50 Cent (real name Curtis James Jackson III) is a highly successful rapper from Queens, NYC.
He has released three solo albums to date: Power of the Dollar (1999), Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003), The Massacre (2005). He was also featured on the soundtrack to the movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’, a story about his life in which he starred as himself, released in 2005.
Before 50 Cent ever inked a major deal, he built up a substantial fan base in New York through underground mixtapes. 50 Cent met up with Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C. and was signed to his label to write all of Jay’s music. After he’d left JMJ, he signed to Columbia Records in 1999. On this label, he released Power of the Dollar, and the singles How to Rob and Ghetto Qu’ran. Columbia Records released him from the label after being shot on May 24th, 2000.
Around this time, Eminem had heard one of 50 Cent’s demo tapes and expressed a huge interest in him on MTV, as did Dr. Dre. Shortly after this, 50 Cent officially signed to Interscope Records. He was the first rapper to sign to the joint label owned by Dr Dre and Eminem. The first song he released on this record was entitled Wanksta and was featured on the 8 Mile soundtrack.
In its first week of release, his debut "Get Rich Or Die Tryin’" sold 872,000 units - easily reaching Gold status. Within the second week it went Platinum (1 mil) and on April 12th, 2004 the RIAA certified it six times Platinum.
In 2005 he followed the success of his album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ with a new release - The Massacre (originally called St. Valentines Day Massacre until the release date was pushed back). The first single released off this, Disco Inferno, was a huge hit - he followed this hit up by the release of Candy Shop and then again with Just a Lil Bit.
In 2003 Interscope allowed 50 Cent to have his own label - G-Unit records. He first signed Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and Young Buck as the established members of G-Unit. In 2004, Dr. Dre and 50 Cent had signed The Game under a joint venture.
Before 50 Cent had even signed to Interscope Records he was involved with a dispute between rival rapper Ja Rule - the rappers recorded several mix-tapes ‘dissing’ each other. 50 Cent accused Ja Rule of singing rather than rapping.
50 Cent currently has an escalating feud with The Game. The Game, who had previously worked with G-Unit, left the group due to a growing number of personal disputes with 50 Cent. Recently, the feud has been unilateraly called off by The Game, but speculations have since arisen due to the presence of diss tracks on The Game’s LP, The Doctor’s Advocate.
50 Cent is currently working on his next album, titled Before I Self-Destruct which is due to be released early 2007.