50 Cent: ‘I’ve lost the luxury of walking around the mall freely’

The musician, 42, discusses respect for Eminem, people-watching on trains, and seeing through the news

Acting allows me to be everything I’m not. It’s the biggest escape possible. In music, you become the hit; you become the song you’ve created. It’s like Mary J Blige. Her audience wants her to be in pain. When she’s suffering she becomes more likable to her audience. For me, acting gives me the chance to break out of being me, to explore other parts of myself.

I’m always studying people. The way they say things, their attitude. You could be on the train and doing that. That’s how I learned to act. It’s also how I learned business, by studying what people I admired did, and how they conducted themselves.

If you’d given me one wish in 2003, it would have been for my first album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, to be successful. Massively successful – the biggest debut in hip-hop history. And it was. If I knew myself then as well as I do now, I would have asked for more wishes. Some people are happy just winning the Lotto, but I need more than that.

I do read comments about myself [on social media]. They all affect me: the positive and the negative ones. But they say more about the people commenting and where they’re at in their own lives than what they’re actually commenting on.

Eminem will always be my guy. I love him to death [Eminem discovered 50 Cent, and produced his first album]. What he did for me – and maybe me for him, in a way – I can’t quantify. We reach out to each other from time to time. But when he’s on schedule, that guy never leaves the house. He’ll be tucked up at home working on stuff.

I exercise the concept of “whistle while you work”. I’ve got so many projects and businesses on the go that it’s my way of staying grounded. When I’m relaxing there’s always some kind of music, film or television on, but I just consider that research for the next project. I’m always thinking about what’s next, soaking up inspiration.

I can’t watch the news without trying to work out what really happened – what they say, and what the truth is. Sometimes it depresses me, but instead I concentrate on the things in my life that I can affect.

Fame and notoriety is a fair exchange for being able to do the creative things I want to do. I can now buy everything I want to buy in the mall. But I can’t go into the mall to buy it. I’ve lost the luxury of walking around freely. But at least there’s Amazon.

I haven’t heard the mash-up of the Thomas The Tank Engine theme and In Da Club. People have told me about it though. I’m going to check that out.

Entitlement scares me. People come around and they want things. You could have bought them a car, and they’ll be, like: “You could have bought me a house!’’ And they’ll be angry about it. It’s, like: ‘“You think I’m responsible for you?”

Bankruptcy wasn’t a big deal for me. It was just me getting my discount. Reorganisation isn’t broke, y’know?

Den of Thieves is in UK cinemas now

James McMahon

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Guy Garvey: ‘I’ve gone back to playing Lego fanatically’
The musician, 45, tells Rich Pelley about his five sisters and two-year-old son, streakers on stage, worrying about songwriting and earning accolades from Paul McCartney

Rich Pelley

30, Nov, 2019 @2:00 PM

Article image
Jason Derulo: ‘Lockdown’s been the most fun I’ve ever had in my life’
The singer, 30, tells Rachel Corcoran about being a cool uncle, speaking Creole at home and having 30m followers on TikTok

Rachel Corcoran

12, Sep, 2020 @1:00 PM

Article image
Mel B: ‘I’ve still got PTSD. Abuse never really leaves you’
The singer, 48, on anxiety, domestic abuse and the joys of moving back to Leeds

Vicki Power

10, Jun, 2023 @1:01 PM

Article image
Shaun Ryder: ‘I’m a really good dad, this time around anyway’
The Happy Mondays singer tells James McMahon about UFOs, coming off drugs, children, Bez and losing his hair

James McMahon

17, Aug, 2019 @1:00 PM

Article image
Marc Almond: ‘I’ve been through all the vices and now don’t have any’
The singer-songwriter, 62, on examining mortality, living with trauma, and learning to become a druid

Rachel Corcoran

08, Feb, 2020 @2:00 PM

Article image
50 Cent | This much I know

The rapper, 34, in his own words

Luke Bainbridge

13, Dec, 2009 @12:06 AM

Article image
Harvey Keitel: ‘I’ve never played a violent character’
The actor, 80, tells Francine White about childhood stuttering, not doing Twitter, keeping his powers and filming The Irishman

Francine White

16, Nov, 2019 @2:00 PM

Article image
Giles Andreae: ‘Every creative thing I’ve done was rejected before it was accepted’
The writer and illustrator, 54, talks about cruel teasing of redheads, defeating cancer, being remembered as a radiator and his slightly superior identical twin

Donna Ferguson

22, Aug, 2020 @1:00 PM

Article image
Rosanna Arquette: ‘I’ve got a reputation as a trouble maker’
The actor and activist, 59, on Harvey Weinstein, Bette Davis and being married four times

Ruth Huntman

18, May, 2019 @1:00 PM

Article image
Daphne Guinness: ‘Making music is the most fun I’ve had'
The designer and singer, 52, reflects on living next door to Salvador Dali, her brush with death and why she never looks in the mirror

Rich Pelley

07, Nov, 2020 @2:00 PM