Real Name: Curtis Jackson
Children: Marquise (c. 1997)
Fact: A former drug dealer from Queens, he has been shot 9 times. His signature item of clothing is a bulletproof vest.
Musical Styles: Gangsta Rap, Hardcore Rap, East Coast Rap
Unfortunately, 50 Cent's mom, Sabrina, was murdered when he was eight years old. She was a drug dealer.
50 Cent was raised in Queens by his grandparents.
He entered the "family business" and began selling crack cocaine when he was just twelve.
50 Cent's first arrest happened at his high school when he was busted in gym class for the hidden crack vials in his sneakers.
His crack operation grew to gross over $5,000 a day, but he saw rap as a way to get out of the game and performed rhymes at parties.
His big opportunity came in the form of the late Jam Master Jay, who signed 50 Cent to his JMJ label in 1996.
Of the late Jam Master Jay, 50 Cent says, "Jay taught me about bars, Jay taught me how to write hooks and what was the purpose. And Jay taught me how to write and make rap records. He made me want to really rap and do this."
After catching the attention of the Trackmasters, in 1999 50 Cent signed a deal with Columbia Records for $250,000.
In just over two weeks, he recorded thirty-six songs, some of which ended up on his Columbia debut LP Power of a Dollar, deemed by Blaze Magazine as a classic.
With the Columbia deal, he received a $65,000 advance. $50,000 went to Jam Master Jay and $10,000 went to an attorney.
This is what 50 Cent says he did with the remaining $5,000: "I bought crack cocaine with it. How else you gonna provide for yourself? I did thirty-six songs in eighteen days for Columbia. Then I had eight months go by with no work going on."
In the summer of 1999, his first single was released. It was the comedic, and now classic, single "How To Rob," which jokes about jacking the hottest music celebrities of that time, including Mariah Carey, Master P, Timbaland and Jay-Z.
Not everyone thought it was funny, though. Jay-Z, the late Big Pun, Sticky Fingaz and Ghostface Killah all replied to the song.
In defense of "How To Rob," 50 Cent says, "When robbery's not out of the question, it's kinda easy for a song like that to fall into your thought pattern. Bigger artists have bigger diamonds. Kids in the hood is looking at the TV, going, 'Damn it, look at that shit he got on!' Rappers have egos, so I was anticipating them being upset. But I didn't care, 'cause it had been a year since the deal with Columbia, and I'm still selling crack."
After a few of the lampooned celebrities complained, Columbia shelved the album.
In the spring of 2000, 50 Cent was shot in the face, hand and legs by a man with a nine millimeter at close range. He survived a total of nine bullets.
One of the bullets lodged in his lower gum. There's still a gaping wound where several of his rear teeth used to be.
The shooter has since moved on to the next life, but we're not sure why or how.
After the shooting Columbia got really nervous and dropped 50 Cent like a hot potato.
According to 50 Cent, beef started with Ja Rule and Murder Inc. when Ja Rule was robbed by a neighborhood acquaintance of 50 Cent's.
In response to this robbery 50 Cent had this to say: "Put it like this, if you grew up where I grew up, you gonna know people who rob people." When asked about the ongoing beef with Ja Rule, 50 Cent says, "He's pop. What makes him envy me is, I can sell records the way he would like to sell records. People don't wanna hear that story from him. He jumping around on TV too long in the rain with Mary J. Blige."
He was allegedly stabbed during a recording-studio scuffle with Ja Rule's posse.
That's not a dimple on 50 Cent's left cheek. It's a bullet wound.
After Columbia released him, 50 Cent started selling his music straight to bootleggers.
Many or the covers of his bootleg CDs feature 50 Cent brandishing some sort of firearm.
These bootlegs gained him many fans, including Eminem, who, on a Los Angeles radio show, declared 50 Cent his favorite rapper.
After a label bidding war, 50 Cent signed with Eminem's Shady/ Aftermath for a reported amount of $1 million.
His first single for Aftermath, "Wanksta," first appeared on the 8 Mile soundtrack.
50 Cent once said that Ja Rule was the inspiration for "Wanksta."
50 first received mainstream press in November 2002, when police questioned him in the days following the murder of Jam Master Jay.
A three man security detail isn't enough to protect 50 Cent. He wears a bullet-proof vest religiously, as does both members of his G-Unit crew.
50 Cent's SUV is also bulletproof... and bombproof.