How Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson Went From Filing For Bankruptcy To A $40M Empire
Photo Credit: Michael Kovac

How Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson Went From Filing For Bankruptcy To A $40M Empire

When one thinks about the modern Hip-Hop industry, few artists — if any — have had the success of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. His infamous story of getting shot nine times — and surviving — has become part of a larger mythos that belies his success in nearly every aspect of the business he’s ever pursued. From being the head of his own record label to building a television and film empire, 50 Cent is in a class of his own.

While many rappers have gone on to become actors — like LL Cool J, Will Smith, and Ice-T — few have stepped behind the camera and become successful at it. But 50 Cent did exactly that. When he re-launched the previously-defunct G-Unit Films, he partnered with a legend in the film and television industry, and subsequently created a whole new television series that has earned its place in the annals of history. Hit series “Power” and its subsequent spin-offs — which was followed up by “BMF” — are proof that the best advice the rapper got was advice he should have followed a long time ago.

“A man I met said you can’t do business with people who haven’t had success already. If there’s too much hunger there, they’ll jump at the chance to take advantage of you,” he told the Robb Report. 

It’s no wonder, then, that his $40 million estimated net worth (per Celebrity Net Worth) was well-earned — and well deserved. At the height of his popularity, though, he was worth more than $260 million. “He has also spent lavishly (especially on real estate, cars, and lawsuits), which caused him to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2015,” according to the outlet. However, even through his losses, he stuck true to the credo of getting rich, or dying while trying. And each time, Jackson has come out on top.

Let’s take a look at the myriad of ways he’s made his money through the years.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.

Music Career/G-Unit Records

Photo Credit: Shareif Ziyadat

When he first signed to Interscope Records, 50 Cent got a $1 million advance for the album that would become “Get Rich or Die Trying.” Since the release of that classic album, 50 Cent has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and won several awards, including a Grammy Award, thirteen Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and four BET Awards. His G-Unit Records label has successfully launched the careers of rappers Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks and Young Buck. It has also launched the careers of R&B star Hot Rod, and pop songstress Olivia. For a time, G-Unit Records was also the home of Queens rap legends Mobb Deep. What’s more, 50 Cent has served as the executive producer of the late Pop Smoke’s records.

Film & Television

Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy

Although it may it seem like it, 50 Cent does not own Starz.

According to CheatSheet, he does have a pretty huge deal with the network though.

“In 2018, he signed a 4-year overall deal with the network that was reportedly worth up to $150 million,” the outlet reports. “With the thriving Power Universe and several other projects up his sleeve, it appears that 50 Cent and Starz’s partnership might be here for the long run.”

Spirits

Courtesy of Sire Spirits

Today, 50 Cent distributes Le Chemin du Roi and Branson Cognac. He distributes both through the Sire Spirits brand, so named for his youngest son.

According to The Spirits Business, too, he still continues his partnership with Effen Vodka, despite initial reports of selling his $60 million stake in the brand.

Vitamin Water

Photo Credit: Jason Merritt

“50’s best known and most lucrative recent revenue stream is his endorsement deal with Vitamin Water,” reported Business Insider. “After signing on to shill for the brand’s Formula 50 beverage, 50 got a stake in the parent company, Energy Brands. When Coca-Cola bought Energy in May 2007, 50’s stake netted him $100 million.”

Books

Photo Credit: Mike Coppola

In 2005, 50 Cent released a memoir called “From Pieces to Weight.” The success of that book resulted in the launch of G-Unit books, which subsequently released a spate of hit books including “Playground” and “The 50th Law.

Boxing

Photo Credit: Larry Busacca

In 2012, 50 Cent became a licensed boxing promoter in the state of New York — though he hosted most of his fights in Nevada — when he launched TMT (The Money Team). Together with Floyd Mayweather, he signed gold medalist and former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa and middleweight Olympic medalist Andre Dirrell. Subsequently, the pair signed Billy Dib and Zab Judah. When Mayweather parted ways with the company shortly after it was formed, 50 Cent renamed the company SMS Promotions and kept Gamboa, Dirrell, Dib, James Kirkland, Luis Olivares and Donte Strayhorn in the lineup, according to Sky Sports.

G-Unit Clothing

Courtesy of G-Unit

Believe it or not, G-Unit Clothing is still in business, though it’s exclusively sold online today. Since its initial launch in 2003, the company has reportedly made over $100 million in sales.

Other Business Ventures and Investments

Courtesy of SMS

Back in 2008, Forbes reported that 50 Cent was interested in investing with Patrice Motsepe, the African billionaire, after a meeting with him about his gold and mineral mines. At that time, 50 Cent also expressed an interest in launching his own line of branded platinum.

Over the years, 50 Cent has also been involved in other various business ventures. For a time, he owned his own line of headphones called SMS by 50, invested in his own energy drink called SK (Street King), and also invested in a variety of privately controlled companies, real estate, stocks and bonds.