Today is rapper, entrepreneur, actor and producer Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson's 41st birthday.
The rapper shot to the forefront of hip hop music back in 2003 when In Da Club, the lead single off Get Rich or Die Tryin' album, dropped.
Under the wing of Eminem, Cent took the music scene by storm with songs like 21 Questions, P.I.M.P, If I Can't, Disco Inferno, Candy Shop and Just a 'Lil Bit, and even went on to star in the biographic film Get Rich or Die Tryin', and his own video game Bulletproof. Much was made of the rapper, but his life prior to his music career interested most.
Growing up in Queens, New York, he lived with his drug dealing mother, but spent a lot of time at his grandmother's. After his mother, Sabrina, died when he was eight-years-old, he moved in with his grandmother.
At the age of 12, Jackson decided to emulate his mother and began selling drugs himself. After getting arrested at high school for drug possession, he decided to be open with his grandparents, telling them he was a drug dealing gangster.
The story that is considered most interesting about the 41-year-old is when he was shot nine times outside his grandmother's home.
In 2000, sat in a friend's car, another car pulled up alongside Jackson, and alleged shooter Darryl 'Hommo' Baum let off nine shots from a 9mm handgun. 50 Cent was shot in the hand, arm, hip, both legs, chest and left cheek.
The shot through his cheek left him with a permanently swollen
tongue. It also left him with a slur in his voice, which creates 50 Cent's unique
rapping voice. This is actually caused by a fragment of a bullet that is lodged
to the inside of his mouth. His doctor decided to leave it there as it would
potentially do more damage than help.
It is alleged that 50 Cent's unreleased track,Ghetto Qu'ran, was the reason for his attempted murder.
The song, which leaked in early 2000, revolves around lyrics about drug dealers from the 1980s in his neighbourhood of South Jamaica, Queens - specifically Kenneth McGriff.
McGriff was a notorious drug trafficker, with his own crack distributing organisation. According toBillboard,federal investigators believed the kingpin felt that Cent's song revealed too much about him, and so he organised the shooting of the rapper.
The 41-year-old spent 13 days in hospital recovering after the shooting, eventually returning home to his girlfriend and son. He spent a long time using a walking frame, and doing home workouts to stay in shape.
The song caused a feud with other rappers, such as Ja Rule.
Happy birthday, Fiddy.
Words by Mark McGowan
Featured image credit: MTV Films