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50 Cent (born 6 July 1975) – aka Curtis James Jackson III – is a hip hop artist from New York City, US, whose music follows closely to the gangsta rap genre. He has had an ambitious career and has pursued other avenues such as acting and investing.
50 Cent had a rough childhood and grew up being exposed to a lot of things that would shape his musical career. At the age of 12 he was selling crack on the streets and also participated in amateur boxing. After running into trouble with the law at a young age he was sent to correctional boot camp and afterwards changed his outlook on life. At the age of 21 he formed in interest in rapping and in the late ‘90s he met Jam Master Jay from Run – D.M.C., who helped shaped Jackson’s rapping career.
In 2000 he was scheduled to release his album “Power of the Dollar” through Columbia Records, but he was dropped from the album before it was released. Although the album was never released it was heavily bootlegged and the single from the album “How To Rob” became popular in the underground scene and caught the attention of many notable rappers such as Jay-Z, Nas, and Wu-Tang Clan.
After being dropped from Columbia Records and receiving 9 gunshot wounds as the victim in a criminal incident, 50 Cent independently released the compilation album “Guess Who’s Back?” in 2002. The album was received with positive reviews and reached the No. 28 spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. The album also caught the ear of Eminem, who introduced him to Dr. Dre and helped him get signed to a record deal.
2003 marked the year that 50 Cent released one of the most lauded albums of the decade, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”. The album was released through Interscope Records and was produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre. The album was known for its dark, funky beats and was loaded with some of the hottest singles of the year including “In da Club” and “21 Questions”. The album reached the No. 1 spot on the US Billboard 200 chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. The album is praised by critics and Rolling Stone has labeled it as one of the best albums of the 2000s.
After the success of “Get Rich of Die Tryin’” 50 Cent became the owner of his own record label G-Unit Records and signed the rappers Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and Young Buck to the label who were also his partners in the group G-Unit. 50 Cent’s second studio album “The Massacre” came out in 2005 and was also a huge success. The album reached the top of the charts and made 50 Cent the first solo artist to have three singles on the Billboard’s top 5 with the tracks “Candy Shop”, “Disco Inferno”, and “How We Do”.
Apart from music 50 Cent has also delved into an acting career. He has played major roles in the films “Home of the Brave” and “Righteous Kill”, as well as starring in the semi-autobiographical film “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”.
50 Cent is also a persistent live performer and has embarked on multiple tours with a slew of sold out dates. He has shared the bill with many notable performers including Lloyd Banks, Lil B, Jay Rock, Nas and Ludacris. There is no doubt that 50 Cent has already established himself as a legendary musician, which can be conveyed with him having already sold over 30 million albums and winning myriads of awards.