Curtis James Jackson III, or "50 Cent", is an internationally well known rapper/hip-hop artist from South Jamaica, Queens, New York. As most rap enthusiasts will know, the is a civil divide between the West (mostly composed of rappers originating from California) and East Coasts (mostly composed of rappers originating from the state of New York). Being from New York, most would expect 50 Cent to support the side of the East Coast but it has been well documented that he associates mostly, with the exception of Mobb Deep and G-Unit (Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo), that he associates pro-dominantly with the West Coast, becoming good friends with artists such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and formerly, The Game.
Jackson's mother, Sabrina, was a cocaine dealer that was murdered when 50 Cent was only 8 years old after her drink was spiked, and she was left in her apartment with the gas turned on and the windows closed. After the death of his mother, 50 Cent moved in with his grandparents were he lived with eight aunts and uncles. 50 Cent's grandmother attempted to protect him from the truth of his mother's death but he soon realized what had actually happened and began to follow in her footsteps as a drug dealer on the streets of New York. He was first arrested when he was in high school, when drug money and a handgun were found in his bag. At this point he could no longer hide what we had been doing and admitted to his grandparents that he sells drugs, then moved out of their house, supposedly through shame and embarrassment. He was then arrested again when police found 10 ounces of cocaine and a gun in his apartment. He was sentenced to 3 to 9 years in prison but only severed 6 months of his sentence when he achieved a GED award at a boot camp. When he was released, he decided that it was time for change and that he was going to per sue his dream of becoming a rapper.
He soon signed a record deal with Jam Master Jay Records and made his first professional appearances with cameo roles in the songs of other Jam Master Jay artists. 50 Cent soon caught the attention of Columbia Records and ventured into negotiations with them concerning a record deal. After 50 Cent released his underground single, "How To Rob", rapper Nas, who was impressed by the single, invited him to travel with him on his latest tour but two days before their departure, 50 Cent was shot. He was hit nine times receiving shots to the right hand, both left and right legs, chest, hip, arm and left cheek. Three weeks after the hit on 50 Cent, the man believed to have done the shooting was shot and killed. 50 Cent stated during a guest appearance on the Tyra Banks Show, that the motivation behind the shooting was due to rival artists competing for the same record deals as himself, trying to eliminate the competition.
50 Cent finalized the the contract negotiations with Columbia Records whilst he was still in hospital receiving medical attention for his wounds, but once they learnt that he had been shot, they terminated his contract. It was at this point 50 Cent fell into difficulty as he struggled to find another record deal, but continued to make songs in the meantime and putting together mix-tapes. 50 Cent's lawyer sent one of these mix-tapes to the infamous rap legend, Eminem. Eminem was impressed by the tape and invited 50 Cent to fly to California with him where he signed a deal with Aftermath Entertainment, owned by Eminem's close friend, Dr. Dre. Since signing with Aftermath, 50 Cent has established his own record label and released three albums; Get Rich Or Die Tryin', which peaked at number one in 7 of the 19 countries it was released, The Massacre, which peaked at number one in 2 of the 3 countries it was released and Curtis, which peaked at number one in 5 of the 17 countries it was released. He has also dabbled in business ventures outside of music and has established himself as an actor and successful entrepreneur.
50 Cent has recently received criticism about some of his later singles and feuds he's become involved in, primarily between himself and both former G-Unit members, The Game and Young Buck. The people making these critical comments about 50 Cent have (I assume) never met him, so have no more knowledge on the situation that they are told by the media and actually have no place commenting on his affairs. He deserves a lot more respect than at present he is given, largely due to all of his accomplishments and pure ability with the mic.
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson - One of the most popular rappers of our generation.