On this day, July 6, in hip-hop history…
1975: 50 Cent a.k.a. Curtis Jackson turns 38 today. Hailing from the projects in Queens, NY, the once troubled young man has now established himself as an entity in hip-hop that cannot be forsaken.
Entering a life of crime at the age of 11, it was presumed that Fifty was destined to endure a life of corruption. However, with will up against those ever present odds, 50 Cent remains one of the wealthiest rappers to date, consistently claiming the No. 5 spot on Forbes‘ annual hip-hop income list.
One of his many talents, Fifty’s big break came about through his expertise in igniting controversy. After an unsuccessful stint at Jay Master Jay’s record label, a young Fifty resumed his talents at Columbia Records where his underground single “How To Rob” caught the sights of many industry vets. Sparking responses from Jay-Z, DMX, Wyclef Jean, Wu-Tang Clan and Nas, who then extended an invitation for the fellow Queens native to join him on his 1999 Nastradamus tour.
Despite all the good fortune that was beginning to shift in Fifty’s direction, things took a turn for the worst when he was shot nine times, bed bound, and dropped from Columbia records all within the next year. It was not until he linked with Shady records in 2002 when things started to pick back up for the then blacklisted MC. Partnering with Eminem and Dr. Dre, the then 27-year-old first appeared on Eminem’s 8 Mile soundtrack and followed with the debut of his acclaimed album, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’.
50 remains an inspiration and strong influence in the hip-hop community, maintaining several successful business ventures and appearing in countless major motion pictures.—Miranda Johnson