingaz, Big Pun, DMX, Wyclef Jean and the Wu-Tang Clan responded to the track,[21] and Nas invited Jackson to join him on his Nastradamus tour.[6] Although "How to Rob" was intended to be released with "Thug Love" (with Destiny's Child), two days before he was scheduled to film the "Thug Love" music video Jackson was shot and hospitalized.[22]

2000–01: Shooting

On April 24, 2000, Jackson was attacked by a gunman (alleged to be Darryl "Hommo" Baum) outside his grandmother's former home in South Jamaica. After getting into a friend's car, he was asked to return to the house to get some jewelry; his son was in the house, and his grandmother was in the front yard.[3] After Jackson returned to the back seat of the car, another car pulled up nearby; an assailant walked up and fired nine shots at close range with a 9mm handgun. Jackson was shot in the hand, arm, hip, both legs, chest and left cheek.[2][7][23] His facial wound resulted in a swollen tongue, the loss of a wisdom tooth and a slightly slurred voice;[6][7][24] his friend was wounded in the hand. They were driven to a hospital, where Jackson spent thirteen days. Baum, Mike Tyson's close friend and bodyguard,[25] was killed three weeks later.[26]

Jackson recalled the shooting: "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 shit, somebody shot me in the face! It burns, burns, burns.'"[7] 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".[4] After using a walker for six weeks, Jackson was fully recovered after five months. When he left the hospital he stayed in the Poconos with his girlfriend and son, and his workout regime helped him develop a muscular physique.[2][7][27]

In the hospital Jackson signed a publishing deal with Columbia Records before he was dropped from the label and blacklisted by the recording industry because of his song, "Ghetto Qu'ran". Unable to work in a U.S. studio, he went to Canada.[28][29] With business partner Sha Money XL, Jackson recorded over thirty songs for mixtapes to build a reputation. In a HitQuarters interview, Marc Labelle of Shady Records A&R said that Jackson used the mixtape circuit to his advantage: "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."[30] Jackson's popularity increased, and in 2002 he released the mixtape Guess Who's Back?. He then released 50 Cent Is the Future backed by G-Unit, a mixtape revisiting material by Jay-Z and Raphael Saadiq.[18]

2002–06: Rise to fame

In 2002 Eminem heard Jackson's Guess Who's Back? CD, received from Jackson's attorney (who was working with Eminem's manager, Paul Rosenberg).[22] Impressed, Eminem invited Jackson to fly to Los Angeles and introduced him to Dr. Dre.[2][16][22] After signing a $1 million record deal,[16] Jackson released No Mercy, No Fear. The mixtape featured one new track, "Wanksta", which appeared on Eminem's 8 Mile soundtrack.[18] Jackson was also signed by Chris Lighty's Violator Management and Sha Money XL's Money Management Group.

Jackson released his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin' (described by AllMusic as "probably the most hyped debut album by a rap artist in about a decade"), in February 2003.[31] Rolling Stone noted its "dark synth grooves, buzzy keyboards and a persistently funky bounce", with Jackson complementing the production in "an unflappable, laid-back flow".[32] It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 872,000 copies in its first four days.[33] The lead single, "In da Club" (noted by The Source for its "blaring horns, funky organs, guitar riffs and sparse hand claps"),[34] set a Billboard record as the most listened-to song in radio history within a week.[35]

Three men and a woman holding decorative elephants
With Olivia, Lloyd Banks and Young Buck (left to right) in Bangkok, February 2006

Interscope gave Jackson his own label, G-Unit Records, in 2003.[36] He signed Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and Young Buck as members of G-Unit, and The Game was later signed in a joint venture with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. In March 2005 Jackson's second commercial album, The Massacre, sold 1.14 million copies in its first four days (the highest in an abbreviated sales cycle[33]) and was number one on the Billboard 200 for six weeks.[37] He was the first solo artist with three singles in the Billboard top five in the same week with "Candy Shop", "Disco Inferno" and "How We Do".[38] According to Rolling Stone, "50's secret weapon is his singing voice - the deceptively amateur-sounding tenor croon that he deploys on almost every chorus".[39]

