Curtis Jackson III, known to most as 50 Cent, grew up in Queens, N.Y., and became a millionaire rapper, author, entrepreneur and philanthropist. A drug dealer whose mother was murdered when he was 8, he got out when he was discovered by Jam Master Jay. He says he does not use drugs or drink alcohol. The 39-year-old is the father of two sons. He is executive producer of the Starz series “Power,” which airs Saturdays at 9 p.m.
You have said that not being in control of your destiny made you uncomfortable even as a child.
People say I’m impulsive on some levels. The majority of the projects I’m involved in, if I could start the development right as I have the idea, it completely makes me happy. It serves a gratification I can’t even describe. The whole concept of film and television is hurry up and wait — hurry up to become good enough, and then sit there and wait until someone believes in your idea enough for it to actually happen.
It seems like you have always been like that, even as a kid. So you have never really had to work for someone else for any length of time.
Right and just to not have to wait on people, that is the biggest part of it. From an artist’s perspective, being able to be creative and support your idea or even in business to be able to commit to a project you know the audience will relate to is the part that I get off on.
In your book “From Pieces to Weight,” you said that boxing taught you to control your emotions. Did that help you as an actor having that control?
When I was actually participating, they would group us by weight not by age, so I would be in sparring with someone who felt like they should beat me because I was 12. Following the instructions of the coach and doing what I was taught to do had a lot of them leaving with their ego bruised more than their actual body was. It is just the concept of the training and the discipline connected to it. It stopped me from feeling that it mattered that someone was older or bigger than you.
Making money to get things has been a big part of your motivation since you were young. Have you found the effort to get the things made you happier than what you could buy?
The process is what you fall in love with. A person who is ambitious, if they pay enough attention to themselves, they realize they are running into an endless tunnel. I don’t need a break. I exercise the whistle-while-you-work concept because I’m doing what I love. I need to stay active and stay involved. When I go on vacation, it’s just for a few days. It can’t be a long vacation because I’m missing something.
Do you think making a certain amount of money makes you mainstream?
A pop artist is someone who is popular. Finances would be in connection to that, right? My first album was the largest debuting hip-hop album. It sold 13 million copies, and 10 million copies sold on the following album. So pretty much there is nowhere I’ve traveled where people don’t know who 50 Cent is.
You can also give the full interview a read on Pittsburgh Post-Gazette!!!