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50 Cent: From the streets to the stage and the ring

Curtis Jackson, known as 50 Cent, was born in Queens, New York in 1975. His life story is almost as well known as his incredible achievements in the world of entertainment. Raised by his grandmother after his single mother, who was a drug dealer, passed away when he was just eight, Jackson’s early life was far from glamorous.

At the age of 12, he ventured into the world of drug dealing. By the time he was 19, he was in legal trouble, arrested for selling cocaine, and later for possessing crack and heroin. Instead of prison, he was sentenced to boot camp. During this period, he began to focus on music, a passion he pursued under the moniker “50 Cent,” a moniker he took from the 1980s Brooklyn criminal. His music career faced a major setback when he survived a near-fatal shooting, being shot nine times in 2000. However, in 2002, his mixtape caught the attention of Dr. Dre and Eminem, who signed him to their labels and produced his first album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin'”, which sold over 9 million copies. Since then, he has explored various aspects of the entertainment industry, including acting, producing, music videos, concerts and endorsement deals.

Amid all his success in the entertainment world, it might come as a surprise that 50 Cent’s initial dream wasn’t for the stage; it was about a boxing ring.

Boxing beginnings of 50 Cent

Around the same time 50 Cent was involved in drug dealing, he also spent time at a local boxing gym, according to a 2007 Blender article. He once mentioned, “When I wasn’t killing time at school, I was sparring in the gym or selling crack on the strip.” Sometimes his two pursuits overlapped, as he admitted, “At the slightest infraction, I punched someone in the face.”

Some sources, such as XXL, suggest that the young Jackson possessed the boxing skills necessary to compete in the Junior Olympics, although concrete evidence to support this claim is scarce. Still, it seems his boxing experience helped prepare him for the success he would later achieve. Capital Xtra quoted 50 Cent as saying, “I was competitive in the ring, and hip-hop is competitive too…I think rappers prepare like boxers, so everybody kind of feels like they’re the champion.”

Even today, 50 Cent occasionally shares videos of his boxing training on Instagram. In fact, he had plans to go into the boxing promotion business with Floyd Mayweather, but their relationship soured and resulted in a feud on social media.

A champion in many arenas

Whether it’s in the music industry, film or the boxing ring, 50 Cent has shown his ability to endure and overcome challenges. His close friend, Eminem, acknowledged his relentless spirit at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2020. Eminem said, “I’d say it’s a lot more fun to be his friend than to be his enemy because this guy is…relentless. And it won’t stop.” This unwavering determination is truly the mark of a champion.

Although 50 Cent led his life on the path of music and entertainment, his passion for boxing never truly left him. It serves as a reminder that in life, dreams sometimes take us on unexpected journeys, even when we are “on top”.

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