By Joe Walker
The New Citizens Press
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is still alive in 2005, and his stock continues to rise.
The Brooklyn-born rapper, who was shot nine times and left for dead just five years ago, has gone from street hustler to superstar rapper to entertainer. His album “The Massacre” has sold more than 4 million copies to date, he signed three major acquisitions to his G-Unit Records label, and his new video game, “50 Cent: Bulletproof,” was released for the XBOX and Playstation 2 game consoles.
Now he stars in the semi-autobiographic movie “Get Rich or Die Tryin,” making his acting debut with critical acclaim. In the movie, 50 Cent bares all …
You appear so tough, yet you have a soft side and a huge female following. The female demographic is no doubt one of your keys to success. Why do you cater to women so much?
50 Cent - Women know what they want and they like what they like. That is why you really have to stay on top of your game when you appeal to a woman because if she likes what she sees as well as hears, she is going to go and get it.
So, is that why you keep yourself in shape?
50 Cent - I'm very health conscience. Naturally as a man I want to look good, but I also like to feel good.
You did really well with your singles “In Da Club” and “21 Questions,” but “Candy Shop” was a hit on a whole new level. What were you thinking when you made that song?
50 Cent - With Candy Shop, I wanted to make a song that was sexual without it being too obscene. I wanted you to understand where I was coming from without going too far. Candy Shop was a good way for me to not only continue to cater to the females, but to reintroduce Olivia. She is a tremendous talent, and that song made my fans her fans.
Picking up Olivia was a good move, but now you have Mase, M.O.P. and Mobb Deep. How are they going to factor into the platinum success of G-Unit? With [Lloyd] Banks, [Young] Buck and [Tony] Yayo, when will you have time for these new acts?
50 Cent - G-Unit has been able to become so successful because as an executive I never stop working. There is always something to do and something to do better. And my attitude and work ethic trickles down to everyone else. We never stop working, man. Buck and Banks both already have eighteen solid album-ready cuts done. That gives us more time to make more good songs. We have to stay ahead. I have to stay ahead.
Speaking of stay ahead, you took a lot of time to come back with your second album. After the G-Unit album, you were pretty quiet. Then, BOOM, you’re back with an album, a DVD, a video game, a movie, new shoes and lots of beef. Why so long and then so much?
50 Cent - The time away gave me time to really sit and evaluate how I wanted to come across. “Get Rich or Die Tryin” sold 11 million copies worldwide. That put an impression [of me] and a sound out there that a lot of people will remember and look to for comparison. I had to show that there is much more to 50 Cent, so I tried to go way off in another direction.
Your movie shows a side of you we don’t all get to see. And creatively on record, “Hustlers Ambition” and “A Baltimore Love Thing” from the soundtrack and “The Massacre,” respectively, seem like big stretches and even more detailed and personal. Is that what you were going for?
50 Cent - When you mature you look at situations differently, and I grew a lot in the two years since my first record. You hear so much talk about drugs on records. I wanted to show that other side. That side you don’t normally hear about. When I’m in the studio writing a song, everyone just let’s me do my thing. If Eminem and I are there together and we start to vibe off of a beat, he’ll leave when I start to write. He’ll give me my space. I may come across differently to people on TV, but I am a very private person. And those people who are around me all the time, and that know me, respect that.
How do your peers respect you? You’ve had a lot of enemies. Does that affect your life and how you travel?
50 Cent - Things are a lot better now, man. My travel has been cool. I don’t have any worries or nothing like that. I still ride in a bulletproof car. But that is nothing big. It is what it is. Biggie got killed in car; [Tupac] got killed in car. A lot of people get killed in cars. So why wouldn’t I want to feel safer when I’m in one?
What about your family? How has your life affected theirs, and yours?
50 Cent - I lost my mother when I was really young. My grandparents stepped in and became my parents. I love them to death, you know? I draw a lot of inspiration from them. I respect their strength and they taught me to respect strength. Once you’re in the public eye, man, there is no escape, really. Especially when people know you away from what you’re famous for. They have people asking them stuff about me and things like that. But nothing too crazy I guess. It’s been pretty normal - considering. I’m glad I was blessed to be able to provide a better life for them in general. Let them have a nice home and nice things. My grandparents gave me riches that have no price value. I’m more observant now. But at the same time I’m more observed … like by my family. Like my cousins and stuff … they don’t really talk to me like I’m family anymore. They even look at me differently. I’m just 50 Cent to them now. They ask me about all the rumors and who I got beef with. It’s never just them asking about me the person anymore.