50 Cent is a man of many talents.
Not only is he an acclaimed rapper, he's also an actor and philanthropist. Launching his Street King energy drink company to feed children in Africa, 50 Cent has donated millions of dollars to making the world a better place.
Besides philanthropy, 50 Cent has been busy starring alongside legendary actors Forrest Whitaker and Robert De Niro in the new movie Freelancers.
After a long drawn out battle with his label, Interscope, 50 Cent is finally working on his forthcoming album, Street King Immortal. With features from artists like Alicia Keys, Dr. Dre, Adam Levine, Chris Brown and Eminem, 50 says Street King Immortal is one of his best yet.
You just were at the movie premiere for Freelancers, how have you been juggling movies along with the new album Street King Immortal?
I actually have a film before the album will come out. I have one right after. I’ll be preparing for that. But the actual album will be out November 13th – Street King Immortal. I’ve had almost three years to prepare that.
How does it feel to finally have a release date, and all the label drama behind you and you moving forward?
It feels good. This is not an abnormal process - the situation I was in. It seems abnormal because of technology. Because of the visibility…you’d have to actually go in the house or go hibernate like Eminem does.
So what’s really special about this album? What’s the scene that you want to convey?
I get a chance to offer something that… I look at artists and a lot of the music that artists put out, I don’t believe them. I’ll be honest with you. I can’t get in the whole project. When you achieve a level of success like I have, you spend a lot of time reflecting on how far you came. So I have an interest in writing my life prior to all this success, versus writing about the actual successful point that I’m at now. It’s only because the rest of the culture hasn’t actually achieved the level of success that I’m at now. Like the guy who doesn’t have any money is writing about money. And the guy who has it, is writing about things of interest to him prior to that. It’s an interesting topic actually. People who actually have money don’t want to talk about it. They want to talk about everything else.
Do you think it’s harder to be creative since you’ve made it and you’re not in Southside Jamaica, Queens? Is it harder to be creative, or is it harder to draw inspiration being successful?
I think either you’re creative or you’re not. In general, I don’t think you need to be in pain to actually be creative unless you’re writing love songs. Then you might need to have some ups and downs within your emotions to start to capture that. Once you become successful, do you think it’s impossible to use the same talent that you had? The question, I don’t even understand how… there’s no logic to it. I think people just look for a reason to say, “You’re different.” We’re all after the same thing. We all want to be successful, develop a financial comfort and happiness, right? Finding that point that you’re completely happy with.
If you were to die today, would you be happy with your legacy?
I made some adjustments that no one in my actual genre has. When you look around, have you heard of philanthropy in hip-hop culture? There’s no such thing, and the messaging has been that a dollar isn’t about s**t, right?
So now when you look, every awards show I go to I see someone from hip-hop. When you go to CNN Heroes you don’t see anybody. When you go to America Gives Back, you don’t see anybody. I guess you have to achieve a level of success before you say what really matters to you. Every year when the Forbes list comes out, you always see predictions of who’s going to be a billionaire first. But then I don’t see them doing anything. So when I decide to promote conscious capitalism… even ministers that preach about prosperity have logic complications. You can’t re-train people not to want the money or the nice things. So I’m saying let’s just do it, being conscious of people that don’t have. That’s what the Street King project is about. Every bottle will provide a meal for someone in need. That model puts you in position where, when “Occupy Wall Street” is going on, or Occupy Chicago, L.A. or all these places, those people that are out there aren’t protesting about my companies. Mine are already built to give back. We all have organizations where we do something that you could consider philanthropy, or giving back right? But those are for tax write-offs. Those are for "x" purposes. If they ever bring that sh*t up, you tell them I said it.
Why do you feel like hip-hop people don’t give back as much?
I don’t think they earn enough. There’s a small group of guys in hip-hop that really have money. The whole culture talks about money, but it’s a small group that actually has it.
It’s the same 5-10 people that are on Forbes lists every year.
Yup, same crew.
Most of them have some form of charities.
Yeah, but what are they doing? What are those charities doing? Just to connect the concept, the model, it’s mirroring the “Tom's Shoe” model. You sell a pair of shoes, and it provides a pair for someone in need, but people can’t eat shoes.
Barack Obama was criticized for not helping black businesses and black business owners. His response was, “I’m not the President of Black America.” How do you feel about that statement?
You know, you got people sometimes that won’t make the decision to do things because they feel like it’s anticipated that they will. S**t, Bill Clinton was the President of Black America.
You can’t escape the fact that people are going to look at him and see a black man. So, he’s probably conscious of every little decision he tried to make. He’s probably trying to balance.
Across the board, you didn’t get elected at Black America. You got elected as the President of America, period.
Who are some of your favorite new guys in the game?
I worked with Wiz recently. That “Telescope” joint we did together was cool. Schoolboy Q, I like the kid. I’ve been listening to Kid Kid. I’m committed to working with him, but he’s been doing a lot of things on his own. I like the “Cashin’ Out” record. It’s a catchy song. Every now and then, there will be one or two joints that stand out. I’ll be like “That’s cool!” I like 2 Chainz’s joint. I did the “Riot” remix with him. I just ran into him this weekend, too.
The new album, you have collaborations on there with Eminem, how’s Em doing?
I went to Detroit to work with him. We recorded a few songs. I’m only going to keep one, because I made so much music for this actual album, that I’ll put one. I don’t know if I’ll use the other one for a bonus song because there would be so many different versions of the album. There would be deluxe or tracks you get when you buy it from certain places.
Are there any producers that you haven’t worked with yet that you would want to?
Not really. I like to sort through music and see whatever pops out to me or inspires me. If I could have a production team going and kind of mix records with me, that would be cool; to take the records and have them sound the way I want them to sound. But I’d rather sort though music to find them things.
Would you ever work with a producer like Stevie J?
I’d work with whoever made hits.
Well, Stevie J has had a few hits up his sleeve.
And I’m aware of that. So if he had the right records, I would work with him. I don’t care where a hit record comes from. I don’t care if it’s the first record he ever produced. You remember “I Get Money?” I bought that track from this kid Apex. It was the first record he ever sold. “Wanksta?” J-Praize did that. I don’t care if the guy just got his equipment in the basement to do the record. If the idea is good, I’ll use it. And I don’t use it