Curtis James Jackson III is an American rapper, actor, producer, and entrepreneur widely known as 50 Cent. Despite his dark past, he is truly an icon that inspires many. A hip-hop artist and a powerful businessman, 50 Cent soared to fame. His unique style of rapping and music speaks to all people of all ages, genders, and races, which resonates in his music. 50 cent is one of the leading figures in the 21st century of gangsta rap, including his hip-hop group G-Unit, which produced many projects. He also got into water business companies and developing video games. His career as a hip-hop artist and a businessman became famous yet littered with feuds with other rappers, financial difficulties, and even getting arrested for crimes.
Despite an early life of crime, drugs, and violence, from his streetwise raps and rags-to-riches life story, he turned the table and started rapping, rocketing to stardom in his album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in 2003, while his recent albums didn’t go well.
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50 Cent’s Early Thug-Life
50 Cent was born Curtis James Jackson III on July 6, 1975, in the Queens in New York City district and raised by his single mother, who unfortunately died, in an unexplained fire when Curtis was eight years old. Her mother was a drug dealer back then. Curtis always wanted to be a boxer and fought at the junior level. He crossed his path at the early age of 12 and began selling drugs. An undercover police officer arrested Curtis at 19 for selling cocaine, and his house was raided by the police, who found cracks and heroin. The nineteen-year-old 50 Cent was sentenced three-to-nine years behind bars. Jackson instead went to a boot camp and earned a high school equivalency credential by passing the General Educational Development Test or GED. During those times, he began rapping and introduced himself by his moniker, 50 Cent, inspired by a Brooklyn crook from the ‘80s, Kevin Martin, who also named 50 Cent.
50 Cent began his rapping career in his teenage years. At age 21, he met one of the most famous hip-hop groups Run-DMC, D..J. Jam Master Jay, who taught him the fundamentals of making music and songwriting. After being an apprentice of Jam Master Jay, 50 Cent wrote and constructed songs. He recorded his debut album in 2000, Power of the Dollar but has yet to get the chance to get out in public—however, a lead single from the album How to Rob was released and became a great success. 50 Cent officially debuted Guess Who’s Back and released a mixtape in 2002.
In 2003, he created and established his recording production, G-Unit Records. It was named after the East Coast rap group of the same name in which Jackson was a key member. In some of 50 Cent’s business ventures, he launched a clothing company based on the group’s name and partnered with Reebok to advertise G-Unit in their sneakers. Adding to his business, he tried to publish a company called G-Unit books and a film production called G-Unit Films.
The Rapper’s Hip-Hop Stint
Another rapper, Eminem, was impressed by hearing the mixtape that he flew Jackson out to meet the legendary hip-hop producer Dr. Dre. By then, 50 Cent had released his first internationally known and successful album called Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ with its gritty singles, Wanksta and In Da Club that helped them into crossover pop hits. Eminem produced the album and Dr. Dre. The album got a massive success that sold $9 million. According to Los Angeles Times, his rhymes are average, but his delivery and beats back him up over the edge. 50 Cent’s muscled and tattooed appearance was his trademark and substantially influenced his appeal.
Followed by another successful album a couple of years later titled The Massacre, and his Curtis album in 2007 earned a spot as the second best-selling album of the year. The Massacre album raps about drugs, crime, and sex on tracks like its single Candy Shop and Just a Lil Bit. 50 Cent incorporated Lloyd Banks and Young Buck, signing them into the G-Unit group on the 2004 album Beg for Mercy which has an estimated 5 million copies sold worldwide. Following his best-selling album Curtis, he released a subsequent album titled Before I Self-Destruct, which only achieved modest sales.
Behind His Bold Lyrics
Despite being a reformed criminal and a survivor of poverty, violence, and drugs, 50 Cent had secured his position not only as an influential figure in hip-hop culture. He followed the footsteps of several hip-hop moguls, including Jay Z and Dr. Dre. 50 Cent, who has a massive car collection, has expanded his brands into the market and promoted and invested in types of businesses such as Vitaminwater, which he partnered with and netted him $100 million when the company was sold to Coca-Cola in 2007. In 2011, Jackson provided a charity program for children with the aid of his created company, Street Kings, which distributes flavored energy drinks partnered with Chris Clarke, CEO and Founder of Pure Growth Partners.
The charity program provided one billion meals to the World Program for almost five years. Street King aims to give daily meals to children in Africa. A 10-cent donation covers each meal to the World Food Program for each purchase. The gangster-rapper had an estimated contribution of 3.5 million meals between 2011 and 2012. Jackson was publicly committed to donating to the program, making him the 20th largest donor to the organization.
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Sources: Nationaltoday , Biography , LAtimes
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