Born: 6 July 1975
Birthplace: Queens, New York
Best known as:
The rapper who made the hit album Get Rich or Die Tryin
Name at birth: Curtis Jackson
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's 2003 album Get Rich or Die Tryin was a top-seller, propelled by the hit song "In Da Club" and by support from hip-hop superstars Eminem and Dr. Dre. 50 Cent's troubled past was part of the package: he was raised by his grandparents after his drug-dealing mother died, and in 2000 he survived being shot 9 times. Before his mainstream breakthrough he was popular in clubs and on the streets, thanks to locally distributed tapes. Although it didn't get national airplay, his Power of a Dollar (1999) was an underground hit, as was his earlier single "Thug Love." His second album, 2005's The Massacre, was almost overshadowed by 50 Cent's public feud with fellow rapper and protegé, The Game. Between the gunfire, feuds and hit singles, Rolling Stone magazine was moved to call 50 Cent "in many ways the ideal East Coast hardcore rapper." His autobiography, From Pieces to Weight, was published in 2005.
50 Cent says in his autobiography that he borrowed his name from a local robber, a "stickup kid from Brooklyn"... The rapper announced in March of 2003 that he'd had a special bullet-proof jacket made for his six-year-old son... 50 Cent swapped insults with rapper Ja Rule in an ongoing public feud throughout the early 2000s.
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