An anti-50 Cent billboard in Tribeca, New York.
Before signing with Interscope, 50 Cent engaged in a well-publicized dispute with rapper Ja Rule and his label Murder Inc. Records. The rappers engaged in mixtape "disses". 50 Cent claimed the feud began in 1999 after Ja Rule spotted him with a man who robbed him of his jewelry. However, Ja Rule claimed the conflict stemmed from a video shoot in Queens because 50 Cent did not like seeing him "getting so much love" from the neighborhood.
In March 2000, while at The Hit Factory studio in New York, 50 Cent had an altercation with associates of Murder Inc. Records. He was treated for three stitches after receiving a stab wound. Rapper Black Child claimed responsibility for the stabbing, saying he acted in self-defense because he thought someone was reaching for a gun.
An affidavit by an IRS agent suggested that the label had ties to Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, a New York drug lord who was suspected of being involved in the murder of Jam Master Jay and the shooting of 50 Cent.
An excerpt of the affidavit read:
The investigation has uncovered a conspiracy involving McGriff and others to murder a rap artist who has released songs containing lyrics regarding McGriff's criminal activities. The rap artist was shot in 2000, survived and thereafter refused to cooperate with law enforcement regarding the shooting. Messages transmitted over the Murder Inc. pager indicate that McGriff is involved in an ongoing plot to kill this rap artist, and that he communicates with Murder Inc. employees concerning the target.