50 Cent Recalls Going From Making $800 Per Month To Earning 8 Figures Within Weeks
This month marks 17 years since 50 Cent released his debut album, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’. The Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records LP has since been certified six-times platinum. The 2003 album remains a benchmark in the genre and touchstone of Rap.
50 Cent appeared on Cigar Talk with host Naji Chill. There, he was asked about the anniversary. The Queens, New York mogul shared some details about how the release that was executive produced by Eminem and Dr. Dre changed his life, and his bank accounts—and fast. At 21:00, he says, “When [Get Rich Or Die Tryin’] came out, I was on a bus in [Washington], D.C., ’cause of [NBA] all-star weekend.” He remembers, “We did the show at three different venues at all-star. I was everywhere at that point. Look at this: I didn’t f*ck with cars or nothin’ like that at that point, ’cause this was the first run—I didn’t have anything. I had $800 a month [coming in] for my responsibilities—the rent and stuff. I went on that tour following that. By the time I came back, there was $38 million there [waiting for me].”
As far as momentum, between winter and spring, 50 Cent and the rest of G-Unit did not back down. “[I had] no idea what the f*ck I was gonna do, before then and tax time. So we went to work. I was like, ‘What you goin’ back for? You goin’ home?’ We ain’t have sh*t at home! The f*ck you goin’ back there for? That was a threat [to G-Unit]. ‘Say it one more time [that] you goin’ home].'”
50 also recalls making his crew, which included Lloyd Banks, DJ Whoo Kid, and others, to run streamline. “Check it out: it’s elementary. The building blocks that you put down. [If] they keep movin’, you can’t build. I set certain rules that was the bases for how we would be productive. I said, ‘I don’t care who you fight; do not fight someone that I came with. If you ni**as have some sort of dispute or somethin’ goin’ on, y’all tell each other, “I ain’t f*ckin’ with you right now. Get away from me.” You go in the back of the bus; [the other person] stays in the front of the bus. Whatever.'” He explains, “The reason I said this was because I can’t bring new people on when the foundation that I had is fighting each other.”
In terms of discussing business, Fif also shared some financials surrounding Power. Around 17:00, he says, “Check this sh*t out: I got paid $17,000 per episode [during] the first two, three seasons. This was me gettin’ the [Starz] network pregnant with my idea. You know I would’ve already gotten paid more to just go to [a] nightclub and wave [at patrons]. So it was [taking a loss] to make the show the way I wanted it to be. Power, this sh*t turned out like I expected it to.”
50 remembers frequent phone conversations with show-runner. While he gives Kemp credit for autonomy, the mogul says, “[Items from the conversation] would show up in the material.” He adds, “She knows what I’m saying is authentic and real, and she was using it, consistently. That’s the kind of talent in Courtney [that] not every writer/show-runner has, [as far as] that ability.”
Moments before, 50 Cent is asked to compare his music earnings to television. Despite his relatively modest salary to start the show, it’s proven quite lucrative. “TV money’s bigger. Come on, man. Way bigger. Look, you’re not makin’ money ’til you’re making money when you’re not workin’. I didn’t make no money when I didn’t do a [music concert]. I had to work to get the money, every time. The show’s still going. [Some people say], ‘How you kill yourself off your own show?’ They don’t understand that. I’m like, ”Cause this mothaf*cka on automatic-pilot. It don’t require me on this mothaf*cka to keep it going.’ Let it keep goin’. While they’re doing that, I’m free and available to sort out what I’m doing with For Life. I directed Power [episode 3 of season 6], and I’m nominated for an NAACP Award for that. It’s cool; my episode is better than everything else that year. [Laughs]”
Later in the interview, 50 Cent credits a conversation with Jimmy Iovine for pivoting him to TV. The former Interscope Chairman was upset with Fif for competing with Beats thanks to his SMS Headphones. He says that during a tense conversation, Jimmy kept pointing to televisions in his office. At a time when the former producer and record executive had landed a multi-billion-dollar deal with Apple for Dr. Dre and his company, 50 realized he needed something beyond Rap.
Elsewhere in the interview, 50 Cent accuses Ma$e of a double-standard after the former Bad Boy recently called out Diddy. The rapper also defends himself from past allegations of cooperating with investigations, a claim that he vehemently denies.