As a rapper, actor and entrepreneur, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has mastered the art of monetizing his brand. Since his debut album, Get Rich Or Die Tryin, he made one thing clear: He didn’t just want a slice of the pie, he was after the lion’s share. While he may not be the radio mainstay he was in his younger years, Jackson has managed to make business moves – entertainment or otherwise – that have kept him in the public eye for the past two decades.
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Fif celebrates his 46th birthday today, and to highlight another candle on the cake, let’s look back at the financial ventures that helped make him one of the richest Hip-Hop personalities in the game.
1. A Shoe Deal With Reebok
Hip-Hop and fashion are like peas in a pod. So it made perfect sense that the rapper with an eye on building an empire would release his own shoe. The timing was perfect: He was red-hot on the music scene, his G-Unit crew was gaining momentum and Jay-Z was also working with Reebok for his own pair of kicks.
2. G-Unit ClothingSource:Getty
Say what you want, but there was a time where the kids loved those oversized t-shirts, jeans and thick tank tops. You can still find some G-Unit pieces if you search hard enough, but their run in the early 2000s netted Fif a pretty nice payday.
3. His 2005 Video Game: Bulletproof
His life story was told in song, on film… so why not in a video game? Okay, so maybe Bulletproof wasn’t exactly an autobiography, but it did feature the likeness of 50 and his crew.
4. A Wise Investment In VitaminwaterSource:Getty
The new wave is clean eating, plenty of water and an extra helping of self care. Fif, already a fitness nut himself, must have saw the trend coming a mile away. Before investing in Vitaminwater he was already using the product and his association with the brand only made its popularity skyrocket.
5. A Series Of Self-Help Books For The Streets
Technically, you don’t have to be from the streets to gain insight in business from 50’s books, but they are written conversation style and draw from many of his real life experiences to give readers that competitive edge.
6. Branson CognacSource:Getty
Just because 50 isn’t a drinker, doesn’t mean he won’t help you get your sip on. If you follow him on Instagram, you know he’s always promoting something. So if the name Branson Cognac rings a bell, yeah, his brand has been officially embedded into your subconscious.
7. Jumping On The Blogging Game Early
ThisIs50.com was created to keep fans of 50 and the G-Unit up to speed on their latest releases, tour dates and new merch. But as the popularity of blogs grew, Fif expanded the site to cover all things Hip-Hop – adding a team of writers, designers and a full production staff to make it a legit news platform.
8. A Small Screen Takeover
From Power and its many spinoffs, to For Life and an upcoming series about BMF, 50 is just as aggressive as an executive producer as he was on the mic. Many artists struggle to craft the second half of their story after album sales slow down, but Fif has found a nice (and profitable) lane to keep his creative juices flowing.