After The Game's departure Jackson signed Olivia and rap veterans Mobb Deep to G-Unit Records, with Spider Loc, M.O.P., 40 Glocc and Young Hot Rod later joining the label.[40][41] Jackson expressed an interest in working with rappers other than G-Unit, such as Lil' Scrappy of BME, LL Cool J of Def Jam, Mase of Bad Boy and Freeway of Roc-A-Fella, and recorded with several.[42]

2007–09: Curtis and Before I Self Destruct

50 Cent, in white T-shirt and baseball cap, singing into a microphone
50 Cent in Stockholm, June 2009 (photo by Rikard Westman)

In September 2007 Jackson released his third album, Curtis, which was inspired by his life before Get Rich or Die Tryin‍ '​.[43] It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 691,000 copies during its first week[44] (behind Kanye West's Graduation, released the same day). On the September 10, 2008 episode of Total Request Live Jackson said his fourth studio album, Before I Self Destruct, would be "done and released in November". He released "Ok, You're Right", produced by Dr. Dre for Before I Self Destruct, on May 18, 2009 and was scheduled to appear in a fall 2009 episode of VH1's Behind the Music. On September 3, 2009 Jackson posted a video [45] for the Soundkillers' Phoenix-[46] produced track, "Flight 187", introducing his mixtape and book (The 50th Law). The song, with lyrics inspiring speculation about tension between Jackson and Jay Z, was a bonus track on the iTunes version of Before I Self Destruct.[47]

2010–11: New business ventures

In a Contactmusic.com interview Jackson said he was working on a Eurodance album, Black Magic, inspired by European nightclubs: "First they played hip-hop which suddenly changed to uptempo songs, known as Eurodance".[48] He later said he had changed his next album to The Return of the Heartless Monster after writing different material when he returned home from the Invitation Tour in 2010, shelving Black Magic.[49][50] On September 3 Jackson supported Eminem on his and Jay-Z's The Home & Home Tour, performing "Crack A Bottle" with Eminem and Dr. Dre amid rumors of tension between Jackson and Dre.[51][52]

He "recorded 20 songs to a whole different album concept" before putting them aside,[53] wanting his new album to have the "aggression" of Get Rich or Die Tryin‍ '​.[54][55] Jackson tweeted that the album was "80 percent done" and fans could expect it in the summer of 2011. It was ultimately delayed a year due to disagreements with Interscope Records, with Jackson saying that he would release it in November 2011[56] with a different title than Black Magic.[56] Eminem would appear on the album, and Jackson said he was working with new producers such as Boi-1da and Alex da Kid.[57] Cardiak, who produced Lloyd Banks' "Start It Up", confirmed that he produced a song for the upcoming album.[58]

Jackson released a song, "Outlaw", from his fifth album on the Internet on June 16, 2011.[59] The single, produced by Cardiak, was released on iTunes on July 19[60] (although Jackson tweeted that it was not the album's first single).[61] The rapper planned to write a semi-autobiographical young-adult novel about bullying, different from his previous books which focused on his life and the rules of power. According to the book's publisher, the first-person novel (about a 13-year-old schoolyard bully "who finds redemption as he faces what he's done")[62] was scheduled for publication in January 2012.

In a series of tweets Jackson explained that the delay of his fifth album was due to disagreements with Interscope Records,[56] later suggesting that it would be released in November 2011 with his headphone line (SMS by 50).[56] He speculated to MTV News about not renewing his five-album contract with Interscope: "I don't know ... 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."[63]

On June 20, 2011, Jackson announced the release of Before I Self Destruct II after his fifth album.[64] Although he planned to shoot a music video for the fifth album's lead single, "I'm On It", on June 26[65] the video was never filmed.[66] Jackson told Shade45, "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."[67] He released "Street King Energy Track #7" in September 2011 to promote Street King, his charity-based energy drink.[68] An announcement that Jackson was shooting a music video for "Girls Go Wild", the fifth-album lead single featuring Jeremih, was made on September 28, 2011.[69][70]

2012–present: Departure from Interscope

Jackson's fifth album, Street King Immortal, was initially scheduled for a summer 2012 release and postponed until November 13.[71][72] Disagreements with Interscope Records about its release and promotion led to its temporary cancellation. Its first promo single, "New Day" with Dr. Dre and Alicia Keys, was released on July 27. 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 Keys was leaked by her husband, Swizz Beatz. "My Life", the album's second promo single (with Eminem and Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine), was released on November 26, 2012.

