Ask your grandmother what she knows about 50 Cent, and she'll sing you the lyrics to "I Whip Ya Head Boy" tell you he got shot nine times. Ask your mother about him, and she'll tell you that he was a drug dealer. Ask your older brother, and he'll wax poetic about how 50 has less compassion than a puppy euthanizer, and he'll go on and on about how 50 destroyed Ja Rule's career, made a gazillion dollars off of Vitamin water...and then bring up the fact he got shot nine times.
Few rappers have done a better job selling—and let's be honest, mythologizing—their life story than Curtis Jackson. That narrative certainly helped make his classic debut, Get Rich Or Die Tryin', the commercial smash it was when it topped the charts 10 years ago, today. The G-Unit general is one of the grittiest pop stars ever. One full decade later, a sizable portion of his life story has become hip-hop folklore—something even casual rap fans are well aware of. But there's a lot about 50 people overlook and flat-out don't know.
Without further ado, here are 50 Things You Didn't Know About 50 Cent:
-Shady Records A&R Riggs Morales got Eminem into 50 Cent's music by getting his driver/security guard to play 50 Cent Is The Future in the car while Em was doing press for The Eminem Show.
-According to Tony Yayo, Kanye West was in the studio when 50 recorded "Heat" and "P.I.M.P."
-50 shot someone with a .380 six-shot pistol when he was in junior high school after a group of kids attempted to rob him.
-According to 50, Reebok opted to do a 50 Cent and Jay-Z shoe line after they lost the bid for LeBron James to Nike.
-He used to play a clip of Jay-Z's infamous "I'm about a dollar what the !! is 50 Cent?" line when opening his shows.
-Despite his numerous drug and alcohol references, he doesn't drink or smoke.
-His beef with Ja Rule stems from an Onyx video shoot where Ja Rule's chain was robbed.
-His mother was murked in 1983 after someone drugged her drink, closed the windows, and turned on the gas.
-After he recorded his verse for his first Eminem collaboration, "Love Me," 50 declared, "That white boy just saved my life."
-Fredro Starr admits 50 punched him in the face at the 2003 VIBE Awards.
-During the Roc The Mic tour, 50 and Jay were friendly; 50 would kick it with Jay in his dressing room.
-Eminem once gave him an original drawing of the Get Rich or Die Tryin' cover for his birthday.