Last week Curtis James Jackson III, the rapper and actor known as 50 Cent, filed for bankruptcy. That’s 50 Cent, whose last mansion was so big, Mike Tyson (the former owner) estimated that it cost $24,000 just to mow the lawn; 50 Cent who leaves the doors upturned on his Lamborghini, and runs into the street like a child because he’s so excited to fly his new drone; 50 Cent who posted a photograph on his Instagram 12 weeks ago of him sitting at a coffee table in front of a $1million pile of stinking cash, and smiling with his pearly whites. He’s filed for bankruptcy.
The decision to go bust came after he was taken to court for up to $5million in damages after unlawfully posting a sex tape online in 2008 involving Lastonia Leviston, then partner of Rick Ross, and adding his own nasty commentary. Of course, the court didn’t believe 50 Cent was bankrupt, so, crumbling like Dapper Laughs on Newsnight, he was forced to convince them, slowly detailing how he was, in fact, an elaborate human joke. How the cars were rented, how the jewellery was borrowed, and how the album sales are so diluted they make less of an impact than a high five in space.
There are many things that can affect a rapper's credibility. There's being accused of having a ghostwriter by Meek Mill, or coming out in defence of Bill Cosby. But standing up in a court of law, like 50 did, placing your hand on the bible and saying "your honour, my entire life is an illusion" is right up there. It’s the elite class equivalent of “No mother, I didn’t get a 2:1 and a job in consultancy. I dropped out in first year and have been living off Greggs’ steak bakes ever since.” Still, the courts didn’t buy Fiddy’s story, and now he's been ordered to pay a further $2million in damages.
Having seen enough, some loyal 50 Cent fans decided to step in and help their hero out. Johann is a 27 year old guy from the East Coast of America who has a lifelong love for 50 Cent, and he’s not just going to stand by and watch this iconic rapper fall apart. Instead, Johann has started an Indiegogo campaign called "50 Cents for 50 Cent" to raise some money for Curtis, aiming for a modest £5 million in 13 days.
How is the campaign going? Terribly. Does 50 Cent actually need the money? No, he is not bankrupt at all. Have we got in touch with Johann to speak about the campaign? Of course we have.
Tell me about your connection with Fiddy: when did it all start for you and how?
Johann: I grew up with him! I wouldn’t say he is one of the pioneers of hip-hop, but in 2003, when I was a little kid, going to those dance parties and his music would be playing, well... it was hot. I picked up on it from there. He was one of the first albums I bought, and Get Rich or Die Trying, for me, is his best ever. The guy has tracks left and right, which have been in the books for a while now.
If he really is bankrupt, do you think his fans have a social responsibility to help him out?
The first girl I hooked up with was to “21 Questions” so I surely owe him something for that no? Or the song “Magic Stick”, which was from those booty dancing days - I owe him a good amount.
You set a goal of $5million in 30 days. How’s that going?
Yeah, we’re a bit off.
Have you tried for any celebrity endorsements to beef up your campaign?
One of the people I reached out to immediately was Floyd Mayweather, he’s our last perk. That’s one of his BFFs and the guy is filthy rich, so we figured if anyone was to help Fiddy, it would obviously be him. So I reached out to him, but he hasn’t responded yet…
Let’s just imagine an ideal situation here. You got an email tomorrow saying “Yo guys, I’ve seen your efforts. I really appreciate it. Let’s go for dinner? Curtis”. Where would you go?
I would like to be invited to his freaking mansion. It’s huge. And bring Mike Tyson. And maybe he could reunite G Unit for me, and then we could have a huge party.
Would you ask for some grapefruit for dessert?
Some grapefruit. 50 Cent loves grapefruit.
I had no idea. That’s a fun fact though. How the hell do you know that?
If you did get some food, would you split the bill, bearing in mind the current situation?
No, I would pay for the bill. There is only one chance you get to have a meal with 50, and I’m a gentleman so I will pay for it. But anything that would happen after that, like the strip joint or drinks, that’s on him, buddy.
Has it affected his ‘G status’, in your eyes, to see your rap idol stand in court and say he fakes it all?
I’ll be honest, his G status has been steadily declining since The Massacre, and then when he started hanging out with Floyd. But still, I respect the man, because I grew up with his music, and it was important to me. Also, I found it pretty hilarious seeing him on Instagram standing in front of a smart car and saying “big changes are coming.”
If someone was reading this, and they still weren’t sure whether or not to donate some cash to your cause, what would you say?
Hook a brother up! We spend thousands of 50 cents on worthless and useless things.
Your perks are basically just you offering to photoshop donaters into pictures of 50 Cent.
Who doesn’t want a photo of them photoshopped with 50 Cent?
Can you show me an example?
Thanks! Finally, do you genuinely believe that he’s strapped for cash, and not just making tactical jumps through legal loopholes like a shrewd and calculated operator?
Ahh… Well, I mean, I could say it’s a sack of bullshit. The truth is, if we make that $5mill, he better throw us a great show. I want everything that he’s talked about in his songs to happen, to me, in real life.
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