In January 2014 Jackson said he planned to release Animal Ambition in the first quarter of the year, followed by Street King Immortal.[73][74] On February 20 he left Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope, signing with Caroline Records and Capitol Records.[75] According to Jackson, although he owed Interscope another album he was released from his contract because of his friendship with Eminem and Dr. Dre: "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."[76] That day, he announced that Animal Ambition would be released on June 3[77] and released its first track. The song, "Funeral", was released with a video on Forbes.com. Produced by Jake One, it is a continuation of "50 Bars" from a previous album; two more tracks were scheduled for release on March 18.[78] At South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Jackson performed "Hold On" from the new album.[79] That song and "Don't Worry 'Bout It" were released with accompanying videos on March 18.[80] According to Jackson, prosperity would be a theme of the album: "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]." [81]

On May 14, 2015, 50 cent revealed in an interview that the first single from Street King Immortal, would be previewed memorial day weekend and would likely be released in June.[82] 50 Cent, released "Get Low" on May 20, 2015, as the lead single from his sixth studio album, Street King Immortal (2015). The song, produced by Remo the Hitmaker, features vocals from fellow American rappers 2 Chainz and T.I., as well as American singer Jeremih.[83]

Business career

Jackson has had a successful business career, founding G-Unit Records in 2003.[84] In November 2003, he signed a five-year deal with Reebok to distribute a G-Unit Sneakers line for his G-Unit Clothing Company.[85][86]

One of Jackson's first business ventures was being a beverage investor with Glacéau to create an enhanced water drink called Formula 50. In October 2004, 50 Cent was given a minority share in the company in exchange for becoming a spokesperson after learning that he was a fan of the beverage. The health conscious Jackson noted that he first learned of the product while at a gym in Los Angeles, and stated that "they do such a good job making water taste good." After becoming a shareholder and endorser, Jackson worked with the company to create a new grape-flavored "Formula 50" variant of VitaminWater and mentioned the drinks in various songs and interviews. In 2007, Coca-Cola purchased Glacéau for $4.1 billion and, according to Forbes, Jackson, who was a minority shareholder, earned $100 million from the deal after taxes.[87] Though he no longer has an equity stake in the company, Jackson continues to act as a spokesperson for Vitaminwater, enthusiastically supporting the product including singing about it at the BET Awards and expressing his excitement over the company's continuing to allow his input on products.[88] He joined Right Guard to introduce a body spray (Pure 50 RGX) and endorsed Magic Stick condoms,[89] planning to donate part of their proceeds to increasing HIV awareness.[90] Jackson signed a multi-year deal with Steiner Sports to sell his memorabilia,[91] and announced plans for a dietary-supplement company in conjunction with his film Spectacular Regret in August 2007.[92]

Jackson has founded two film-production companies: G-Unit Films in 2003 and Cheetah Vision in 2008.[93][94] When G-Unit Films folded he focused on Cheetah Vision,[95] and in 2010 the company obtained $200 million in funding.[96]

In July 2011 Jackson launched a philanthropic initiative to provide food for one billion starving people in Africa by 2016, joining Pure Growth Partners to introduce Street King. A portion of the proceeds from each Street King purchase would be used to provide a daily meal to an underprivileged child. The partnership coincides with Jackson's goal to feed a billion people in Africa during 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, 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." Jackson said, "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."[97][98] In 2011 he founded SMS Audio, a consumer-electronics company selling Street by 50 headphones, pledging to donate a portion of their sales to charity.[99]

Mining and heavy metals

Jackson has been involved in the mining and precious-metals industries. In 2008 he visited a platinum, palladium and iridium mine shaft in South Africa, and met with South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe. After his meeting with Motsepe, Jackson considered purchasing equity in the mine and launching 50 Cent-branded platinum.[100][101]

Portfolio and wealth

The rapper is involved in the American stock and real-estate markets, with a portfolio including stocks, bonds and real estate. In 2007 he was the second-wealthiest performer in the rap industry, behind Jay-Z.[102] Jackson, who lives in a Farmington, Connecticut mansion formerly owned by ex-boxer Mike Tyson,[103] has been ranked among the wealthiest figures of the American hip-hop scene.

