Welcome to the first episode of “Wolves of Business” show brought to you by Business News Today. In this show, we will talk about the most influencial hustlers, businessmen and entrepreneurs the business industry has to offer and analyze the main character traits that make them so successful.
In this episode we will be talking about Curtis James Jackson, today known to the world as 50 cent. He is a very successful entrepreneur, businessman and a rapper. He was born on July 6th 1975 in New York Queens. His mother had him as a teenager while living a very dangerous lifestyle of a full time drug dealer.
Curtis would often stay with his grandparents while his mom was out hustling, however she would always shower him with gifts every time she saw him and so he would associate all positive feelings to seeing her and would feel like what he describes as “christmas every time he saw her”. However, in 1983 due to her risky lifestyle when Curtis was just 8 she was poisoned and died and left Curtis to live with his grandparents along with his cousins. He would soon take up boxing at the age of 11 in order to protect himself on the streets and by the age of 12 he was selling crack. Usually not just anyone would be able to go out and sell drugs but he was known as “Sabrina’s boy” and so the older dealers allowed him to continue selling in their neighborhood.
Throughout his upbringing he would run into stereotypical issues surrounding environments like the one Curtis grew up in. At the age of 14 in grade 10 while attending Jackson Andrew High School he ran into his first major problem with the law. He was caught by the metal detector and cops ended up finding a weapon and drugs on him and in result he had to go to rehab. Three years later at the age of 17, three weeks after selling heroin to an undercover cop his home was raided and cops found cocaine and heroin and he was facing 3 to 9 years in jail but it being his first felony he was given the opportunity to join a 6 month military boot camp instead.
After coming out he decided to start writing music and focus on building a career out of it. In 1996 he saw Jam Master Jay at a nightclub where his fearless and confident approach fascinated Jam Master Jay who due to that decided to invite 50 for a studio session and eventually signed 50 to his record label.
Due to the fact 50 cent had a baby on the way, he started working harder than anyone around him. He was soaking up knowledge and skill and would stay in the studio night and day writing songs and recording.
One day he ran into Cory Rooney who was the VP of Sony Music at the time. Curtis did not want to waste a good opportunity and so he pulled out his mixtape and made Cory listen to it on the spot. Cory loved it and thought 50 would be the next Jayz. He signed 50 cent to Columbia Records, however most of the advance money went to pay out Jam Master Jay’s contract with 50 cent and so he went back to hustling on the side.
In his frustration for the music industry and the fact his label was not releasing his album for too long he made a record called “How to rob” firing shots at many industry rappers and getting a lot of attention and responses, he even had Jayz respond to it. He was now recognized industry wide. After getting shot 9 times on May 24th of 2000 he retrieved to Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania in order to recover. Due to the early loss of his mother he stayed strong throughout his recovery and came back stronger than before believing that there is nothing he cant face at this point or scare him. He was ready to conquer again. However due to the fact his label was scared to continue working with him, he got dropped and was back to where he started. He decided to start releasing independent mixtapes since no label wanted to work with him and build his own buzz. He started touring and generating a big buzz when his “Guess Who’s Back” mixtape got in the hands of Eminem who was amazed and immediately had Dr. Dre listen to it and they ended up signing 50 cent to their label. In February of 2003 he released his debut album “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” and ended up selling over 13 million copies that year. Throughout the years he won 83 awards from 135 nominations. His music career isn’t the only thing that brought him his wealth. Using traits like discipline, fearlessness and staying consistent he made numerous smart business moves. In 2007 his endorsement deal with Vitamin Water brought him 100 million dollars after Coca Cola bought Energy Brands. He had numerous clothing deals with different big brands and he even released his own personal philosophy book in partnership with a best selling author Robert Greene. He also owns a film production company and countless other ventures as he continues to expand his empire consistently.
The reason I chose 50 cent for our first episode is simple. The odds were against him his whole life but he kept his entrepreneurial spirit up and continued to strive for success through the toughest times of his life like a true wolf of the industry.