“I come from the bottom and I have risen up and I have changed but I have never forgotten.”
Curtis James Jackson III, known as 50 Cent, was born on July 6, 1975, in the borough of Queens in New York City. After an early life of crime, drugs and violence, he turned to a career as a rapper. He was promoted by hip-hop legends Dr. Dre and Eminem, and he became a star with his debut release,Get Rich or Die Tryin', in 2003. He is considered one of the major figures in early 21st century "gangsta" rap.
Childhood in New York
Curtis James Jackson III, now known by his rap name 50 Cent, was born on July 6, 1975, in the borough of Queens in New York City. He was raised in a broken home in the rough neighborhood of Jamaica. His single mother worked as a drug dealer and was murdered when Jackson was only 8 years old; after her death, he was raised by his grandparents. He had boyhood aspirations to be a boxer, but he began selling drugs when he was a teenager. He also began to rap during his high school years.
Breaking Into the Hip-Hop World
50 Cent's first important contact with the New York hip-hop scene was an introduction to Jam Master Jay from the group Run-D.M.C. Jay was impressed by 50 Cent's rapping ability and produced an album for him; however, it was never released. 50 Cent also made a false start with the Columbia label, recording an album that was shelved before its release.
In 2000, 50 Cent was the victim of a severe shooting incident that left him with multiple wounds and injuries. After his recovery, he began rapping again and made low-budget recordings with his friends Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, as a crew called G-Unit. Their efforts were noticed by the hip-hop stars Eminem and Dr. Dre, who promoted 50 Cent as a solo act and signed him jointly to their record labels.
Success and Stardom
50 Cent's debut release, Get Rich or Die Tryin', was produced by Eminem and Dre. It was a massive success that eventually reached sales of 9 million units. Its singles, including "Wanksta" and "In Da Club," were crossover hits on the pop charts, since 50 Cent's gritty lyrics were backed by catchy musical hooks that appealed to audiences beyond the hip-hop scene. His personal appearance—muscled and tattooed, wearing a bulletproof vest and toting a handgun—was also a strong factor in his appeal, as was the fact that his rap lyrics were based on real-life experiences.
Get Rich was followed another hit album, 2005's The Massacre, on which 50 Cent continued to rap about drugs, crime and sex on tracks like "Candy Shop" and "Just a Lil Bit." Later releases, including Curtis in 2007 and Before I Self-Destruct in 2009, didn't achieve the same sales figures. However, 50 Cent's personal history as a "gangsta," a criminal and a survivor of drugs, violence and poverty who had lived to tell the tale, had made him an influential figure in hip-hop culture.
2010–2011: New business ventures
In an interview with the British entertainment website ContactMusic, 50 Cent announced that he was working on a dance album named Black Magic. 50 Cent said he was inspired by the European nightclubs. "First they played hip-hop which suddenly changed to uptempo songs, known as Eurodance". He went on The Invitation Tour in the summer of 2010, in support of Before I Self Destruct album, and the then shelved Black Magic album. He "recorded 20 songs to a whole different album concept" before he put those to the side and did something different.
50 Cent revealed that he wanted his new album to have the same "aggression" as his debut record, Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
He later tweeted that the album was "80 percent done", and stated that fans can expect the album in the summer of 2011; however, the album was delayed to 2012, due to tensions and disagreements at Interscope Records, Later 50 Cent said that he will release his album in November 2011 and it has also been confirmed that "Black Magic" was no longer the album's title. 50 Cent has already confirmed that Eminem will appear on the album, but he also confirmed that he has been working with new producers such as Boi-1da and Alex da Kid. Cardiak, who produced Lloyd Banks' “Start It Up”, also confirmed that he had produced a song for the upcoming album.
DJ Whoo Kid confirmed in an interview that 50 Cent was filming a new movie with Robert De Niro in New Orleans.
50 Cent released the first song from his fifth studio album, titled "Outlaw", to the Internet on June 16, 2011. The single was produced by Cardiak. It was released to iTunes on July 19, 2011, although 50 Cent confirmed through his Twitter account that the song was not the album's first single.
50 Cent is set to release a book titled Playground.
Unlike his previous literary efforts — which focus on his life story and the rules of power — this time he's aiming at a teen audience with a semi-autobiographical novel about bullying. According to a statement from the book's publisher, the first-person novel is slated for release in January 2012 and will tell the story of a 13-year-old schoolyard bully "who finds redemption as he faces what he's done."
