On Monday, Curtis Jackson, better known as rapper 50 Cent, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following a messy lawsuit in which he was forced to pay his rival Rick Ross’ ex-girlfriend $5 million.
The news came as a shock, especially considering the rapper was just ranked No. 4 on Forbes’ May list of the wealthiest hip-hop artists thanks to his reported $155 million net worth and his massive 2007 deal with Vitamin Water in which he was awarded between $60 million and $100 million.
50’s lawyers have said the filing is simply to “reorganize his financial affairs as he addresses various professional liabilities,” but in the meantime, we only want to live in a world 5o Cent is synonymous with his hit 2003 album title, “Get Rich or Die Tryin.'”
Curtis James Jackson III was born July 6, 1975 in Queens, New York, where he grew up dealing drugs. In 2000, he was struck by 9 bullets during a shooting in his neighborhood.
After he released the compilation album ‘Guess Who’s Back?’ in 2002, the young rapper was discovered by Eminem and signed by Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment, and Interscope Records as part of a $1 million deal.
With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre — who produced his first label album in 2003, ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’ — 50 Cent became one of the world’s most successful rappers, selling over 30 million albums worldwide.
In 2003, he founded G-Unit Records, signing his G-Unit associates Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo.
With his newfound success also came product endorsement deals and a G-Unit clothing company. In 2003, he signed a five-year deal with Reebok to distribute a G-Unit Sneakers line.
With beautiful women on his arm, the rapper started to care more about his appearance.
And his accessories.
He loves bling.
He started sitting front row at fashion shows.
50 Cent also got into cars, here with his branded vehicle at the ‘Days of Thunder’ motorsport event.
And flies privately.
In 2004, 50 Cent was given a minority share in Vitamin Water in exchange for being the face of the beverage. In 2007, the Coca-Cola Company acquired Vitamin Water from Glacéau for $4.1 billion. The rapper reportedly received between $60 million and $100 million.
50 has also been the face of Right Guard body spray, Magic Stick condoms, a G-Unit clothing line for Ecko, and “Bulletproof” video games. In 2007, Pontiac sponsored his 2007 tour of NYC’s five boroughs to promote his album, ‘Curtis’ and he helped design a G8 sedan.
In 2012, he became a licensed boxing promoter for his new company, The Money Team. He and his friend, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., signed boxers like IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib.
In 2014, an endorsement deal with Sleek headphones went bad after 50 Cent allegedly produced a rival line of headphones. A judge ordered the rapper to pay the company more than $16 million.
But he still has plenty of money from over 30 million album sales, concerts, merchandise, and more.
He’s had 26 different roles on various TV shows and movies, including “Real Steel,” “Get Rich or Die Trying,” and the upcoming “Southpaw” alongside Jake Gyllenhaal.
He is currently starring on the hit new Starz drama “Power.”
And has always been very involved with charity, even launching his own philanthropic initiative to provide food for one billion starving people in Africa.
In May, 50 Cent was ranked No. 4 on Forbes’ May list of the wealthiest hip-hop artists thanks to his reported $155 million net worth.
But just days after he was ordered to pay $5 million to his rival Rick Ross’ ex-girlfriend for posting a sex tape online without her knowledge, the rapper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The bankruptcy claim comes just days after The New York Times published a glowing profile of the rapper, praising his “exceptional business instincts.”
According to his Instagram, 50 seems to still be living just fine.
He’s never been shy to flaunt his wealth on social media.