"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 - Making Millions
Hip-Hop consists of stories that rhyme, with a deep and dark soul. In its intense cynical verses, one will find the truth about life. 50 Cent is hardened by the codes and violence of the street, reflecting in the words the hardships of life, spot on. For him Life was to- Get Rich or Die Tryin.
Curtis James Jackson, born in New York, had his fair share of spell with the street life during his young days. He was raised by his grandparents when his parents died. He wanted to be a Heavy weight boxer, but eventually turned into a rapper.
50 Cent - The Early Life
He had his series of legal issues, for illegal possession of narcotics. Regardless, he had a burning desire to hip-hop his way to fame. He adopted the alias as a metaphor for "change". Ironically the name was taken from Kelvin Martin, a robber in Brooklyn during the 1980's. Jackson underlines saying, "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"
His friend's basement was the studio wherein he started and molded his rapping career. He used turntables to record over instrumentals. He met Jay of Run-DMC in 1996 who taught him how to count bars, write choruses, and structure songs and how to make a record. 50 Cent officially appeared in a song titled "React" in 1998 with the group Onyx, on their top selling album, Shut em Down.
From the basement
In 2000 he wrote his first underground single 'How to Rob' on the way to a studio, inside a car. He comically described how he was going to rob celebrity musicians. 50's debut album (Power of the Dollar) was never officially released, because of his stint again with some thugs outside his grandmother's home on May 24, 2000. He survived the attack. But Columbia Records dropped him off their list.
Robbing his way to fame
From his memoir "Pieces to Weight: Once upon a Time in Southside Queens", 50 Cent 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.
This was the moment when things started to change for the better.
His song "Ghetto Qur'an" was "blacklisted" by the recording industry in United States. After being dropped by Columbia Records and being blacklisted, this forced him to relocate to Canada with his business partner Sha Money XL. He recorded and released a series of Mix Tapes and his strategy to regain popularity worked. He rose to fame again in 2002.
50 Cent began to attract interest and was backed by the group G-Unit. They released a mix tape 50 Cent Is the Future, revisiting material by Jay-Z and Raphael Saadiq.
Eminem, after listening to what the rapper had to offer, invited him to Los Angeles. He was introduced to Dr. Dre and he then signed a million dollar deal at Los Angeles, releasing the mix tape No Mercy No Fear.
Rapping to Fame
His first commercial album was released in February 2003. The album christened Get Rich or Die Tryin. It was the fastest selling debut since 1991 with almost 900,000 copies sold in the first 5 days.
His lead single 'In da club' broke the billboard record as the most listened song in radio history within a week.
The Massacre his second commercial album was released in March 2005. It sold over 1.14 million copies in the first 4 days. It held its spot on the Billboard 200 for a month and half. Billboard so a new phenomenon, his three tracks, Candy Shop , Disco Inferno, How we do, all the three albums were on the billboard top 5 at the same time. 50 Cent was the first solo artist to have three singles on billboard top 5 at the same time.
Did you know that...
- ...50 Cent was voted #8 on VH1's 100 Hottest Hotties
- ...the rapper neither drinks alcohol nor smokes.
- ...'50' created a dance known as the "two step".