Curtis James Jackson
Curtis James Jackson popularly known as 50 Cent is a famous American rapper, actor, entrepreneur and investor. He was born on 6th July 1975 in Queens, New York. 50 Cent rose to fame when he released his first album in 2003 trying in 2003. Before pursuing a career in rap music, 50 cent was a drug dealer at the tender age of 12. He brought up by his mother (Sabrina) who was also a drug dealer.
In 1983, Sabrina died as a result of being drugged and inhaling gas in her house a midst closed windows. After Sabrina’s death, 50 Cent started living with his grandparents. At age eleven, 50 Cent started boxing and then started selling drugs a year later while attending school. During this time Curtis juggled boxing, school and selling drugs. At age 14, Curtis Jackson competed as a boxer (amateur level) in Junior Olympics.
At age 16, he was arrested for narcotics and gun possession which made him confess to his grandparents about his drug selling business. Afterwards, Curtis was sent to a boot camp. After his release, he started using the name 50 Cent signifying change. He got the name from a notorious robber in Brooklyn named Kelvin Martin.
50 Cent and the Beginning of his Music Career
50 Cent begun rapping in 1996 when he was 21 years. He used a friend’s turntable to record his raps over instrumentals. One of his friends later introduced him to Run-DMC’s Jay Master Jay who was a record label owner who taught Jackson how to write choruses, count bars, structure songs, and makes records. Jackson made his first official appearance in 1998 with a group known as Onyx during their album launch. Jam Master Jay produced the first studio album for 50 Cent however, the album has never been released to date.
In 1999, 50 Cent left Jam Master Jay’s label and joined Columbia Records when some producers known as Trackmasters noticed him and arranged for his signing to Columbia Records. 50 Cent’s popularity grew substantially when he released an underground single dubbed “How to Rob”. The track was controversial and comical explaining how he would steal from famous artists. Famous rappers like DMX, Jay-Z, Kurupt, Big Pun, Sticky Fingaz and Wyclef Jean replied to his song. Nas, who wasn’t offended by the track, invited 50 Cent to go on a tour with him.
50 Cent Faces Some Tough Times
On 24th May 2000, armed thugs attacked and shot 50 Cent 9 times outside his grandparent’s house. Luckily, he didn’t die. He however suffered serious gunshot wounds on his face, legs, hands and chest. The incident left 50 Cent with a slurry voice as a result of the gunshot wound on his face. After the incident, 50 cent was immediately rushed to hospital where he spent 13 days. Baum, who was the alleged shooter, died 3 weeks later.
5 Months later, 50 Cent had recovered fully. He was however dropped by Columbia Records and blacklisted because of a song he did; “Ghetto Quran”. After searching in vain for a new record deal in America, 50 Cent went Canada together with his partner Sha Money where he recorded mix tapes in order to build a new reputation. 50 Cent rose to fame when he released a mix tape entitled; ”Guess who’s back.”
50 Cent Meets Eminem
Year 2002 was a big year for 50 Cent. In 2002, Eminem heard 50 Cent’s mixtape ”Guess who’s back.” He was impressed and decided to invite 50 Cent to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, Eminem introduced 50 Cent to Dr. Dre. 50 Cent was offered a $1 million record deal which he accepted.
In February 2003, Curtis Jackson released his 1st album ” Get Richh or Die Tryin”. The album became an overnight success selling 872,000 copies 4 days after being released. The album had a number of hit singles the most popular one being ”In Da Club” which broke records i.e. a billboard No. 1 record. 50 cent later started G-unit Records where he signed 3 rappers namely; Tony Yayo, Young Buck and Lloyd Banks. 50 Cent also signed The Game jointly with Dre’s label; Aftermath.
In March 2005, 50 Cent released his 2nd album called; The Massacre which sold over 1 million copies within the first week of release. The album occupied the number one slot on Billboard 200 for 6 weeks straight. After Game’s departure from G-Unit, 50 Cent signed Olivia and Mobb Deep. Other artists who joined G-Unit included; M.O.P, Spider Loc, Young Hot Rod and 40 Glocc. In September 2007, 50 cent released his third studio album Curtis which sold a total of 691,000 on the 1st week. One year later (November 2008), 50 cent released his fourth album ”Self Destruct.”
50 Cent Newest Album, Business Ventures and Acting Career
In 2010, 50 Cent expressed interests on working on a new album called Black Magic however he shelved those interests to do something different. 50 Cent has been on record stating that he is still working on his fifth studio album however a release date is yet to be given. The album is scheduled to be released in mid 2013.
50 Cent has also had a successful acting career. His first acting experience was in 2005 when he made an appearance on a Simpson’s episode called “Pranksta Rap.” The same year, 50 Cent starred in the movie ”Get Rich Die Tryin”. Other movies/films, 50 cent has stared or featured in include; Home of Brave (2006), Righteous Kill (2008), freelancers (2012) and a reality show called Money and Power.
50 Cent has also provided voice over’s for a number of Video games namely; Bulletproof and Blood on Sand. In terms of business ventures, 50 Cent over the years has signed a number of deals with companies such as Reebok for his G-Unit Sneakers.
50 Cent has also been involved in profitable business ventures like the famous vitamin water business venture that so him earn an estimated $100 million after taxes. 50 Cent also has a condom line known as Magic Stick Condoms. He also has two film companies; G-Unit films and Cheetah Vision formed in 2003 and 2008 respectively. Cheetah Vision is however his only active film company having raised $200 million to date in funding. 50 Cent is also a boxing promoter through his company TMT promotions. He has signed a number of boxers to date i.e. Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andre Dirrell and Billy Dib.
50 Cent is among the best rappers to ever live. He is currently on Forbes list of top 10 richest rappers of all times. Despite having some downfalls in his career i.e. rap ”beef” with artists such as ja rule and fat joe, he has still tried to remain relevant to date. The future is very bright for 50 Cent.