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Monday, May 12, 2008

2002–present: Rise to fame

In 2002, Eminem listened to a copy of 50 Cent's Guess Who's Back? CD. He received the CD through 50 Cent's attorney, who was working with Eminem's manager Paul Rosenberg.
Impressed with the album, Eminem invited 50 Cent to fly to Los Angeles, where he was introduced to Dr. Dre. After signing a one million U.S. dollar record deal,50 Cent released the mixtape, No Mercy, No Fear. It featured one new track, "Wanksta", which was put on Eminem's 8 Mile soundtrack. He was also signed to Chris Lighty's Violator Management and Sha Money XLs Money Management Group.
In Bangkok, Thailand, February 26, 2006


Interscope granted 50 Cent his own label, G-Unit Records in 2003.He signed Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and Young Buck as the established members of G-Unit. The Game was later signed under a joint venture with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment. In March 2005, 50 Cent's second commercial album, The Massacre sold 1.14 million copies in the first four days (the highest in an abbreviated sales cycle) and peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 for six weeks.He became the first solo artist to have three singles on the Billboard top five in the same week with "Candy Shop", "Disco Inferno", and "How We Do".Rolling Stone noted that "50's secret weapon is his singing voice - the deceptively amateur-sounding tenor croon that he deploys on almost every chorus".50 Cent expressed support for President George W. Bush in 2005 after rapper Kanye West criticized him for the slow response in assisting the victims of Hurricane Katrina. If his felony convictions did not prevent him from voting, he claimed that he would have voted for Bush.
He later stated that Bush "has less compassion than the average human. By all means, I don’t aspire to be like George Bush".
(from left to right) With Olivia, Lloyd Banks & Young Buck in Bangkok, Thailand, February 26, 2006
After The Game's departure, 50 Cent signed singer Olivia and rap veterans Mobb Deep to G-Unit Records. Spider Loc, M.O.P., and Young Hot Rod later joined the label.
50 Cent expressed interest in working with rappers outside of G-Unit, such as Lil' Scrappy of BME, LL Cool J from Def Jam, Mase from Bad Boy, and Freeway of Roc-A-Fella, some of whom he recorded with. In September 2007, he released his third album Curtis, which was inspired by his life before Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 behind Kanye West's album "Graduation"; selling 691,000 units in the first week when compared to Kanye West's 957,000.50 Cent later claimed that if Graduation were to sell more records than Curtis, he would stop releasing solo albums. However, 50 Cent would later dispel his comments. In 2007, 50 Cent was recognized for his wealth by Forbes, placing him second behind Jay-Z in the rap industry.He resides in Farmington, Connecticut, in the former mansion of ex-boxer Mike Tyson. He put the mansion for sale at US$18.5 million to move closer to his son who lives in Long Island with his ex-girlfriend.
On October 12, 2007, the Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut declared it "50 Cent Curtis Jackson Day". He was honored with a key to the city and an official proclamation.

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