50 Cent

50 Cent rose to prominence with his 2003 album Get Rich or Die Tryin’, becomming one of the world’s best selling rappers and receiving huge critical success as well. He is the de facto leader of the East Coast hip hop group G-Unit and the founder of G-Unit Records.

So far, 50 Cent has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and won several prestigious awards, including a Grammy Award and three American Music Awards. Billborad ranked him as the third-best rapper of the 00s, and the sixth-best overall artist of the same decade. His single In da Club was included at spot #13 on Rolling Stones magazine’s list of the 100 Best Songs of the 2000s.


Name: Curtis James Jackson III

Born: 6 July, 1975, in Queens, New York City, USA

Stage name:


Years active: 1995 – present


  • Jam Master Jay (1998–1999)
  • Columbia (1999–2000)
  • Shady (2002–2014)
  • Aftermath (2002–2014)
  • Interscope (2002–2014)
  • G-Unit (2003–present)
  • Caroline (2014–present)
  • Capitol (2014-present)

First single

50 Cent’s debut single “How to Rob” is the lead single from his album Power of the Dollar.

Released 10 August 1999 in New York City (unofficially)
Format 12″
Recorded 1999
Genre Gangsta rap
Length 4:25
Label Columbia
Songwriters Angelettie





Producer The Trackmasters

The lyrics consists of 50 Cent describing how he would rob various famous figures from the Hip Hop and R&B music industry. Even the producers of the single – the Tackmasters – get robbed, emphasizing the humorous nature of the song. 50 Cent wrote the lyrics for How to Rob during a 30 minute car ride to the studio.

Many of the people that are mentioned as robbery victims in the lyrics are people that 50 Cent had worked with in the past or would eventually end up working with in the future, such as Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kom, Jay-Z, Diddy, R, Kelly, Timbaland, Sticky Fingaz, Busta Rhymes, Mase, DMX, and DJ Clue.

Several rappers and acts responded to How to Rob, including Sticky Fingaz, Jay-Z, Wyclef Jean, Big Pun, Kurupt, and the Wu-Tang Clan. Nas was so impressed that he invited 50 Cent to join him on his Nastradamus tour.

First album

Power of the Dollar

Power of the Dollar is the unreleased debut studio album by 50 Cent. Columbia Records cancelled its release after 50 Cent was shot before the album’s planned release date. Subsequently, the album was heavily bootlegged.

Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Since Power of the Dollar was cancelled, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ became 50 Cent’s first released studio album. It was released in February 2003 by Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records, and Universal Music Group. The album was released a week earlier than planned, in order to combat bootlegging and internet leakage.

Get Rich or Die Tryin’ received mostly positive reviews and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 46th Grammy Awards. Today, it is widely regarded as 50 Cent’s best album. The Rolling Stones magazine has included it in their list over the best albums of the 00s.

Examples of well-known tracks from the album:

  • In da Club
  • P.I.M.P
  • 21 Questions

Examples of guest artists on the album:

  • Eminem
  • Nate Dogg
  • G-Unit
  • Young Buck
  • Tony Yayo
  • Lloyd Banks

Commercial success

Get Rich or Die Tryin’ debuted at #1 on theBillboard 200. The album sold over 872,000 copies during its first week of sales.

The album is a RIAA-certified 6x platinum. It has sold over 8 million copies in the United States and also enjoyed widespread success abroad.


Studio albums

  • Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003)
  • The Massacre (2005)
  • Curtis (2007)
  • Before I Self Destruct (2009)
  • Animal Ambition (2014)
  • Street King Immortal (TBA)

Initially, Street King Immortal was reported to be released during the summer or 2011, but that did not happen. Since then, the release date has been pushed numerous times. In July 2017, 50 Cent stated that the album would be released in the end of the year. As of July 2018, the album remains unreleased.

Collaborative albums

  • Beg for Mercy (with G-Unit) (2003)
  • T·O·S (Terminate on Sight) (with G-Unit) (2008)

Examples of awards and notable achievements


16 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards
13 Billboard Music Awards
11 ASCAP Awards
6 Vibe Awards
6 World Music Awards
3 BET Awards
3 MOBO Awards
3 American Music Awards
3 The Source Awards
2 MTV Video Music Awards
2 AVN Awards
1 Grammy Award
1 BET Hip Hop Award

At the time of writing, 50 Cent has received over 85 different awards. The album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ earned him a Billboard Music Award for Album of the Year and the ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award. His second album, the Massacre, gave him six Billboard Music Awards and another ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Award. After the release of his third album, Curtis, he was honored as the Best-Selling Hip-Hop Artist at the 2007 World Music Awards.