50 Cent


Interviews


50 Cent

By Adam Bernard 13.12.2002

50 Cent knows all about drama. He's been shot, accused of murder, and his song "How To Rob" incited quite a few rappers back in the fall of 1999. A little over three years later, 50's back, and calling out all the fake gangsters on his new joint, "Wanksta." So how does one handle all of this drama? Well, according to the now 26 year old 50 Cent, "I'm special. Special people have a higher tolerance."

The biggest drama in 50 Cent's life right now is his war of words with Ja Rule. Ja has made statements that he could take out all of Aftermath, and comments like that just make 50 laugh. "I think he's a clown, all he's missin is a red nose, a wig, and the shoes." Ja Rule also claims that 50 Cent is scared of him due to an incident back in '99, an incident 50 describes as nothing more than a squabble that resulted in neither having to go to a hospital. 50 notes that most of what Ja Rule has been saying is simply another form of promotion. "Seven days before his album drops he goes to radio says I have an order of protection on him," 50 takes a second to laugh and continues, "c'mon, (Ja Rule) weighs 110 pounds wet, and with his pockets full of change."

One thing's for sure, 50 Cent, who's name is intentionally taken from the 50 Cent who was a gangster from the Fort Green Projects in Brooklyn, is biting his tongue for no man. His biggest problems with acts like Ja Rule is that he feels they're nothing but "studio gangsters." "There's a lot (of studio gangsters), I think that 90% of the population in hip-hop..... I don't believe them. Until I see them go through situations I ain't gonna believe it."

One situation that 50 went through recently was having his name thrown around in the Jam Master Jay murder investigation. "He got killed so close to where I grew up, and they don't have any answers and they say 'who's you're enemies, who's you're friends,' and cuz he was a good guy (and didn't have enemies) they have to say 'who's his friends?' They say 50 Cent, and then they say 'he's not an angel.'"

Friendship is almost an understatement for how 50 feels about Jam Master Jay. 50 explains, "Jam Master Jay is the first producer I ever recorded with, period. First record I ever record was with Jay in a studio in Rosedale. I didn't know how to count bars, write choruses, and I kinda learned that under him."

All that being said, 50 knew there were other reasons his name would come up in the murder investigation. "They (the police) think just because of prior situations, things before music, even things that didn't happen in the hood, they might call your name and it wasn't you. One time they were chasin me, (they) thought I killed two girls in Bricktown. I had the same motorcycle (as the suspect), and was accustomed to runnin from the cops. They thought I fit the description. The same detectives is in that unit. The same homicide detectives from the precinct Jay got hit at. They already had a perception of who I am."

A perception that wasn't aided by other events, such as 50 getting shot a few years back, just as he was signing his first publishing deal. "I actually got shot and signed the deal in the hospital. I received the first half of the deal, the other half I was supposed to get when the album was released, but right after I got it they found I got shot they dropped the deal, said I wouldn't be able to perform, and used it as a tax write-off." The money he received upfront, however, was enough to keep 50 happy for quite a while, hence the long layoff between hits. "I knew I was gonna be alright, and I never needed for anything during that time period from the finances."

Events such as shootings, and accusations of murder, have turned 50's life around. "Like everyone else, you have a past, a history, and people. They say in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) to kick your habits you gotta change your people, places and things. I'm learnin, I'm growin, I mean everybody as a person should be."

A result of this growth was his linking up with Eminem. Paul Rosenberg was given a copy of 50's CD by 50's attorney, and Rosenberg, in turn, passed it on to Em. As soon as Em finished up "The Eminem Show" the conversations between him and 50 began, and it wouldn't be long before 50 became a member of the Shady Records roster.

Despite being on a label, 50 knows about pushing his product himself. If you can't find a 50 cent mixtape, you're probably not looking very hard; they're everywhere. "I look at it like the mixtape is entry level Hip-Hop," explains 50, who continued "I think people purchase that to hear what's hot and what's new, and I was able to market myself the way I wanted to market myself. If I wanted to put a gun on a CD it's OK. People haven't seen a gun on a CD since 'Criminal Minded.'"

Business minded would be a better description of 50 Cent, as he's already set to drop "In The Club," the first single off of his upcoming album, and "Wanksta" is still blazing up the charts. It seems Ja Rule won't be very happy, as, barring any more drama, we're going to be hearing a lot from 50 Cent in the near future.

 

50 Cent Interview On Howard Stern Show

Rapper 50 Cent came in to promote his album ''Get Rich Or Die Tryin'' today. Howard played his hit song ''In Da Club'' as he came in. Howard said that 50 Cent is on Eminem's record label. 50 Cent told Howard that someone sent a demo tape to Eminem and got signed to a deal.

