50 Cent once lived by the adage “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” but these days he’s realizing the power of money and how to use it effectively to see his way through tribulations. Just under a decade ago, the mogul filed for bankruptcy. It didn’t take him long to journey back to multi-millionaire.
“In hip-hop, people are looking for the damage,” he said in an interview with The Guardian in 2020. “And you come in and they look at you, and they can see the damage. They can see the experience, the story, why you are where you are. You can offer something unique.”
But before he realized the power of money, 50 Cent took some financial bumps. Along the way, 50 Cent says he has learned valuable lessons about handling money.
Money Lessons Learned by 50
Throughout 50 Cent’s career in the entertainment industry he has learned valuable lessons about earning and losing money. 50 Cent is currently worth a reported $40 million and got his start in the industry as a hip-hop artist, ultimately selling more than 21 million units, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Yet early in 50 Cent’s career, as he founded G-Unit Records and G-Unit Clothing, a boxing promotion company, The Money Team, as well as investing in Vitamin Water that ultimately earned him between $60 and $100 million when the company was sold in 2007 to Coca-Cola, he also found himself embroiled in some serious legal issues that ultimately led to him filing bankruptcy.
Legal Troubles for 50
“I spent over $23 million in legal fees since I had success in 2003,” 50 told Rolling Stone in 2022. “So when you say you successful or that you rich in a different way, that money was just written off as expenses of business. You in it and I’m going, ‘What? ‘ I’m looking at it myself, ‘That’s how much you really spent on that?”
In 2014, 50 Cent was ordered to pay $17.5 million in damages for trademark infringement from a former partner in a headphone company.
Most notably, his beef with fellow rap mogul Rick Ross has led to many legal disputes dating back to 2008. 50 Cent allegedly published a sex tape depicting Lastonia Leviston, the mother of Ross’ child. Leviston sued 50 Cent for invasion of privacy, winning a judgment of $5 million in 2015.
That same year, 50 Cent sued Ross after he rapped over 50 Cent’s song, “In Da Club” on a mixtape. 50 Cent sought $2 million in damages arguing that Ross used the sample of his song without permission. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed because he did not own the copyright or publicity rights at the time of recording.
In 2016, 50 was granted $14.5 million in a malpractice lawsuit against law firm Garvey Schubert Barer (GSB), which represented him in a legal battle with headphone makers Sleek Audio, Rolling Stone reported. Most of the awarded amount was expected to be allocated towards satisfying a $23 million bankruptcy settlement agreed upon by 50 Cent earlier, subject to approval, as reported by Forbes. The lawsuit originated from a 2014 legal dispute where 50 Cent was ordered to pay Sleek Audio $16 million after terminating his contract with them to develop his own headphone brand, which the court deemed to be similar to Sleek Audio’s designs. Subsequently, 50 Cent filed a malpractice suit against GSB, claiming that the firm failed to adequately represent his interests during licensing negotiations and arbitration proceedings with Sleek Audio.
In 2015, 50 Cent filed for Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy protection.
“When you’re successful and stuff, you become a target. I don’t wanna be a bull’s-eye,” he told USA Today in 2015. “I don’t want anybody to pick me as the guy that they just come to with astronomical claims and go through all that. I’m taking precautions that any good business person would take in this situation.
He filed just days after Leviston won her judgment of $2.5 million for using her image without permission and an additional $2.5 million for emotional distress. The judge also requested 50 Cent’s net worth so that the jury could seek further punitive damages. In response, 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy reporting that his assets ranged from $10 to $50 million with his debts equalling his earnings.
“Businesspeople will do that in a heartbeat before losing money,” 50 Cent said in an interview with The Guardian about by he filed. “Because it means they have the ability to be secure and invest again.”
And as he was managing his bankruptcy proceedings, another great opportunity presented itself — a $150 million deal with Starz, the channel airing the series “Power.” The deal included a three-series commitment, cementing 50 Cent’s space in television production.
“When I sat down with Chris [Albrecht, Starz CEO] and walked him through my plans for G-Unit Film & Television going forward, he let me know I was essentially requesting the biggest deal in premium cable history,” 50 Cent. “I am excited to announce that we’ve made that partnership between myself, G-Unit Film & Television and Starz/Lionsgate and we will continue our proven track record of breaking records and delivering unique content for audiences around the world … Get The Strap.”
The hip-hop legend is ready to take on 2024.
He recently went to social media to make a bold declaration about his plans for success in 2024.
In a recent Instagram post shared on Jan. 12, he expressed his determination for the upcoming year. Accompanied by photos of himself in a stylish suit and enjoying a cigar, 50 Cent confidently declared, “This is the year I’m gonna win so BIG YA HEAD GONNA SPIN, I ain’t got time for bullsh!t.”