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50 Cent

Source: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz

Aside from television, 50 Cent has his hand in everything from bill collections to water, and of course, publications. 50 Cent recently released his new book, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, in which he reflects on a lot of career-defining moments. Layered throughout the book is nothing but praise for Jay-Z as a likeminded businessman. More specifically, he talks about Jay-Z and his move from Roc-A-Fella to Def Jam and being the force behind Kanye West and Rihanna.

“By taking over Def Jam, Jay positioned himself to make that label’s preexisting superstars his new crew. Instead of being closely associated with Beanie Sigel and Freeway, he became associated with Kanye and Rihanna. It was a major commercial upgrade. And unlike when he was running Roc-A-Fella Records, Jay didn’t have to put in any work grooming them or investing money in their careers. Def Jam had already done that. It was like moving into a fully furnished home. And better still, after he stopped running Def Jam, Kanye and Rihanna still saw Jay as their boss. He got to take all that furniture with him when he moved out!”

He gets into this more in a later chapter in the book entitled, “Curtis versus Graduation,” in which 50 breaks down his historic sales feud with Kanye. In the book, 50 disputes Kanye West’s story and says it was his idea from the beginning that he brought to Ye. Technically, 50 lost the battle to Kanye, who would go on to sell 900,000 plus copies compared to his nearly 700,000 copies. As a hustler, Fif saw this as a win for both artists–especially himself–since his label was already started to go cold on him.

“Jimmy Iovine might not have cared about beating Kanye, but Jay-Z, who was the head of Def Jam at the time, damn sure cared about beating me. Jay had been extremely uncomfortable with my run in NYC for years. So he did everything under the sun to make sure he could beat me through Kanye,”

“Jay took a lot of pride in Kanye’s victory. I think that’s one of the reasons he’s so disappointed in Kanye today.”

In the end, it was chess not checkers and maybe it was a blessing for 50, because he went on to bigger and better blessings than only making music shortly after.


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