50 Cent was shot 9 times so Howard spent some time talking to him about that. He said it happened one time but it was 9 shots. He showed Howard the scar on his face. The guy who shot him was out to kill him but just didn't finish the job. Robin asked him what happened and how he missed. He said a guy ran up to his car from another car and shot it. 50 Cent said that the guy who shot him died when someone did the same thing to him. When Howard asked him if he shot the guy, 50 Cent just laughed and said he's a rap star, he wouldn't do that.

Robin said she was walking down the hall earlier and 50 Cent's bodyguards were glaring at her out in the hall. She said hello to them but they didn't say a word. 50 Cent said they don't pay attention to who's who. Stuttering John said the same thing happened to him. He said hello to them also and they just stared at him. Howard asked 50 Cent if that's the image he has to have being a rap star. 50 Cent said he'd have the guys move if Robin is afraid to walk past them. Robin said she just doesn't want the guys staring at her like that.

Howard and 50 Cent spent a little while talking about his love life and how great his career is going right now. He said he got a chick recently that looked like Apalonia. He said he's getting treated really well by hot women since he's so hot right now. Howard said some of his interns are really excited about him being there. One of the interns came in and said she was a fan of his. Howard asked her if she'd want to sleep with him. She said she didn't know about that but she might want to go to lunch with him or something. Howard got back to the story he was telling about the Apalonia looking chick. 50 Cent said that he doesn't even remember her name and he only banged her once.

Gary came in and asked him about a $65,000 signing bonus he got when he signed with Columbia. He had to give $60,000 of it to other people and he said he used the other $5000 to buy crack.

Howard played tape of an interview he did with Ja Rule. There were some things written about 50 Cent and a friend of his who robbed Ja Rule that Howard talked to him about. 50 Cent told Howard he didn't have anything to do with that and explained what happened. 50 Cent explained to Howard what happened there and how he was chased with a miniature baseball bat. He's been stabbed a couple of times too so Howard and Robin talked to him about that. 50 Cent told Howard that trouble finds him and follows him around.

Howard took some phone calls for 50 Cent and let some people talk to him. After that Howard plugged his album and played a little more of his song ''In Da Club.'' Howard said 50 Cent is now out on tour so they talked about that for a minute. Howard took a call from a woman who wondered what level of education this guy had. He said he got his GED while he was in jail. She said that they didn't teach him the difference between singular and plural. He told her to just get off the phone. Howard spent a couple more minutes talking to him about what life was like in prison. They also talked about his family and how he was raised by his grand parents. He said his mother was killed when he was 8 years old and he never knew his father. Howard asked 50 Cent what crack is like but 50 Cent said that he didn't do it, he just sold it. Howard ended the interview a couple minutes later.

 

RealDetroit 50 Cent Interview

Curtis Jackson (aka 50 Cent) plans to Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (the title of his new album). In other words, he wants to achieve the American Dream. Yet, America has likely never heard it put quite like he put it before. Then again, no one has ever heard a story like 50’s before. His mother, Sabrina, was a “hustler.” She was murdered before Curtis was 8. He never knew his father. He went to live with his grandparents and was selling drugs before his teen years. “I started hustling at 12, my mother hustled ahead of me. I was only allowed to because they knew me, ‘Oh, that’s Sabrina’s little boy. Let him do something.’ In that situation I felt like I had no option.” In 1994, he was convicted of possession of a controlled substance, and served three years. Curtis Jackson went in, 50 Cent came out. Read the conversation with the hottest name on the streets …

Real Detroit: The release date for Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is 2/11 [Editor’s note: The release date was actualy moved to February 6.], which is the numerical police code for robbery in progress. Take me back. Tell me about “How To Rob.”

50 Cent: When I made “How To Rob,” I was on a major label with Celine Dion, Mark Anthony, Mariah Carey, all of these big stars. I had to make a record that made people ask “Who is 50 Cent?”

RD: Which is exactly what happened. So what went down at Columbia (Records)?

50: Columbia didn’t understand 50 Cent; to them, people [like me] only get shot on TV. I was shot three days before I was supposed to shoot my first video (“Thug Love” with Destiny’s Child). They freaked out. Major labels would prefer to work with “studio gangstas,” it’s less of a risk.

RD: After you were dropped, you hit the mix-tape circuit. Where did that motivation come from?

50: When I was at Columbia, I would ask questions, find out what people’s jobs were. If you put me in a hands-on situation, I’m gonna learn real fast. They didn’t realize the importance of the black market and mix-tapes, so I used the connections I made, and did what they weren’t doing. And I had the worst deal, Ma, for like eight albums.

RD: [Laughs] I guess everything happens for a reason …

50: If I didn’t get shot, I wouldn’t have gotten dropped from Columbia…

RD: If you hadn’t been dropped from Columbia …

50: I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in now.

RD: So you’ve always had a huge street buzz, sometimes more from controversy than from your music. Do you think that has changed now?

