Known for his streetwise and daring personality, 50 Cent has coupled his life experiences with a flair for catchy hooks, to become the best new artist in the hip-hop nation. 50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson in 1976, released his first album in 1999, Power of the Dollar, which blew through the roof with the hit 'How to Rob'. In 2001, 50 Cent received increased attention after his releases of back-to-back albums Guess Who's Back? (featuring his crew, G-unit) and 50 Cent Is the Future. The most anticipated album of 2002, Get Rich or Die Tryin', was 50 Cent's first record deal with Eminem's Shady Records, and Dr. Dre's Aftermath Records. In no time, No Mercy, No Fear was on the market with the major hit 'Wanksta', which became New York's most requested record within the first week of it's release.
In 2003, 50 Cent released a DVD, The New Breed, which is a documentary of his life, including all the trauma of a shooting in 2000 which nearly took his life, his foes and adversaries, and his signing to the Eminem and Dr.Dre Shady/Aftermath Records. Fans had to wait until 2005 for his next studio album, The Massacre, but it must have been worth it – the album went 5x platinum! Next came 2007’s Curtis, and now fans are eagerly awaiting his newest album, Before I Self Destruct, to be released at some point in 2008.
50 Cent began his rap/hip-hop career when he signed with JMJ, the label owned by Run DMC DJ, Jam Master Jay. Here he learned what he needed to know about the rap industry. 50 Cent then signed to Columbia Records in 1999 and began to write songs, with Power of the Dollar as the end result. In April of 2000, shortly after the release of his first record, 50 Cent was shot 9 times, in front of his Grandmother's house in Queens. He miraculously survived and spent the next few months in rehabilitation. Columbia then dropped him from the label, but that didn't weaken him--it only strengthened his faith in himself.
50 Cent and his new business partner and friend, Sha Money XL, recorded over 30 songs, for the sole purpose of creating a buzz. At the end of spring 2001, he independently released Guess Who's Back?, which featured artists G-Unit, Nas, Nature, Bravehearts, and U.G.K. Shortly after, he released 50 Cent Is the Future, but instead of writing new songs, he retouched classic beats that had already been used, such as material from Jay-Z and Raphael Saadiq.
Eminem and Dr. Dre began to take notice of 50 Cent's notable talent and enthusiastically signed him to their record labels. 50 Cent didn't intend to waste any time, so he quickly released No Mercy, No Fear. The hit 'Wanksta' found its place on the multi-platinum soundtrack to Eminem's movie, 8 mile. With the infamous rapper Eminem, hip-hop's most prominent producer Dr. Dre and the most anticipated album of the year, 50 Cent did Get Rich or Die Tryin'. It featured hits 'In Da Club', 'P.I.M.P.', and '21 Questions'. The album sold 900,000 copies in the first week and rounded up a countless number of awards for 50 Cent, including Artist of the Year, Top Male Artist, Top New Artist, Top Singles Artist, and Dopest Album. 50 Cent took home trophies from the World Music Awards, Billboard awards, B.E.T. Awards, The Source Awards, and the VIBE Awards. It also slammed him with the nationally famous Roc the Mic Tour with rappers Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg.
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