Get Rich or Die Tryin'
"I'm not trying to save the world. As a musician and artist, it just ain't me." 50 Cent
Rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was hurled toward stardom after the success of his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003, produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre), which featured hip hop favorites "In Da Club" and “21 Questions.” The rapper, who was discovered by Jam Master Jay, gained even more recognition with the release of his second album, the Grammy-nominated The Massacre (2005), which spawned such hits as "Disco Inferno," "Candy Shop" and "Just a Lil Bit." In 2005, 50 Cent entered the movie scene, starring in the big screen version of his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. He is also scheduled to star in the upcoming Home of the Brave and The Dance.
"I think it's easier for the general public to embrace me in a negative way. You have people who already have a perception of me that says I'm a bad person." 50 Cent
The rapper, who is feuding with hip hop artists The Game and Ja Rule, became headlines in March 2000 when he was stabbed at a Manhattan recording studio, and in May 2000, when he survived a shooting outside his grandmother’s house in Queens. He also got into trouble with the law in October 2002, when he was accused of being involved in the murder of Jam Master Jay, and then on New Year’s Eve that same year, when he was arrested and jailed for gun possession. In January 2006, he was sued for allegedly stealing the opening line for “In Da Club,” from a song by former 2 Live Crew front man Luther Campbell.
"A man becomes as attractive as an attractive woman when he becomes successful and is publicly noted. Power's an aphrodisiac." 50 Cent
The 6' tall, multi-platinum rapper, who was once linked to actress Vivica A. Fox, was one of VH1's “100 Hottest Hotties,” Fade In Magazine's "100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know" (2005) and on the Forbes magazine “Celebrity 100 List” (2006). A shrewd entrepreneur, 50 Cent has branched out with his own G-Unit Sneakers and G-Unit Clothing Co. More recently, he is negotiating a deal with Apple Computer.
Childhood and Family:
"In my neighborhood if you're too aggressive, you intimidate someone, they kill you. Or if you decide to be emotional and you start crying, you're a victim. You know, the kid in the schoolyard that doesn't want to fight always leaves with a black eye. You have to find a way to stay in the middle, somewhere where people just don't mess with you because they know that you don't have a problem with it if it goes there." 50 Cent
On July 6, 1975, Curtis James Jackson III, who would later be famous as 50 Cent, was born and raised in Southside Jamaica, Queens. He was raised by his grandmother after his mother was murdered. Growing up in a broken home and poverty-stricken, young 50 began selling crack in the neighborhood. Since then, he has frequently encountered the law, and by age 18, he was sentenced to three to nine years in prison. While behind bars, 50 earned his GED and was eventually released in 1995.
50 Cent, sometimes nicknamed “Interscope,” “Fiddy,” or “Boo Boo,” has a son called Marquise, who is nicknamed “25 Cent.”
In Da Club
"First I drop my album, and people pay attention. Now that I got their attention, I'm gonna drop the next sh*t on them -- the G-Unit sh*t, both the label and the group. I'm not leveling the competition, I'm destroying it." 50 Cent
Originally thinking of becoming a heavyweight boxer, 50 Cent turned toward rap. His first break came in 1996 when he was discovered by Jam Master Jay (a.k.a. Jason Mizell) of Run-DMC, who later signed the aspiring rapper to his label.
Not gaining much from the deal, 50 stepped out and signed with the hip-hop production duo Track Masters. In 1997, he was recruited to Columbia Records and released the controversial single and radio hit "How to Rob" and followed it up with the single "Ghetto Qu'ran." He was also set to release his debut album Power of the Dollar, but it was shelved following his shooting incident in 2000. Columbia considered the event bad publicity and subsequently terminated 50 Cent's contract.
"The only thing that I'm scared of is not livin' up to the expectations of Dr. Dre and Eminem." 50 Cent
50 Cent attracted the attention of Eminem and Dr. Dre, who later landed him with Interscope Records. 50 was also the first to sign onto a joint effort between Eminem's Shady Records and Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment.
February 6, 2003, marked 50 Cent with the launching of his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. The album, produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre, featured # 1 hit singles "In Da Club," which also became Billboard Magazine's number one single for the year, and "21 Questions." Other songs include “P.I.M.P” and “If I Can’t.” The Album won the Juno Award for International Album of 2003 and an American Music Award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album. It was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album. Selling 872,000 copies in its first week of release, Get Rich or Die Tryin' was eventually certified platinum six times.
Following his initial success, Interscope then granted 50 Cent his own label, G-Unit Records, which he co-founded with his manager Sha Money XL. The label signed on Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and Young Buck, and released its debut album, Beg for Mercy, on November 14, 2003. The album went 2 times Platinum in the U.S. and sold 5 million copies worldwide. Other artists signed by G-Unit include Olivia, Mobb Deep, Spider Loc, M.O.P., and Mase. 50 also signed The Game under a joint venture with Dr. Dre in 2004 and recently signed Arizona rapper Hot Rod. 50 is also planning on working with artists outside of G-Unit.
50 Cent's sophomore album, The Massacre, originally titled The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, hit the music stores in March 2005. The first single was "Disco Inferno," which was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards of 2006, but lost to Kanye West's "Gold Digger." It was followed by the singles "Candy Shop" (featuring Olivia), which was nominated at the Grammy Awards of 2006 for Best Rap Song, but lost out to Kanye West's "Diamonds From Sierra Leone," and "Just a Lil Bit" (#3 in the U.S. and #10 in the U.K.). Other songs included "Piggy Bank" and "A Baltimore Love Thing."
The Massacre reached #1 on the US Billboard 200 Albums Chart and the UK Albums Chart that year and sold 1.15 million copies in its first four days of release. It became the third-best selling album of 2005, with 4.85 million copies sold. The Massacre was re-released on September 6, 2005, with a remix of "Outta Control" (featuring Mobb Deep) and a bonus DVD. It was nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammy Awards in 2006, but lost to Kanye West's Late Registration.
That same year, 50 Cent entered the big screen by starring in the film version of his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. In the Jim Sheridan-directed movie, 50 portrayed the lead role of Marcus, an inner city drug dealer who turns away from crime. He later released the soundtrack of the movie on November 8, 2005, which featured songs like "Hustler's Ambition," "Have a Party" and "Window Shopper."
On shooting a love scene in the 2005 film Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 50 Cent revealed: "I got comfortable working on the other scenes, then when we got to the love scene, it was a little different. It's almost like being in a room naked with a bunch of people around you. In that case, it was 34 people on the set. It was tough."
Adding to his music career, 50 Cent is also an astute businessman. He partnered up with shoe maker Reebok to release his own G-Unit Sneakers and with designer Marc Ecko for his G-Unit Clothing Co. On August 9, 2005, he released a memoir titled From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens, and is set to release another book in 2007. Currently, he is in negotiations with Apple Computer to create a line of more affordable computers.
"I'm creating a foundation that will be around for a long time, because fame can come and go or get lost in the lifestyle and the splurging," the rapper said in a Forbes interview. "I never got into it for the music. I got into it for the business." 50 Cent
On the movie scene, the Queens rapper will soon star in director Irwin Winkler's war drama Home of the Brave, alongside Jessica Biel, Samuel L. Jackson and Chad Michael Murray. He is also set to team up with Nicolas Cage in Neil Tolkin's biographical drama of boxing legend Billy "The Kid" Roth, The Dance.
"In Hollywood, they say there's no business like show business. In the hood, they say there's no business like ho business." 50 Cent