The rapper known as 50 Cent is living proof that hip-hop is as much a lifestyle as it is a type of music.
He was a star in the underground mix-tape circuit for several years, but the rest of the world did not hear about him until 2002, when his first single, “Wanksta,” appeared on the soundtrack of the film 8 Mile.
In 2003, 50 Cent’s debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’, topped the charts and broke sales records. As a result, the young rapper was constantly in the press, and his life became an open book.
This was not a “studio gangsta,” meaning a musician who makes up stories about drugs, violence, and murder in order to sell records; 50 Cent was the real deal.