Jackson began rapping under the stage name 50 Cent, after the famous Brooklyn theif Kelvin "50 Cent" Martin. He signed with Colombia Records, and was set to release his debut CD Power of the Dollar, before being shot in 2000.
On May 24, 2000, 50 Cent was shot nine times, including once in his jaw, outside of his grandmother's home where he grew up. He was also shot in the hand, chest, and legs the shooter's 9mm handgun. The alleged shooter, Darryl "Hommo" Baum, was killed three weeks later. After the shooting 50 Cent was dropped from Colombia Records and Power of the Dollar was never released.
In 2002, Detroit-born rapper Eminem listened to 50 Cent's mixtape No Mercy, No Fear, and invited him to meet with rapper and producer Dr. Dre. He signed a 1 million dollar record deal and released his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin under Interscope Records.
Get Rich or Die Tryin debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 872,000 copies in the first four days. The lead single, In da Club broke a Billboard record as the most listened to song in radio history within a week.
50 Cent was granted his own record label in 2003, G-Unit Records. He signed fellow Queens rappers Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo to his G-Unit rap group. Tennessee rapper Young Buck was also a member of the group.
In 2005, 50 Cent released his second studio album, The Massacre. The Massacre also debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 1.14 million copies in the first four days. His third studio album Curtis came out in September, 2007. His fourth album Before I Self Destruct is set to release in 2009, along with his final album under Interscope, a greatest hits CD.
G-Unit has released two albums, Beg For Mercy in 2003, and T.O.S: Terminate On Sight in 2008.
50 Cent has been involved in many fueds with other rappers, including Ja Rule, former G-Unit member The Game, Fat Joe, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne.
50 Cent has a son, Marquise, with former girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins. He was number one on Forbes list of wealthiest rappers in 2008, making 150 million dollars between June 2007 and June 2008. He starred in his autobiographical movie Get Rich or Die Tryin, which came out in 2005. He also directed and stars in the movie Before I Self destruct, set to be released with the CD. He also has two videogames, 50 Cent: Bulletproof and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. He also has a clothing company, G-Unit Clothing Company, a flavor of Vitamin Water, Pure 50 RGX Body Spray by Right Guard, and a condom line. He has also started G-Unit Films and G-Unit Books. He also started in a reality show on MTV called 50 Cent: The Money and The Power.