A portion of his investments lost value during the 2008 recession.[104] In December 2008 he told the Canadian press that he had been affected by the recession, losing several million dollars in the stock market. Unable to sell his Connecticut mansion, Jackson postponed Before I Self-Destruct because of the economic downturn.[105] He was the fifth-richest figure in American hip hop in 2014, with an estimated net worth of $140 million.[106]

Boxing promotion

On July 21, 2012 Jackson announced that he had become a licensed boxing promoter for his new company, TMT (The Money Team). Licensed to promote in New York, he was in the process of being licensed in Nevada (where most major fights are held in the U.S.). A former amateur boxer, Jackson signed gold medalist and former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa and middleweight Olympic medalist Andre Dirrell.[107] On July 29, 2012 he and his friend, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., signed IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib. They unveiled plans to challenge the box-office dominance of mixed martial arts and change the landscape of boxing with TMT Promotions.[108] Boxer Zab Judah also expressed interest in making a deal with Jackson.[109] In December 2012 Mayweather and Jackson parted company, with Jackson taking over the promotion company and founding SMS Promotions[110] with Gamboa, Dirrell, Dib, James Kirkland, Luis Olivares and Donte Strayhorn in his stable.

Company positions

Personal life

Jackson has two sons. On October 13, 1997 Jackson's girlfriend, Shaniqua Tompkins, gave birth to son Marquise Jackson.[115][116] Tompkins later sued him for $50 million, saying that he said that he would take care of her for life. The suit, with 15 causes of action, was dismissed by a judge who called it "an unfortunate tale of a love relationship gone sour."[117] As of February 2009, Tompkins and her lawyer were considering an appeal.[118]

Marquise's birth changed Jackson's outlook on life: "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".[119] He credited his son for inspiring his career and being the "motivation to go in a different direction".[120] Jackson has a tattooed "Marquise" with an axe on his right bicep ("The axe is 'cause I'm a warrior. I don't want him to be one, though"),[29] and has "50", "Southside" and "Cold World" on his back: "I'm a product of that environment. It's on my back, though, so it's all behind me".[29]

Jackson dated model Daphne Joy and had his second son, Sire Jackson, with her, on September 1, 2012.[121][122][123] At just two years old, Sire modeled for Kidz Safe, a headphone brand for kids, earning $700,000 through his contract.[124]

He dated actress Vivica A. Fox for several months in 2003, announcing their breakup on The Howard Stern Show when their photos appeared on the cover of the magazine Today's Black Woman without his knowledge.[125][126] Jackson also dated comedienne Chelsea Handler [127] and singer Ciara.[128]

In 2005, Jackson supported President George W. Bush after rapper Kanye West criticized Bush for a slow response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.[129] If his felony convictions did not prevent him from voting, he said, he would have voted for the president.[130] Jackson later said that Bush "has less compassion than the average human. By all means, I don't aspire to be like George Bush."[131] In September 2007 he told Time that although he would not endorse a candidate in 2008, he "liked Hillary [Clinton]".[132] Six months later the rapper told MTV News that he had switched his support to Barack Obama after hearing him speak, but had lost interest in politics.[133][134] Asked his opinion of President Obama's May 9, 2012 endorsement of gay marriage, Jackson said, "I'm for it ... I've encouraged same-sex activities. I've engaged in fetish areas a couple times."[135] He has been criticized for anti-gay comments in the past.[136][137][138]

Forbes noted Jackson's wealth in 2007, ranking him second behind Jay-Z in the rap industry.[102] He lives in a Farmington, Connecticut mansion formerly owned by ex-boxer Mike Tyson,[139] listing it for sale at $18.5 million to move closer to his son (who lives on Long Island with his ex-girlfriend).[140] The mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut declared October 12, 2007 "50 Cent Curtis Jackson Day", honoring the rapper with a proclamation and a key to the city.[141] One of Jackson's New York homes, purchased in January 2007 for $2.4 million and the center of a lawsuit between Jackson and Shaniqua Tompkins, caught fire on May 31, 2008 while he was filming in Louisiana.[142]

In December 2008 he told the Canadian press that he had lost several million dollars in the stock market and, unable to sell his Connecticut mansion, had postponed Before I Self-Destruct because of the economic downturn.[143] Jackson won a lawsuit in November 2009 against Taco Bell over the fast-food chain's use of his name without permission.[144]