50: I’m glad that the music is doing so well, but there’s still controversy.

RD: What do you think is a common misconception about you?

50: People think I’m crazy. I’m not crazy.

RD: How do you feel about how you are portrayed in the media?

50: Two days ago, I was killed in LA. CNN reported that. What if my grandmother had seen that and had a heart attack? People talk about lyrical content. There is no media responsibility. Movies, the porn industry, it has to be across the board or it’s ineffective.

RD: What about the people who do say, or will say, that you glorify violence or drug sales because of your past?

50: People who glorify that lifestyle are total frauds. Y’ know? ‘Cuz the people who do it feel that they have no choice.

RD: If they could, they would do something better.

50: Right. “I’m a murderer. Where my murderers at?” [When artists say things like that, it’s] ‘cuz [they’re] frauds. I’ve been in situations where either it was me or somebody else, and I handled my business. But after that you go through a whole process. You stop thinking about the police finding out what you did. You start thinking about God knowing what just happened. I’ve been in situations that would have you running around with a Bible in your pocket. I just speak on my life.

RD: I feel that. Okay, it’s been said that you are the most anticipated artist since Biggie. Is that a lot of pressure?

50: No, not really. The anticipation comes from New York. They’ve been listening to me for two years now, and it’s been consistent, good performances. Now their imagination is saying, “I wonder what he’ll sound like with Dre and Eminem” being that they are the best producers and rappers in the game. Consistency is the key to all success. If I can consistently deliver a good performance, then they won’t have to wait until they see a bootlegger and buy it for $5, they’ll give up that $16.

RD: The marketing and promotions for the project is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Are you involved in those decisions?

50: Absolutely, everything you see on the streets. I feel like I’m a marketing person now.

RD: Let’s talk about the album, what was your creative control like?

50: I ain’t have no boundaries … almost. Em never says “Don’t say that” or “Can you change that?” If anything, they are always saying that to him. And Dre, he’s got to understand what I’m doing, he’s from NWA.

RD: There’s a lot of diverse production on the album. Dre has five tracks, Em only has two. Why was that important?

50: It was important because I had done so many records previously. I’ve been working on this album the whole time. I would make a mix-tape record, then make a real record. The ones that I felt were the best, I kept ‘em.

RD: What is it like working with Eminem?

50: I’m starting to figure it out. I think that what happened to Em happened so fast that he hasn’t even really realized how big he is. He’s still down-to-earth and humble, despite the fact that he can rap circles around the game. He’s so talented sometimes it can become annoying. Plus he can’t really toot his own horn, it makes people uneasy; but I can. The boy is No. 1. We’re alike in a lot of ways, he speaks a lot from his life experience, otherwise you wouldn’t know who Kim was. I do the same, it’s just a little more gunplay, more life-threatening situations.

RD: I know you always wear a bulletproof vest …

50: Yeah, I put it on right after my underwear.

RD: Are you afraid? Afraid to die young, like emcees before you?

50: I get asked that a lot. It seems for some reason that people think I’m gonna die and they’re gonna live, like forever. To them it’s more believable that I’ll die than them, then they get into a car and smash into something. Death is promised to all of us, Ma. Where did ‘Pac get killed? That passenger seat. Where did Biggie get killed? That passenger seat. Where did 50 Cent get shot? The backseat, but still in the car, shooters are comfortable shooting in vehicles so I’ve got a bulletproof vehicle. I’m a target, but I don’t dwell on it.

RD: How were you impacted by the death of Jam Master Jay?

50: Since I got shot, I don’t get worked up about things that are out of my control. I got shot blocks away from where Jay was killed. I get excited about things I can prevent ... [50 quotes “The Serenity Prayer”] I have to stay focused and keep working.

RD: You’ve survived 9 bullet wounds and were only in the hospital for 13 days, that’s basically a medical miracle. Do you feel like you have a destiny? Are you fulfilling it right now?

50: Yes. I think I’m supposed to do something positive … more positive. But anything that changes too fast is no good. The people that listen to me won’t listen if I bring forth too much of a positive message too soon. I mean, my situation, alone, is being a role model. I don’t have to say “Rap it up” every two seconds, or “Don’t do drugs” every two seconds. They know they’re not supposed to use drugs, and they know they’re supposed to put a condom on. The fact that I exist is saying there’s always a possibility. There’s always hope. | RDW

The Get Rich or Die Tryin’ Record Release Party is taking place on Sunday, February 9 at the State Theater, hosted by WJLB’s Bushman & DJ Green Lantern. Also performing are Web Entertainment artist King Gordy of The Fat Killahz, who appeared in 8 Mile as Big O, a local rap star making it big. Shady Records recording artists D12 and Obie Trice will also open the show. 50 confirmed “We’re going to drink Bacardi like it’s your birthday.”


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