Curtis Jackson A.K.A. 50-Cent
Born in 1975, in Queens, New York, Curtis Jackson, professionally known as 50-Cent, had a tumultuous past and a precarious upbringing. Growing up in poverty isn’t easy on anyone, especially in the Projects in New York’s roughest neighborhoods. Not only were drugs and crime all around him, but his own birth mother, Sabrina, was a drug dealer.
At the ripe young age of just 8-years old, his mother, however, died in what’s been coined a “mysterious” fire. His father left, leaving only his grandmother to help raise young Jackson, who started dealing drugs at the age of 12-years old during what’s been labeled the “crack epidemic,” in the 1980’s.
In 1994, at the age of 19-years old, after a string of run-ins with the cops and a subsequent arrest for possession of drugs and a firearm, he was sentenced to serve 3 to 9 years in prison, but was instead sent to a bootcamp where he spent just 6 months, earning his GED in the meantime.
It was after his release that he adopted the name 50-Cent as a moniker for change, naming himself after a local bank robber by the same name. He states that he chose that name “because it says everything I want it to say. I’m the same kind of person 50-Cent was. I provide for myself by any means.” In 2000, he was infamously shot 9 times at close range by an assailant outside his grandmother’s home and left for dead. While in the hospital, he signed a deal with Columbia records, but was subsequently dropped from that label and even blacklisted within the recording industry due to a song entitled, “Ghetto Qu’ran,” forcing him to go to Canada to record over 30 songs and release a mixtape.
In 2002, Eminem heard his song, “Guess Who’s Back?” and ultimately signed him to his label, Shady Records. He was coached by both Eminem and Dr. Dre, and released his first studio album, Get