Legal issues

On June 29, 1994, Jackson was arrested for selling 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's pistol. Although Jackson was sentenced to three to nine years in prison, he served six months in a boot camp (where he earned his high-school equivalency diploma). According to him, he did not use cocaine.[4][12][145] Jackson and four members of his entourage were arrested shortly before 2 a.m. on January 1, 2003, when police found a .25-caliber handgun and a .45-caliber pistol in a parked car (which they searched due to its tinted windows) outside a Manhattan nightclub. The rapper was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.[146] Jackson was sentenced to two years' probation on July 22, 2005 for a May 2004 incident, when he was charged with three counts of assault and battery after jumping into an audience when he was hit by a water bottle.[147] He.[147]

Jackson filed a lawsuit against an advertising company, Traffix of Pearl River, New York, on July 21, 2007 for using his image in a promotion he said threatened his safety. He was alerted by a staff member to an Internet advertisement on a MySpace page. According to court documents, the advertisement had a cartoon image of the rapper with "Shoot the rapper and you will win $5000 or five ring tones guaranteed". Although the ad did not use his name, the image allegedly resembled him and suggested that he endorsed the product. The lawsuit, calling the ad a "vile, tasteless and despicable" use of Jackson's image which "quite literally call[ed] for violence against him", sought unspecified punitive damages and a permanent injunction against the use of his image without permission.[148][149][citation needed]

One of his New York homes, purchased for $2.4 million in January 2007 and the center of a lawsuit between Jackson and Shaniqua Tompkins, caught fire on May 30, 2008 while he was filming in Louisiana.[142] On August 5, 2013, Jackson plead not guilty to one count of domestic violence and four counts of vandalism in a Los Angeles County court. If convicted of all charges, he faced up to five years in prison and $46,000 in fines. Model-actress Daphne Joy accused Jackson of kicking her and ransacking her bedroom during an argument at her condominium in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles on June 23. He allegedly caused $7,100 in property damage, leaving the scene before police arrived.[150]

Feuds

Further information: 50 Cent feuds

Murder Inc.

Before he signed with Interscope Records Jackson engaged in a public dispute with rapper Ja Rule and his label, Murder Inc Records, saying that a friend robbed jewelry from Ja Rule and the latter accused him of orchestrating the robbery.[125] Ja Rule said that the conflict stemmed from a Queens video shoot, when Jackson did not like seeing him "getting so much love" from the neighborhood.[151] At The Hit Factory in New York in March 2000, Jackson had an altercation with Murder Inc. associates and received three stitches for a stab wound.[125][152] Rapper Black Child claimed responsibility for the stabbing, saying that he acted in self-defense when he thought someone reached for a gun.[153]

An affidavit by an IRS agent suggested ties between Murder Inc. and Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, a New York drug lord suspected of involvement in the murder of Jam Master Jay and Jackson's shooting. An excerpt 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.[28]

In an MTV interview, Ja Rule acknowledged his defeat by Jackson and said that his 2009 album, The Mirror, would not continue any feuds: "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]".[citation needed] The end of the Jackson-Ja Rule feud was confirmed in May 2011. According to Ja Rule, "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."[154]

The Game

Although Jackson was close to The Game before the latter released his debut album, The Documentary, they grew apart. After The Documentary‍ '​s release, Jackson felt that The Game was disloyal for saying that he did not want to participate in G-Unit's feuds with other rappers (such as Nas, Jadakiss and Fat Joe) and his desire to work with artists with which G-Unit was feuding. He said that he wrote six songs for the album and did not receive proper credit, which The Game denied.[155]

Black-and-white closeup of 50 Cent singing onstage
At a 2007 concert

Jackson later dismissed The Game from G-Unit on Hot 97. After the announcement, The Game (a guest earlier in the evening) tried to enter the building with his entourage. After they were denied entry, one of his associates was shot in the leg in a confrontation with a group of men leaving the building.[156][157] When the situation escalated the rappers held a joint press conference announcing their reconciliation,[158] and fans were uncertain if the rappers had staged a publicity stunt to boost sales of their recently released albums.[159] After the situation cooled,[160] G-Unit criticized The Game's street credibility and announced that they would not appear on his albums. During a Summer Jam performance The Game announced a boycott of G-Unit, which he called "G-Unot".[161]

