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THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION

50 Cent's power play

November 09, 2008|Choire Sicha

"50 Cent: The Money and the Power" premiered on MTV on Thursday. In the series, 14 contestants compete to prove their entrepreneurial savvy and display their corporate blood lust. 50 Cent -- real name Curtis Jackson -- is also the co-author of the forthcoming book "The 50th Law." His new album will be released Dec. 9.

The new single: Scott Storch produced it. He's a little bit of a wanted man! Do you know where he is? [Storch owes half a million dollars in property taxes and has lost much of his fortune valued at over $70 million.]

Yeah, I don't know where he is. But I know his production is still good!

I'm just on the lookout for him.

Scott is going to be OK. I've got a hit record that'll pay the bills.

You're now a film producer -- how do you like Hollywood?

It's great to be in a place, a position, where you can find things that creatively inspire you without having to traditionally wait for the film companies to do it -- because financially you can support it yourself.

Look at the components of your business empire: You're like, "Well he knows stuff, I'll partner with him."

You know, the guy who wants 100% of his business ventures is going to jump off the building when the stocks drop. You see what I'm saying? The guys that have really established wealth, they don't look for 100% of the actual business.

You don't generate a lot of conflict with other people right now.

No, not right now, because I've been actively involved in other things. They don't feel they have to just watch me. Right now they may have a little bit of negative energy toward Kanye [West] or Lil Wayne -- and it's so different, because the artists are so different. . . . If you're attacking an artist who has aggression within what he creates, they have to attack aggressively, to the point that you feel there is a beef, where there's an altercation that could potentially happen. . . . You get so many classifications within hip-hop! They'll call me a gangster rapper because there's aggressive content. I write the harsh realities. But I'm conscious of what I'm saying, so I don't understand why I'm not considered a conscious rapper. And I'm the highest-selling guy that they'd consider a gangster rapper, so that'd make me popular, which is pop! So now I'm just all confused.

You've said about the new album, it's darker, it's more aggressive.

I mean musically. It feels like the title: "Before I Self-Destruct." What people generally enjoy is the cycle of entertainment. They build entertainers in order to destroy them for the sake of entertainment. This is why Britney Spears was the greatest show on Earth last year.

But you don't want to have a tabloid meltdown.

No. The album is the meltdown. I bear the same frustration all artists do. In between each project there's a shadow of doubt cast over you with regard to how much consistency you deliver.

When you accumulate a lot of money, when do you stop?

There is no limit. They never give you an instruction book with money. Everything else you get, you'll get a manual, a pamphlet. Money -- we come up with ideas on how to get rid of it.

Did you get hurt in the last couple weeks [with the stock-market dive]?

Nah. No. Well yeah, a little bit. Everybody took a little bit.

Are you going to find a way to save music distribution now?

I think in the next four to five years, we're going to pay for music the way we pay for cable television now. I think in the beginning it'll be three to four companies that have the option as a provider -- then one company will take it over.

Are you gonna do it?

It's not me.

You own your own press, images, news and music.

People enjoy looking at pictures! That's why they go to gossip sites. Half the time what they're saying is [baloney]. They want to see you when it's not the red-carpet look, that you've got the designer dress that cost $20,000 and $2 million in jewels and when they gave you the chain they gave you a security person. They don't want that. They want the real deal -- they want to see you going to the store. This is why products like Uggs got popular real quick. Because they got a chance to see the celebrity paparazzi shot with the woman wearing Uggs. Same deal with Von Dutch. They see so many people wearing that -- they didn't realize Von Dutch was giving those hats to celebrities.

So wait, you get up in the morning and look at, like, Perez Hilton?

You better look at Perez Hilton, ThisisFifty.com, Concrete Loop, Gawker -- you can skip Media Takeout. Because they are 50 Cent haters.

It's fine to have a legitimate complaint with you but if people make things up?

Well, that's entertainment too. What the Web does is give everyone a voice. Everyone is eligible to be a blogger. And guess what? You don't get your [behind] kicked for saying something outrageous, because you did it from your keyboard. Everyone's tough enough to disrespect you.

People say things they wouldn't say on the street.

And they'll say it so bluntly -- the most outrageous [stuff] you can think of. People are actually better at saying stuff for shock value than I am! I could care less how they think. I've got skin like leather.

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