50 Cent, born Curtis James Jackson III on July 6, 1975, is one of hip hop’s most famous and iconic stars. Despite a difficult childhood and upbringing, he has risen above the odds to become a household name. 50 Cent found success as a mainstream rapper in the early 2000s, as well as a prolific businessman — he’s certainly a jack of all trades. The father of two successfully juggles his professional and personal life. Discover fascinating facts about the legendary artist and mogul, and join us in celebrating his birthday today.
Rapper and business mogul 50 Cent is a name everyone in the U.S. music industry knows. His fan base spans all ages, genders, and races. On July 6, 1975, 50 Cent was born as Curtis James Jackson III, making his zodiac sign Cancer. He was born in Queens, a borough in New York City, and spent his childhood in the borough’s South Jamaican neighborhood. His mother, Sabrina, was a drug dealer who died in a fire when Jackson was only eight years old. Jackson never met his father and after his mother died, he was raised by his grandmother. His childhood was challenging, and he took up boxing and drug dealing when he was still in primary school. Despite this, he successfully earned his GED, an alternative to a high school diploma. His name was inspired by 1980s Brooklyn robber, Kevin Martin, who was also known as 50 Cent. He said he chose the name because “it says everything I want it to say. I’m the same kind of person 50 Cent was. I provide for myself by any means.”
When 50 Cent was in his late teens, he began an amateur rap career. At the age of 21, he met D.J. Jam Master Jay of the hip-hop group Run-DMC. Jay taught him many important aspects of songwriting and music production, such as how to structure songs, write choruses, count bars and make records. In 2000, 50 Cent recorded his first album, “Power of the Dollar,” but it was never released. However, the lead single from the album, ‘How to Rob,’ was released commercially and found great success. Jackson’s official debut mixtape, “Guess Who’s Back?” was released in 2002, contributing to his rise to fame. Eminem, another rapper, heard the mixtape and was so impressed that he flew 50 Cent out to meet producer, Dr. Dre. In 2003, 50 Cent released his debut album titled “Get Rich Or Die Tryin,’” which became an instant commercial success. Two years later, he released “The Massacre,” his second commercially successful album. His 2007 album, “Curtis,” was the second best-selling album of the year, trailing only rapper Kanye West’s “Graduation.”
50 Cent has been involved in several business ventures. In 2003, he established his record label, G-Unit Records, named after the East Coast rap group of the same name, of which he was a key member. He also launched a clothing company based on the group and in 2003, he partnered with Reebok to release a line of G-Unit sneakers. Additionally, he has a publishing company called G-Unit books and a film production company called G-Unit Films, also both named after his rap group. He is an avid gym-goer and a health-conscious individual. In 2004, he partnered with the bottled water company Glaceau to release an enhanced water drink named Formula 50. He also serves as a spokesperson for another bottled water brand, Vitamin Water. He is also licensed to promote boxing in New York.
50 Cent records his first album, “Power of the Dollar,” although it is never formally released.
The mixtape titled “Guess Who’s Back?” finds commercial success.
His official debut album, “Get Rich Or Die Tryin’,” becomes an almost instant Billboard hit.
The rapper creates G-Unit Records, which is named after his rap group.
His popularity continues to grow with the release of “The Massacre.”
The rapper’s musical success reaches its zenith with his album “Curtis.”
Why We Love 50 Cent
He’s a survivor
50 Cent is a source of inspiration to many, having overcome his days as a gangster, a near-fatal shooting, and being orphaned. He is a true representation of how one’s life can significantly improve no matter the circumstances.
He’s a philanthropist
The rapper launched a charity called Street King which aims to provide daily meals for children in Africa who require food. We always love a man that gives back to society.
His music speaks to a lot of people
People of all ages, genders, and races resonate with his lyrics. Talk about universal influence!
5 Surprising Facts
He was shot nine times
The rapper was shot in a surprise attack, allegedly by Mike Tyson’s bodyguard.
“50 Cent” is a legal trademark
He successfully applied to have his name made a legal trademark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
He owns shares in a Dutch vodka
The rapper is a shareholder in a vodka brand from the Netherlands called Effen Vodka.
He’s a fashion designer
He is the chief designer of a line of underwear for the luxury brand, FRIGO Revolution Wear.
He’s politically active
He supported former President George W. Bush in his Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, thereafter supporting then-president Barack Obama.
50 Cent FAQs
Why did 50 Cent get shot?
It is unclear why the rapper was attacked.
Did Ja Rule stab 50 Cent?
No, but a representative from Ja Rule’s label, Murder Inc. Records attacked him and he needed three stitches.
Are Eminem and 50 Cent still friends?
Yes, the two rappers are still in close contact with each other.
50 Cent’s birthday dates