50 Cent (a.k.a. Curtis Jackson) is one of the most successful performers on the planet. He’s also one of the richest, despite the fact that he filed for bankruptcy back in 2015. So what’s 50 Cent’s net worth? And how is he still so wealthy after facing such serious financial woes? Here, we get to the bottom of this hip-hop giant’s money issues.
50 Cent Almost Never Got His Big Break Thanks To A Murder Plot
Before his hit debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ made him a superstar, 50 Cent was involved in a shooting that nearly cost him life—and his career. On May 24, 2000, the “21 Questions” rapper was shot nine times while sitting in a car outside of his grandmother’s former house in South Jamaica, Queens. He was shot in his legs, hands, and face. Plus, both of his legs were broken in multiple places. 50 Cent spent 13 days in the hospital as a result of the shooting, which was believed to be the result of a murder-for-hire plot.
While charges were never brought, investigators believe the shooting was arranged by New York drug lord Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff. 50 Cent had rapped about the dealer’s gang in his song “Ghetto Qu’ran,” which was leaked in 2000. The song did not go over well with McGriff. 50 Cent was blacklisted in the industry as a result and unable to get a U.S. record deal for two years. It’s also believed that the 2002 murder of Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay was a direct result of the blacklist, as Jay blatantly ignored it when he chose to take 50 Cent under his wing.
50 Cent Made His First $1 Million After Being Discovered By Eminem
Luckily, the blacklisting did not last forever. In 2002, Eminem heard Guess Who’s Back?, a CD 50 Cent released on an independent label. Slim Shady was impressed with the aspiring rapper’s skills and his larger-than-life personality. “One of the first things I noticed was his presence,” the “Lose Yourself” rapper said at 50 Cent’s Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony. “It just kind of felt like he was going to be a star. He was the whole package.”
Eminem decided to introduce 50 Cent to Dr. Dre, which led to a $1 million record deal and the release of the mixtape, “No Mercy, No Fear.” Eminem also featured 50 Cent’s “Wanksta” on the soundtrack for the Oscar-winning movie 8 Mile.
50 Cent really exploded the following year when his first studio album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’‘, was released. It debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and sold a whopping 872,000 copies in its first four days of release. The album’s first single, “In da Club,” became 50 Cent’s first number-one hit as well as one of the most popular songs of the decade.
The rapper continued to find success with his second album, The Massacre, which sold 1.14 million copies in its first four days of release and stayed at the number-one spot on the Billboard charts for six weeks. 50 Cent was also given his own label, G-Unit Records, which he used to sign future rap stars such as The Game. His next two albums, Curtis and Before I Self Destruct, were also successful, though not as high-performing as his first two.
50 Cent Made Over 100 Million With His Vitamin Water Deal
In addition to being a talented rapper and music producer, the “Outta Control” rapper made several savvy business investments. Chief among them was a deal he made with Vitamin Water to serve as their celebrity spokesman (and lend his name to the beverage maker’s popular “Formula 50” drink) in exchange for a minority stake in the company. That move earned him major money in 2007 when The Coca-Cola Company bought Vitamin Water for a hefty $4.1 billion. Reportedly, 50 Cent made more than $100 million from the deal—more than he had ever earned rapping.
Why 50 Cent Filed For Bankruptcy In 2015
Despite all his success, the successful rapper surprised many fans when he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July of 2015. Had the megastar really squandered his entire fortune?
Not really. As it turns out, filing for bankruptcy was a strategic movie on 50 Cent’s part, which is not a rare move among the wealthy. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which requires the liquidation of assets to pay back creditors, Chapter 11 allows debtors to restructure their finances so they can reach a manageable repayment plan. “Walt Disney has filed bankruptcy. Donald Trump has filed bankruptcy,” 50 Cent explained to E! News in 2015. “It means you’re reorganizing your finances, but it does stop things from moving forward that you don’t want moving forward.”
Essentially, filing for bankruptcy helped 50 Cent offset costs he faced as a result of a number of lawsuits. Days before the filing, a judge had ordered the rapper to pay $5 million in damages to a woman (Lavonia Leviston) for releasing a sex tape she appeared in without her consent. The judge also ordered the “Candy Shop” performer to provide proof of his income so further punitive damages could be awarded. A year prior, the rapper lost a trademark infringement case with a headphone company, resulting in a bill of $17.5 million in damages. All told, 50 Cent owed at least $22.5 million in legal payments.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, filing for bankruptcy worked as a legal strategy to prevent Leviston from putting liens on 50 Cent’s assets and halting his lucrative business operations. It also forced her to consider negotiating the $5 million judgment down and prevented the courts from awarding her further punitive damages for the case.
“I’m taking the precautions that any other good businessperson would take in this situation,” the rapper reiterated. “You know when you’re successful and stuff, you become a target. I don’t wanna be a bullseye. I don’t want anybody to pick me as the guy that they just come to with astronomical claims and go through all that.”
What Is 50 Cent’s Net Worth In 2021?
It appears as though 50 Cent’s legal maneuverings did pay off. In the end, he only had to pay back about $23 million in total $13.65 million of which came from a sum he recovered from a settled legal malpractice lawsuit.
Today, the 45-year-old rapper is currently estimated to be worth roughly $40 million. While this is down from his peak worth of $100 million, it’s still an impressive sum for someone who faced such hefty legal bills and bankruptcy.
Part of the reason why he’s still worth so much is because of his other business deals and investments. For example, it was reported that the rapper sold his minority stake in spirit company Effen Vodka in 2017, earning him a cool $60 million.
It’s also important to remember that a person’s net worth is calculated by subtracting their debts from all their assets, including the value of homes, cars, stocks, and equity. So while 50 Cent may not have as much cash on hand as he once did, he has plenty of financial resources to keep him afloat.