50 Cent is a trailblazing success when it comes to rappers turned moguls. Few have done it at the level that he has. From platinum albums to successful clothing lines, liquor brands, and his own television universe. 50 Cent has a string of wins to his name, but at what cost? Let’s take a look at his career and how he feels that he’s paid a great price to achieve the level of success he has.
50 Cent Debut Album Dropped In 2003
2003 was a landmark year for 50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson. The Queens, NY native had been building his buzz for a few years before teaming up with Dr. Dre and Eminem to deliver his debut project, Get Rich or Die Tryin. At the time, the album was described as “probably the most hyped debut album by a rap artist in about a decade.” It would live up to the hype, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, selling over 872,000 copies in its first week. Singles “In Da Club,” “21 Questions,” and “P.I.M.P.” all topped the charts and helped the album become the #1 album of the year on the Billboard year-end chart. It is currently 9x platinum and ranked by several publications as one of the greatest albums of all time.
50 followed this up with a string of equally successful projects, including 2005’s The Massacre, which sold 1.15 million copies in its first four days.
In 2015 50 Cent Filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Within a decade, 50 Cent had become a full-fledged empire. He established his record label G-Unit Records and achieved success with his roster, which included Lloyd Banks, The Game, Rotimi and Mobb Deep. G-Unit was also the name of the clothing line 50 established with Marc Ecko in 2003. To date, it has generated $100 million in retail sales. G-Unit Books was established around this time as well. The company has helped issue a handful of different books, including a memoir, crime novels, and young adult fiction. His most popular book was The 50th Law, an urban take on The 48 Laws of Power.
In 2004 he stepped into the beverage game with a collaboration titled Formula 50 with Glacéau. The company, which owned Vitamin Water, eventually brought 50 on as a shareholder and spokesperson. He mentioned the drink in various songs and interviews and eventually pocketed millions when he helped sell it to Coca-Cola. Forbes reported his earnings to be around $100 million.
Unfortunately, by 2015 50 Cent was filing for bankruptcy. At the time, he reportedly had $36 million in debts and $20 million in assets. The case was filed following 50 losing a $7 million settlement the year prior stemming from a sex tape he leaked from a woman, as well as some failed business ventures.
In 2018 50 Cent Signed a $150 Million Production Deal With Starz
In 2018, the tide changed on 50’s financial situation after he signed a massive deal with Starz to produce his series Power. The show debuted in 2014 with 50 serving as a co-creator, executive producer, and co-star. It was so successful amongst its debut that it was renewed for a second season immediately after its debut episode. Power is now its own television universe, with four spin-offs. Earlier this year, 50 Cent shared via his Instagram that his programming is the highest-ranked television show amongst black households, with several power spin-offs and B.M.F. occupying the top slots of the list.
Despite Massive Success, 50 Cent Believes It Cost Him His First Son
With all his success, 50 Cent feels like it has cost him his relationship with his first son. Marquise Jackson is 50’s firstborn and was a fixture in his early videos and interviews. Marquise is the spitting image of his dad, and the two seemed to have a great relationship in the past.
Unfortunately, as time went on, rifts between 50 Cent and Marquise’s mother forced the young man to take sides. 50 Cent revealed in an interview that his eldest son sided with his mother’s view of him. Marquise’s mother clapped back on social media, saying, “You don’t have a relationship with my child because you choose not to, you want to bully him, threaten him, and talk about his mother in a disparaging manner.”
50 Cent admitted in an XXL interview with Van Lathan that he feels his success is responsible for the loss of his relationship with Marquise. “I didn’t think that success would cost me my firstborn, but it’s the situation it is. Like, my grandfather used to say, ‘If it rattles like a snake and slithers like a snake, is it a snake, or do you need to be bit?'”
50 says it comes with the turf and admits that success can bring out the worst in those around you. “It’s a sad situation. When you pray for success, you don’t necessarily pray for the things that come with it.