We can use one of the most successful musicians in modern music as an example, rapper 50 cent. I choose to use him because I’m not a big fan of his so we cant sense no type of favouritism.

He’s a man of the streets, intimately familiar with its codes and its violence, but still, 50 cent aka Curtis Jackson, an incredibly intelligent and deliberate man, holds himself with a regal air as if above the pettiness which surrounds him. Couple his true-life hardship with his knack for addictive, syrupy hooks, it’s clear that 50 has exactly what it takes to ride down the road to riches and diamond rings. 50 is real, so he does real things. Before he hit fame, he was a juvenile, born into a notorious area for drugs known as Queens.

Raised without a father, 50’s mother was found dead before he hit his teens. 50’s mother was 15 when he was born. She was a local drug dealer and was murdered in mysterious circumstances when he was just 8-years-old. The orphaned youth was taken in by his grandparents, who provided for him. But his desire for things would drive him to hit the streets and start hustling for money illegally. The infamous New York Avenue, now known as Guy R. Brewer Blvd is where you could find him with his trousers to his knees most probably making money illegitimately. By the age of 12, he was on the streets selling crack. “Life is cheap in those places,” he says. “You can have someone killed for $5,000.” He amassed a small fortune.

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The birth of his son put things in perspective for the post adolescent, and 50 began to pursue rap seriously. “I’m from the bottom,” he says. “When you’re from the bottom you have nothing to lose so you say what you gotta say and don’t worry about the consequences.” Now 50 cent, the founder of rap dynasty G-unit, borrows stories from his violent past to put into his music. At present, Curtis Jackson has sold over 20 million records to date in the space of 2 years. Now, people obviously buy his records because they are interested in what he has to say. If he had no crime in his past, he most probably would have nothing to say, therefore would most probably have not become a musician, which is enabling him to make money legitimately.

If I use another successful music act as an example, who are non-offenders, in Irish pop group Westlife they have sold 35 million records. Yes, they have sold more than 50 cent, but if we bare in mind that they have been selling records for six years in contrast to 50 cents two. That totals 50 cent’s selling of records to 10 million a year on his own differing to the four men of Westlife selling 5.8million a year. This proves that if 50 cent had been a mainstream for as long as Westlife have been, he would have sold 60 million records, 25 million more than Westlife. How does he do it? He talks about his criminal past, whereas Westlife talk about the same love stories other musicians do.

The only downside I can think of 50 cents life is that he has been stabbed and put in jail numerous times. In 2000, he was shot 9 times in front of his grandmother’s house. It was rumoured that he went back to selling crack. But if you look at this way, after all that, he’s still breathing, living life how he wants, with a son and making money. If he dies today he can say he’s lived a full life at the age of 26. 50 cent is living proof that crime does pay.


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