Saturday, May 25, 2024

Hate It or Love It: The Underdog’s On Top

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LS: Welcome to The Enthusiast Report. How have you been, 50?

50 Cent: I’m good, I’ve had the chance to work on my little golf swing. I haven’t gotten it all the way right yet, but I’m still working.

LS: Last time we were together I was really nervous before we went golfing because I didn’t know how good of a golfer you were. Have you golfed since?

50 Cent Branson Cognac
Photo: Eric Michael Roy

50 Cent: No. I haven’t gone to the drive since, but I got some custom clubs and I’ve learned how to use them. A lot of the successful guys are out on the courses, and because they’re older, they are able to talk to the younger guys that are there and thriving. A lot of really big business deals are made on golf courses – people decide to finance someone’s


LS: Right, you get four hours to spend time with someone, and get to know him a little bit.

50 Cent: And they’ll whoop your ass because they know how to do it.

LS: Some are real competitive.

50 Cent: Yeah, they’ve already mastered the technique.

LS: You’ve had a lot going on the last couple of years, you’ve got your new shows, you have BMF Immortal.

50 Cent: Yes, BMF Immortal is like the Power universe. The success of Power was great, it was like  I hit the bull’s eye first. And then Fox came in with Empire and Snowfall and other great projects. I like them too, but being in premium allowed me to be as graphic as the environment is, to say things the way people would say them in the environment. That struck a chord in the audience. For the first time they were seeing themselves in the characters and the flaws and different things, it made people really get into it. From Power, the spinoffs were Raising Kanan, Ghost, and Force, and those projects were number one, two, and three of the highest-rated shows in African American and Latino households. And then BMF made fourth place.

So it’s now, one, two, three, and fourth highest-rated shows in African American and Latino households.

LS: Congratulations. That’s amazing.

50 Cent: Since the success of that, I’ve been able to talk to stars and get them excited about expanding the universe. But I’ll do [BMF] spin-offs differently. The way I did it through Power was very different from the new spin-offs that they’ll see from BMF Immortal. It’s cool, sometimes we’ll switch perspectives, we’ll show the law enforcement perspective instead of the actual hustler side or aspirational side. It runs through so many people that connect with it. We all have a streak of rebel in us, sometimes we’ll find ourselves rooting for the bad guy.

Photo: Eric Michael Roy

LS: When you guys are producing, do you try to make it so the bad guy looks as if he’s the good guy and the audience can relate to him? Is that something you’re trying to accomplish? Does it happen naturally?

50 Cent: I think some people go bad. They make bad decisions, they’re not necessarily bad people,  the route is bad. It comes from them not having resources. If you can run a crew that’s that successful selling drugs in this climate, you could run a Fortune 500 company. The maintenance that it takes, do you know how often someone gets in trouble and decides to tell on someone else just to get themselves out of the situation and back of the streets? For you to make it to that height, it would take really good people skills.

LS: They would have be kind of charismatic.

50 Cent: And you would have be a great judge of character. You know, the most expensive thing we spend is time.

LS: All you have is time, right?

50 Cent: That’s why the biggest punishment you can receive is time.

LS: That’s true.

50 Cent: They can take the time away from you.

LS: I believe that every person should serve a little bit of time. I know that sounds crazy, but my belief is that until you’ve been in that situation, you don’t really understand what it is to lose everything.

Curtis 50 Cent Jackson by Eric Michael Roy

50 Cent: And the circumstances to people’s stories. I think when you look at

cinematography itself, is art imitating life. When you see people make choices, it could be choices instead of power. Power means the same thing in every language, it’s the same symbol on every television, no matter where you go in the world. I had a fragrance that came out four years before the series came out and it was Power because I felt like it defined who I was and what I was trying to do at that point. So when the series came around and it was time to name it, I came back with the same because I already had the trademark for power.

LS: What do you think your superpower is?

50 Cent: Finding a place to be secure when you’re not in such a secure environment. I’m always dealing with people that achieved a higher level of education than me, college graduates from Harvard. When [I’m in that situation], what I hold on to is I am valedictorian of the School of Hard Knocks, and I have graduated with honors. I have the ability to use what a lot of people don’t have, people that are great at school can retain information long enough to pass midterms, but they don’t necessarily internalize the information.

LS: It doesn’t always translate to real life either. A lot of these a lot of people, especially those with higher education, that’s what they’ve lived off their whole life. It’s like having this great tool, but some use it and some don’t. A lot just seek education their whole life.

50 Cent: There are circumstances where people are really smart and they lack common sense because they just don’t use it.

LS: There’s a saying money is the root of all evil. Do you believe that money is the root of all evil or that the lack of money is the root of all evil?

50 Cent: I think money is the root of all evil.

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