Several weeks ago 50 Cent received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his accomplishments in music, film, and television. He was accompanied by Dr. Dre and Eminem who provided a heartfelt speech to induct his longtime friend. Right at the beginning of the speech Eminem acknowledged that he knew 50 Cent was going to be a star upon first meeting him. The reality is that 50 Cent becoming a star in hip hop was in the making years prior to crossing paths with Eminem and Dr. Dre.
50 Cent and Eminem – Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
50 Cent had worked with notable producers and rappers in the hip hop industry creating a buzz for himself. He was initially brought to the attention of Jam Master Jay, deejay from Run-D.M.C and head of his own record label JMJ Records back in 1997. Jam Master Jay went on to mentor 50 Cent, helping him hone his craft. This ultimately led to a demo tape which included the tracks “The Glow” and “Get Money”.
50 Cent – The Glow
50 Cent – Get Money
To create more exposure 50 Cent linked up with Jam Master Jay’s most prominent label act, Onyx. He made an appearance on the track “React” from Onyx’s gold certified album Shut ‘Em Down released in 1998. The track served as the third single from the project and received video treatment. Shortly thereafter he left Jam Master Jay’s camp and aligned himself with the Trackmasters consisting of Tone and Poke.
Onyx – React feat. 50 Cent
At the time they were one of the most in demand hip hop producers in the industry. Some notable projects on their resume at the time were LL Cool J’s Mr Smith, Nas’s It Was Written, and Will Smith’s Big Willie Style. The first track released from 50 Cent’s relationship with Trackmasters was “How to Rob” which landed on LL Cool J’s 1999 film In Too Deep. It was a humorous track with 50 Cent taking shots at a lot of prominent hip hop and r&b artists. Some of the artists mentioned on the track took the lyrics seriously and had general disdain for 50 Cent. He was building a name for himself and was about to release his debut album Power of the Dollar.
50 Cent – How to Rob feat. Madd Rapper
Preceding the planned release of the project after “How to Rob” two more singles followed, “Thug Love” and “Your Life’s on the Line”. However, shortly thereafter tragedy struck with 50 Cent being shot 9 times. Many attribute this to the album cut “Ghetto Qu’ran” (Forgive Me) from the Power of the Dollar album. In the song he had touched on “The Supreme Team”, an organized crime syndicate prominent in the 1980’s based out of 50 Cent’s hometown of Queens. It also served as the catlayst for the still ongoing beef with Ja Rule and Irv Gotti due to their close ties with the leader of the syndicate Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff. The project was ultimately shelved and 50 Cent was blackballed by the industry.
50 Cent – Thug Love feat. Destiny’s Child
50 Cent – Your Life’s on the Line
50 Cent – Ghetto Qu’ran (Forgive Me)
Other prominent tracks on the shelved project were “As the World Turns” featuring Bun B and “Money by Any Means” with Noreaga aka Nore. 50 Cent regrouped and went the mixtape route creating the classic Guess Who’s Back. The project included two tracks he had recorded with Nas prior to his shooting, “Too Hot” and “Who U Rep With”. In addition the first track 50 Cent had recorded with Mobb Deep, “Bump That” made it onto the mixtape circuit as well as “What’s Poppin” featuring Smif-N-Wessun aka Cocoa Brovas from the Bootcamp Clik.
50 Cent – As the World Turns feat. Bun B
50 Cent – Money by Any Means feat. Nore
50 Cent – Too Hot feat. Nas & Nature
50 Cent – Who U Rep With feat. Nas & Bravehearts
Mobb Deep – Bump That feat. 50 Cent
50 Cent – What’s Poppin feat. Cocoa Brovas
In an interview conducted several years back Eminem revealed that the song “Your Life’s on the Line” is what initially caught his attention. He knew immediately that 50 Cent was unique and the real deal. Ultimatley it was the mixtape Guess Who’s Back that led to Eminem wanting to sign 50 Cent. It was only fitting that Eminem was the one who inducted him into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On his way up prior to garnering his record deal 50 Cent was already a star in the making. Early on he proved himself worthy to be amongst the heavyweight producers and fellow artists that he had worked with. After 20 years his star continues to rise with his business savvy he took in the music world and bringing it to television and cinema.