VIA: It was fifteen years ago today that 50 Cent, then an up-and-coming rapper from Queens, was shot nine times in front of his grandmother’s home. Even back then, beef seemed to hover around 50.
His his first single, “How To Rob” told a fictitious tale about snatching valuables from the most famous rappers in the industry. Many of the song’s victims took it more serious than necessary. However, another track, “Ghetto Qu’ran” actually led to violence. Throughout that song, 50 detailed some names behind the drug trade in Queens during the ’80s. This supposedly didn’t sit well with Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, one of the top dealers name-checked.
According to a federal instigation (and many rumors beforehand), McGriff orchestrated the shooting that left 50 with nine bullet wounds and an industry-wide blackballing. Also Jam Master Jay, who took 50 under his wing afterwards, allegedly got murdered for going against the blackballing. Between the shooting, and everything else going on around him, 50 had a choice to make as he eventually told Oprah years later:
Going through that experience, when you get hurt that bad, either your fear consumes you, or you become a bit insensitive. There was a point where I was afraid. I was afraid because everyone involved in that situation was still physically available to [shoot me again]. In the recovery process I was tired of being afraid, and the only way I could cover those emotions was to be a little more aggressive
Yeah, and to be angry about the situation, opposed to how I was feeling at that point.
That aggression aided 50 in releasing upwards of 30 mixtapes, leading to the release of Guess Who’s Back? That album caught Eminem’s ear, and led to one of the most successful album launches of the 2000s.
As for the people involved in the shooting, 50 seems to be satisfied with karma being his revenge: “The guy who actually shot me is dead. The guy who paid him got life in jail.”