Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper. He rose to fame with the release of his albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003) and The Massacre (2005). Both albums achieved multi-platinum success, selling over twenty-one million copies combined.
Born in South Jamaica, Queens, 50 Cent began drug dealing at the age of twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. After leaving drug dealing to pursue a rap career, he was shot at and struck by nine bullets during an incident in 2000. After releasing his album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, 50 Cent was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Interscope Records. With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre-who produced his first major commercial successes—he became one of the world's highest selling rappers. In 2003, he founded the record label G-Unit Records, which signed several successful rappers such as Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo.
50 Cent has engaged in feuds with other rappers including Ja Rule, The Game, Cam'ron, Fat Joe and most recently Rick Ross. He has also pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin' in 2005, the Iraq War film Home of the Brave in 2006, and Righteous Kill in 2008.
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson has opted to have some of his very prominent tattoos removed, to better accommodate his burgeoning career in Hollywood. "I took some of the tattoos off because on the movie set, if we got a six o’clock call time, I have to be there two o’clock the night before," 50 Cent told AllHipHop.com. "I gotta go through four hours of make up before we go ahead and play the role. So, I just took it off my arm. My right arm." The G-Unit founder has not completely done away with his tattoo. He still bears the two on his back, the signature "50 Cent" and "Southside" tattoos. The move may be working for 50 Cent as he stars in upcoming film Streets Of Blood. The drama, which stars Val Kilmer, Sharon Stone and Michael Biehn, portrays the street gangs and corrupt law enforcement in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.