50 Cent has promised to deliver his fifth studio album album over the past few years, but the LP may be delayed until 2012. In a series of tweets, 50 Cent explained that him and his label Interscope Records aren’t on the same page on how to roll out the album and that he’s delaying its release until they see eye to eye.
50 Cent later suggested that his album will be releasing in November 2011, along with his headphone line SMS by 50.
50 Cent spoke to MTV in relation to the possibility of leaving Interscope Records. "I don't know," 50 told MTV News when asked if he would ink back with Interscope once his five-album deal was fulfilled. "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."
On June 20, 2011, 50 Cent announced that he will release an LP titled Before I Self Destruct II. The announced sequel to his 2009 LP is suggested to be released after his fifth studio album.
On June 26, 2011, 50 Cent planned to shoot a music video for the lead single from his fifth studio album titled "I'm On It". However, the music video never surfaced.
50 Cent spoke to Shade45 in relation guest appearances for his fifth studio album. "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."
In September 2011, 50 Cent released a song titled "Street King Energy Track #7" in attempt to promote his charitable energy drink Street King. On September 28, 2011, it was confirmed that 50 Cent is shooting a music video for his lead single from his fifth studio album titled "Girls Go Wild", which features Jeremih.
2012–present: Departure from Shady/Aftermath, Animal Ambition and Street King Immortal
50 Cent's fifth studio album, Street King Immortal, was due to be released on November 13, 2012. Initially reported to be released during the summer of 2012, the release date of Street King Immortal has since been revised on several occasions, largely due to disagreements between 50 Cent and Interscope over the release and promotion of the album, which led to the album's brief cancellation. The first single, "New Day", was released on July 27, 2012, featuring Dr. Dre and Alicia Keys. 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 Alicia Keys was leaked by her husband, Swizz Beatz. "My Life" was the album's second single, featuring fellow rapper Eminem and Maroon 5's lead singer Adam Levine, released on November 26, 2012. 50 Cent confirmed the album's release date to February 26, 2013, in commemoration of 10 years anniversary of his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin'. However, the album is still yet to be released and currently has no set release date.
In January 2014, 50 Cent said he plans on releasing a project called Animal Ambition in the first quarter of 2014 and that Street King Immortal will come out after. On February 20, 2014, 50 Cent left Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope, after a 12-year union and subsequently signed himself and his G-Unit imprint to Caroline Records and Capitol Records 50 Cent owed Interscope one more album due to the deal he initially signed but was let out of the deal anyway due to his friendship with Eminem and Dr. Dre. Speaking on the matter 50 Cent said, "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." On the same day he announced that his fifth studio album Animal Ambition, would be released on June 3, 2014. On February 21 along with the news of his leaving Interscope Records, 50 Cent also released the first track off of his Animal Ambition. The track, entitled "Funeral", was released with an accompanying video via Forbes.com. The track was produced by Jake One and is a continuation of his song 50 Bars, from a previous album. It was also announced that 2 more tracks from Animal Ambition would be released on March 18. While performing at SXSW in Austin, Texas 50 Cent performed a new song from his forthcoming Animal Ambition Lp entitled "Hold On." That song as well as another track entitled "Don't Worry 'Bout It" were released with accompanying videos for each on March 18. 50 Cent has stated that prosperity will be a theme of the album stating, "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]."
Film and television
In 2005, Jackson made a cameo appearance on The Simpsons episode "Pranksta Rap", in which he makes light of his legal troubles. The same year, he starred alongside Terrence Howard in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin'. He starred in the 2006 film Home of the Brave, as a soldier returning home from the Iraq War, traumatized after killing an Iraqi woman. Jackson is working on a role as a fighter in an Angola State Prison in Spectacular Regret alongside Nicolas Cage, and starred opposite Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in 2008's Righteous Kill, a movie regarding a police death.
In 2008, Jackson started a reality television show on MTV titled 50 Cent: The Money and the Power; the winning contestant, Ryan Mayberry, won a $100,000 investment from Jackson.
Jackson provided the voice-over as the protagonist in the video game 50 Cent: Bulletproof, which was released for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and the PlayStation Portable. Its sequel, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, was released in early 2009.
· Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003)
· Beg for Mercy (2003) (with G-Unit)
· The Massacre (2005)
· Curtis (2007)
· T·O·S (Terminate on Sight) (2008) (with G-Unit)
· Before I Self Destruct (2009)
· Animal Ambition (2014)
· Street King Immortal (2014)