When 50 Cent first started his rap career in 1996, he led a dangerous life. The lyrics he expressed in the music that followed his troubled childhood were raw and heavy, but truthful. In an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, the rap mogul shared his reflection on his early career. “The stuff that they see that I’ve learned, it kinda kept me out of trouble at points,” 50 told Melber. “The stuff I was saying in the music in the very beginning, I was crazy to tell you the truth, Ari. I was absolutely crazy at that point.”
One of 50’s most celebrated works from his early career was his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’. This best-selling rap album was charged with explicit lyrics and references to the rapper’s “crazy” beginnings. In “What Up Gangsta,” for example, 50 alludes to his gang relations. He describes, “nah, that’s a semi-auto and a vest on my chest, I try not to say nothin’ the DA might wanna play in court.” He continues these themes, rapping in “In da Hood,” “get robbed, get shot, shit is poppin’ in the hood.”
50 Explains His “Crazy” Youth
While “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” became instrumental to 50’s success, he notes how his fan base didn’t connect with him for the right reasons. He tells Melber, “Kids fell absolutely in love with me and they were in love with the wrong part of me. The part that won’t actually continue to be successful. The part that people won’t continue to be something that people celebrate.” Even today, 50 sees other hip-hop artists following in a similar suit. Specifically, he mentions rappers like 21 Savage, DaBaby, and Lil Durk. “They have to turn into something bigger and better as they go with the new information and new opportunities that come because they’re really street,” he says.
Nearly 25 years after the start of 50’s legacy, the rapper has fully changed his life around. The interview follows 50’s new development deal with Fox, which was also announced in his interview with Melber. With 24 shows across 10 different networks, this non-exclusive deal will open more doors for the 47-year-old to continue his work in television.