Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975 in South Jamaica, Queens, New York), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is a Grammy award nominated rapper, actor, singer, entrepreneur, author and founder of the hip hop group and label G-Unit. After leaving drug dealing to pursue a rap career, he released his debut album Guess Who’s Back? in 2002. He was discovered by Eminem and Dr. Dre and then signed to Interscope Records. He has since released 2003’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 2005’s The Massacre, 2007’s Curtis and 2009’s Before I Self Destruct.
50 Cent has engaged in feuds with other rappers including Jay-Z, Ja Rule, The Game, Cam’Ron, Fat Joe, and Rick Ross. He has also pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in 2005, the Iraq War film Home of the Brave in 2006, and Righteous Kill in 2008. 50 Cent is one of the richest hip-hop performers, having a net worth estimated at US $440 million in 2008.
Before 50 Cent ever inked a major deal, he built up a substantial fan base in New York through underground mixtapes. 50 Cent met up with Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC and was signed to his label to write all of Jay’s music. After he’d left JMJ, he signed to Columbia Records in 1996. On this label, he released Power of the Dollar, and the singles How to Rob and Ghetto Qu’ran. Columbia Records released him from the label after being shot on May 24th, 2000.