After the Summer Jam performance The Game recorded "300 Bars and Runnin'", an extended "diss" of G-Unit and Roc-A-Fella Records, for the mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 3. Jackson responded with his "Piggy Bank" music video, with The Game as Mr. Potato Head and parodies of other rivals.[162] They have continued attacking each other, with The Game releasing two more mixtapes: Ghost Unit and a mixtape-DVD, Stop Snitchin, Stop Lyin. Jackson superimposed The Game's head on the body of a male stripper for the cover of the Hate It or Love It (G-Unit Radio Part 21) mixtape in response to The Game's pictures of G-Unit dressed as the Village People.[163] The Game, under contract to Aftermath Entertainment, signed with Geffen Records to terminate his contractual obligations with G-Unit (although it is claimed that Jackson pressured Dr. Dre to fire him).[164] G-Unit member Spider Loc has insulted The Game in songs, and the latter released "240 Bars (Spider Joke)" and "100 Bars (The Funeral)" attacking G-Unit and Loc. Jackson's response was "Not Rich, Still Lyin'", mocking The Game.[165] Lloyd Banks replied to the Game on a Rap City freestyle-booth segment, followed by a Game "diss" song ("SoundScan") ridiculing the 13-position drop of Banks' album Rotten Apple on the Billboard 200 chart and its disappointing second-week sales. Banks replied on his mixtape Mo' Money In The Bank Pt. 5: Gang Green Season Continues with "Showtime (The Game's Over)", said that Jackson wrote half of The Documentary and ridiculed The Game's suicidal thoughts.[citation needed]

In October 2006 The Game made a peace overture (which was not immediately answered) to Jackson,[166] but two days later he said on Power 106 that the peace offer was valid for only one day.[167] In several songs on Doctor's Advocate, he implied that the feud was over. He said in July 2009 that the feud had ended with help from Michael Jackson and Diddy,[168] and apologized for his actions.[169] According to Tony Yayo, neither Jackson nor G-Unit accepted his apology[170] and The Game has resumed his calls for a "G-Unot" boycott at concerts. Jackson released "So Disrespectful" on Before I Self Destruct, targeting Jay-Z, The Game and Young Buck.[171] The Game responded with "Shake", poking fun at the music video for Jackson's "Candy Shop".

Rick Ross

Although Rick Ross began a feud with Jackson over an alleged incident at the January 2009 BET Awards, Jackson told news sources he did not remember seeing Ross there.[172] Late that month Ross' "Mafia Music" was leaked on the Internet, with lyrics apparently disparaging Jackson. Several days later, Jackson released "Officer Ricky (Go Head, Try Me)" in response to "Mafia Music". The following day, Ross appeared on Shade 45 (Eminem's Sirius channel) and told Jackson to come up with something better in 24 hours.

Before leaving for Venezuela, Jackson uploaded a video ("Warning Shot", telling Ross "I'ma fuck your life up for fun"[citation needed]) and the first of a series of "Officer Ricky" cartoons. In early February he uploaded a YouTube video in which he interviewed "Tia", the mother of one of Ross' children; according to her, Ross is in reality a correctional officer.[173] On February 5, 2009, The Game phoned Seattle radio station KUBE. Asked about the dispute between Jackson and Ross, he sided with Jackson and offered to mediate: "Rick Ross, holla at your boy, man" and "50 eating you, boy."[174]

On his album Deeper Than Rap, Ross refers to Jackson in "In Cold Blood" and Jackson's mock funeral is part of the song's video. When the song was released, Ross said that he ended Jackson's career.[175] "Rick Ross is Albert From CB4. You ever seen the movie? He's Albert," Jackson replied in an interview. "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."[176] Their feud rekindled at the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards, where Jackson and G-Unit members Kidd Kidd, Mike Knox, Tony Yayo were seen on video attacking Gunplay (a member of Ross' Maybach Music Group). Gunplay's Maybach Music diamond necklace was stolen during the brawl, and several days later Jackson appeared at a Washington, D.C. bowling alley wearing Gunplay's chain.[177] On January 30, 2013, Jackson tweeted that Ross' attempted drive-by shooting on his birthday three days earlier was "staged".[178]

Discography

Main article: 50 Cent discography

Filmography

Main article: 50 Cent filmography

Awards and nomations

References

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External links

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