Rapper 50 Cent was, at one time, arguably the best-selling hip hop artist in the world. And in a recent interview with Big Issue, 50 Cent spoke about what he would have changed in the early years to maintain the success, and highlighted the challenges he faced while growing up. Starting with his life on the streets, 50 Cent narrated how he began dealing drugs at just 12, while living with his grandmother who always worried about his safety and made a point of picking him up from school every day. Recalling the times, he revealed how he had to convince her that he was old enough to take care of himself, telling her, “Look, I’m bigger than you now.”
“The stuff that came out of my mouth when I was outside the house – wow, that kid was crazy. I was the youngest in the pack, everyone else was at least 16. People told my grandmother stuff I’d done and she’d say, nope, not my baby. We all wanted nice things, nice clothes, because we wanted to attract girls. So we had to hustle to afford them.”
This is according to Big Issue.
Fifty Cent also talked about the shooting incident that happened in 2000 that led him to getting shot nine times and how it changed his outlook in life. Apparently, it instilled fear in him as he became aware that anything could happen to him at any time.
“I got shot in the afternoon, broad daylight. So I got scared, and that made me harder than I was before. The only time I was comfortable was when I didn’t care. So I just said – f**k it. When you have the pistol and you’re looking for them, your attention is shifted. You’re not afraid anymore. You’re like, I hope that is them coming up the block now.”
He also described the time when he began writing lyrics in 1997, after meeting Jam Master Jay from Run DMC. Jay’s label specialized in taking in inexperienced rappers and developing their talent to a professional level. Fifty Cent credited Master Jay for having taught him how to count bars and when to start or stop in the chorus. The constant practice and writing all the time helped him grow his talent and got him noticed. He was soon signed to Shady Records in 2002.
However, 50 Cent attested that along the way, he made a few mistakes and one of them was adapting a dangerous lifestyle that led to a life of unnecessary suffering. Apparently, if he had to do it all over again, he would solely focus on his career. When it came to relationships, 50 Cent admitted that he made the mistake of not realizing how special the people around him were. Giving the example of Jay Z, he pointed out that he had successfully capitalized on people, which seems to insinuate that, he [Jay Z] had seen the potential in Beyonce as a wife and chosen a life with her based on that. This is according to Hollywood Life.
[Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald]