One of the most prominent and equally controversial rappers, 50 Cent, was born Curtis Jackson in the poor area of Queens. The surroundings of his childhood life would have a great impact on his future activity, and his music in particular. His mother was a drug dealer and got murdered when the boy was eight. His father denied him and left the son under the custody of his grandparents. Following the examples of his older mates, 50 Cent went into drug business when he was just twelve. The occupation seemed to suit him perfectly brining the young outlaw a considerable revenue until the law reached the illegal businessman. After the years of street skirmishes and imprisonments, the young man chose rap as a less dangerous, yet quite promising occupation. Besides, he already had a son and did want his child left without a father. In 1996, 50 Cent met Jam Master Jay of Run D.M.C. He impressed Jay with his rapping and signed his first contract. It was too early for rubbing hands gleefully as the cooperation turned out to bring no results. This did not let down 50 Cent as he drew the attention of the New York duet Trackmasters who helped him have an agreement with Columbia Records. While preparing the LP The Power of the Dollar, 50 Cent produced the scandalous single How to Rob. By this composition the audacious artist afforded himself to speculate on robbing celebrated rappers.
This outrageous act made 50 Cent not just a notable performer, but also a target to those who felt deeply hurt. He was first stabbed at the Hit Factory studio. Almost immediately after this accident, he got shot nine times when he was sitting in his car. The rapper was lucky and tough enough to pull through. However, the bosses of Columbia stepped back from the idea of cooperating with such a troublemaker. The Power of the Dollar was not released and the contract was annulled. The next move 50 Cent made was the formation of the G-Unit band to produce several mixes. The songs were dedicated to various issues, but 50 Cent stubbornly stuck to humiliation at celebrities. This activity made the rapper known in the New York hip-hop circles. However, it was Eminem who did make 50 Cent a desirable partner for sound recording companies. His praiseful words addressing 50 Cent ignited a bitter struggle among the labels offering to the promising performer fabulous contracts. In the end, 50 Cent went to LA to be introduced by Eminem to Dr. Dre and make a contract with him. Finally, the rapper was able to complete his first full format album. His composition Wanksta was featured on the soundtrack to 8 Mile and managed to climb the thirteenth position in Billboard. The album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003) was considered one of the most impressive debuts in the decade and instantly produced the charts-topper In Da Club.
Along with his rise to fame, 50 Cent again got himself into headlines, first as a potential participant of Jam Master Jay’s murder, and, then, after his arresting for illegal weapon possession. Get Rich or Die Trying appeared a commercial bomb with almost a million copies sold within five days after the official release. G-Unit also performed brilliantly with their 2003 release of Beg for Mercy, a platinum album, too. In 2004, G-Unit were joined by The Game. Together they released the hit single How We Do. However, soon, 50 Cent announced that The Game was no longer a member of the band and, following that, the performers had a gun fight with one man injured. This raised even more interest to 50 Cent’s subsequent solo album, The Massacre. The record was downloaded speedily via Internet which made the rapper release it earlier. The following album by 50 Cent, Curtis, again became a big commercial hit. The fourth album Before I Self Destruct was issued in 2009 and it hit number one on Billboard magazine Hip-hop album charts. The release of the new album titled Black Magic is scheduled for 2010, and as 50 Cent said, that record will surprise many fans.