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Monday, May 12, 2008

2000–2001: Shooting

On May 24, 2000, 50 Cent was attacked by a gunman outside his grandmother's former home in South Jamaica, Queens. He went into a friend's car, but was asked to return to the house to get jewelry. His son was in the house while his grandmother was in the front yard.[5] On returning to the back seat of the car, another car pulled up nearby. An assailant then walked up to 50 Cent's left side with a 9mm handgun and fired nine shots at close range. He was shot nine times—in the hand (a round hit his right thumb and came out of his pinky, arm, hip, both legs, chest, and left cheek. The face wound resulted in a swollen tongue, the loss of a wisdom tooth, and a small slur in his voice.His friend also sustained a gunshot wound to the hand. They were driven to the hospital where 50 Cent spent thirteen days. The alleged shooter, Darryl "Hommo" Baum, was killed three weeks later.

50 Cent recalled the incident saying, "It happens so fast that you don't even get a chance to shoot back... I was scared the whole time... I was looking in the rear-view mirror like, 'Oh shit, somebody shot me in the face! It burns, burns, burns.'" In his memoir, From Pieces to Weight: Once upon a Time in Southside Queens, he wrote, "After I got shot nine times at close range and didn't die, I started to think that I must have a purpose in life... How much more damage could that shell have done? Give me an inch in this direction or that one, and I'm gone. He used a walker for the first six weeks and fully recovered after five months. When he left the hospital, he stayed in the Poconos with his then-girlfriend and son. His physical workout regimen helped him attain his muscular physique.

While in the hospital, 50 Cent signed a publishing deal with Columbia Records. However, he was dropped from the label and "blacklisted" in the recording industry after it was discovered he was shot. Unable to find a studio to work with in the U.S, he traveled to Canada. Along with his business partner Sha Money XL, he recorded over thirty songs for mixtapes, with the purpose of building a reputation. 50 Cent's popularity rose and in early 2001, he released material independently on the mixtape, Guess Who's Back?. Beginning to attract interest, and now backed by G-Unit, 50 Cent continued to make songs. They released the mixtape, 50 Cent Is the Future, revisiting material by Jay-Z and Raphael Saadiq.

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