Rapper 50 Cent has learned that filing for bankruptcy protection can lead to jokes aplenty. The rapper, also known as Curtis Jackson, shot to fame with the hit track “In Da Club” and appeared in the semi-autobiographical flick, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. While his popularity as a rapper has since faded, he has been working on building an acting resume, including an appearance in the upcoming Southpaw.
News of 50 Cent and his filing for bankruptcy protection came on the heels of a court decision in which the rapper will have to pay Lastonia Leviston, rapper Rick Ross’ ex-girlfriend, $5 million in punitive damages for posting a sex tape involving her online. The sex tape posting is reported to be part of a “rap war” that 50 Cent is having with Ross, who fathered a child with Leviston. While he is by far not the only celebrity to ever file for bankruptcy protection, 50 Cent is in the unique position of having many jokes posted regarding his situation.
The story of 50 cent is a cautionary tale. If you have to change the name your parents gave you, find something useful. Like Young Money.— Elnathan John (@elnathan) July 14, 2015
Since 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy does that mean creditors can collect 10 cents on the half dollar?— Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) July 13, 2015
Sad, but maybe the name #50Cent was a self fulfilling prophecy? As of today I'm changing my name to $17,632,945. We'll see how it works out.— Eric Lange (@MrEricLange) July 14, 2015
In reality, the filing has created a lot of buzz for 50 Cent, who has not posted the numbers he used to at the height of his fame as a rap superstar. 50 Cent has been praised by some business mavens for his business instincts, and there are those who believe his Chapter 11 filing has more to do with protecting his assets than it does an actual lack of cash. 50 Cent himself has said that the filing was a matter of reorganizing his financial matters. 50 Cent has been known for his tough life story, wherein he was once an admitted crack dealer and was shot nine times. But now, the rapper has built an empire of sorts which has grown to include boxing promotion, clothing, and audio equipment lines.
He was an early investor in Vitamin Water and, according to The Wall Street Journal, he may have made anywhere from $40 million to $100 million when the company was sold to Coca Cola for $4.1 billion in 2007. His assets and debts are estimated to be between $10 million and $50 million. Forbes named 50 Cent as one of hip hop‘s five wealthiest artists for 2015. His last album was 2014’s Animal Ambition, but that album only sold one-third of the first week sales that his previous effort, Before I Self-Destruct, did. According to the RIAA Gold and Platinum program, Animal Ambition has yet to hit Gold status, let alone Platinum. That said, Animal Ambition is also the rapper’s first effort off G-Unit Records, the label started by 50 Cent, so some believe that he may be making more money off fewer sales.
It appears, though, that 50 Cent is still able to joke about his financial issues. On Instagram, the rapper posted a picture captioned “Times are hard out here LMAO” while he stood in front of a Smart car. The picture has since been retweeted multiple times.
50 Cent's response to declaring bankruptcy... pic.twitter.com/D1VnIOjdak— TheLADbible (@TheLadBible) July 14, 2015
With E! News, though, 50 Cent was a little more serious, noting that Walt Disney and Donald Trump, among others, had also filed for bankruptcy protection.
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)