When 50 Cent revisits his childhood, his fans follow suit.
The mark of a great artist is that he stays relevant and meaningful to his audience by changing and adapting with time. For 50 Cent, who grew up as Curtis Jackson, his consistent allure is two-fold.
First, he remains relevant to his audience by strategically repositioning himself to be accessible. Second, he creates content that moves a generation.
During a recent interview, Jay Shetty admitted that 50 Cent has been a constant in his own life. From the voice in his ear as he ran his paper route every day, to the posters that covered his walls and the calendar that helped his wife, Radhi, track the days, 50 Cent has had staying power in Shetty’s life.
From music, to television and film, 50 Cent has been able to meet people where they are and grow a faithful following that spans decades.
The Man Behind the Money
Curtis Jackson was born to a single teen mother in Queens, New York. He knows what it means to come from nothing and credits his mother and grandmother for helping him become the man he is today.
When Jay Shetty asked him what they had given him that still lives on in him today, his quick answer was love.
“The biggest thing they offered me was love,” he said. “My grandma was the love of my life, without any question. She was the person who was very consistent.”
After his mother died when he was eight, 50 Cent lived with his grandmother. He still feels the pain of what his mother must have been through as a young teen mother. With child support not an option, his mother chose to hustle the streets to survive.
“I kind of caused her decisions because she started hustling when I came,” he told Jay Shetty. “At that point, teenage pregnancy wasn’t as common as it is now. There were no programs for young moms.”
Living with his grandparents gave him a sense of stability and safety 50 Cent had never known. His grandmother’s house was a place of community with many generations under one roof. While his grandfather worked and supported the family financially, his grandmother held it all together. Having the love of his grandmother after he lost his mother saved him.
Potential is Found in Pain
“When you talk about visiting your old neighborhood, you say something pretty interesting,” Jay Shetty said. “You say, ‘I look at them like they are a version of me that hasn’t actually blossomed yet’. When I hear that, it’s quite an inspirational thing. What are you seeing when you view your neighborhood that way?”
“Some people, you know, they’re born with a silver spoon, and everything’s already there for them,” 50 Cent told Jay Shetty. He believes those people have a hard time building resilience that will help them bounce back when they are knocked down by hardship and adversity.