The 50 Cent Interview

The 50 Cent Interview

by Lauren Saft
11.04.2005

I'll admit it. I was nervous while waiting for 50 Cent. Would he show up in a bulletproof vest? Should I have worn mine? Will I get stabbed if he's misquoted? I was anxious.

But as soon as his droopy, smiling face strode into the room I was at ease. He smiled right at me. I smiled back, and knew that I'd be fine. There was a certain depth to his eyes that's somewhat unexpected from the man who told me he'd "take me to the candy shop and let me lick the lollypop."

He's here to talk about his debut acting performance, the semi-autobiographical Get Rich or Die Trying, a performance that's astonishingly good. He dishes on Get Rich, violence and hip-hop, getting naked with Terrence Howard, and gives a glimpse of what really goes on under the tough exterior of rap's "MVP."

And I was totally fine without my bulletproof vest.

Were you nervous during the shoot?

50: Yeah, I was nervous. There were some things that I really had to think about. They got us to do things that we just wouldn't think about doing regularly...

Like getting naked in the shower with Terrence?

50: Jim [director Jim Sheridan] pulled me to the side and said, "50, you think you'd take it off?" And I was like, "Alright. I'll do it."

Were you ashamed or embarrassed?

50: Nah, I'm straight. I made sure everything was...... where it was supposed to be.

There's been some controversy about the billboards and their insinuation of violence. What do you think about hip-hop and its possible connection to violence?

50: You have people who are trying to capture what actually goes on in the environment, because the environment is violent. If we could just take the records of who goes in the hospital for one week in my neighborhood, you'll find far more victims of violent crimes, whether its stab wounds or gunshot wounds or whatever it is. It's what goes on in their environments and what they're writing about.

So for the young black boys who are watching this movie, and may have been where you were at one point, what do you hope that they get out of it?

50 cent 1.jpg

50: I mean outside of the movie, the things they see me doing in business will allow two things to happen. Anyone from the environment that I'm from will either be inspired by the situation, or they will envy the situation. That's their options, ya know?

And the billboards?

50: And as far as the billboard is concerned, I feel like their standard is based on music as an art form and not based on any other form of entertainment. And I mean, there hasn't been an album released with a gun or any other weapon on the cover of it since 1997, KRS-One, "Criminal Minded," and for having a piece of glass that was broken and a holster on their minds, they said I was supporting gun culture in "Get Rich or Die Tryin,'" because the different media outlets promoted the fact that I've actually experienced being shot nine times.

There's sort of a weird double standard between music and movies, right?

Because it's not acceptable on the music level, the major companies won't market and promote your [album] if that's what you tried to make the artwork for your album. But I don't feel like they have a problem with it in film. If we go into our local Blockbuster, we're gonna see guns continuously throughout the whole place. We' might even see more guns on covers than people's faces!

How did you have the guts to really tell your story? You talk about your mom. The shooting. Where did you have to go inside?

50: Same concepts of what Em did in 8 mile, not the actual film, but you see where he's standing on the stage they're battling and he says everything. He puts all those defects of character out there, everything that he could use against him out there for everybody to know, then he's no longer vulnerable. So hip-hop, because it's competitive, and it's an on-going competition, everybody's competing, they can make reference to things they've seen in the film, that I've told everyone, and who's gonna care that they made reference to that?

Did it make the acting easier?

50: It was therapeutic for me to be in some of those spaces over and over again. Some people think because you're making a film that's based on your life story that you're not actually acting, ya know, but I still gotta deliver the dialogue like everybody else.

What was one of the worst moments for you to go through again?

50 Cent 2.JPG

50: One of them was the actual operating scene. I spent 8 hours that day and something like a minute of it was in the film. I had prosthetics and make-up on me, so I couldn't move, and I'm looking up at the lights that you could see in the operating room, I got actors over me delivering dialogue, doing a great job at acting like surgeons, and when they say cut, everyone's laughing and doing what they doing, but like I can't move off the table! And it's like, I been in that position before, just I wasn't conscious, I was under anesthesia at that point. So now I have a reference in my head to what would have happened after I was shot and unconscious.

Can you even believe you got through all this stuff? That you're sitting here today after all that?

50: Yup.

I spent a large portion of my life being the only one who believed in my ideas and things that I wanted to do. Like even my grandparents, I love them to death, but after I got shot, I mean, even they looked at me like, "Aw man, he's still over there?" I write music without actually writing it on paper, so I'll be mumbling the lyrics to the music that's playin, and they just look at me like I'm buggin out.

Marcus lived and ran business by the "rules" of the game. Are there rules in your life?

50: For me, I just don't believe that the things that I come up with are impossible. You know, my grandparents, their home is the largest asset in my family to date, and it was worth like $65,000. I'd buy magazines and look at Lamborghinis and Ferraris, and I'd never even imagine having them. I'd just look.

Is it as good as you thought it’d be?

50: I mean, now I have 'em, I have more than I actually need. You can only drive one car at a time! Why you gotta have all these cars?

What’s been your biggest splurge since hitting it big?

50: Homes. In Baltimore and Long Island.

You've been involved in so much "beef." Do you live with any fear?

50: Not much. I already made the decision on how I’m gonna live my life, regardless of what the situation is, I’m gonna keep on pushing.

How much time do you get to spend with your son?

50 cent 3.JPG

50: Well, my son this year is being home schooled, so him and his teacher come with me. Then next year he goes back to b
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