50 Cent to write book on bullying

Rapper says novel inspired by childhood experience will be a positive influence on teenage readers

50 Cent is set to follow in the footsteps of Enid Blyton, Madeleine L'Engle and JK Rowling, publishing a young adult novel in 2012. The rapper intends to write a book about bullying, with plans to exert "a positive influence on all teenagers".

"Give me a knife," 50 Cent once rapped, "I'll get rid of your neighborhood bully." Now the New Yorker is swapping his sharpened weapon for moralising fiction, signing a deal with Penguin's Young Reader Group for a book called Playground. "I wanted to explore how a kid becomes a bully," said Fiddy, real name Curtis Jackson. "This book would have been very helpful for me growing up."

While 50 Cent is still best known for rhymes and bullet wounds, Playground will be his third visit to the printed page. In 2005, he published the memoir From Pieces to Weight, and 2009 saw the release of a self-help book co-written with Robert Greene, The 50th Law. Playground, due in January, will be the rapper's debut as a novelist.

50 Cent said the book was inspired by "my own childhood and adolescence", and he hopes it will be of use to his teenage son. But the rapper's experience with bullying wasn't just an adolescent phase. In his messy beefs with Ja Rule, Rick Ross and Fat Joe, 50 Cent has often been criticised for bullying other artists. "A bully picks on people he knows he can beat," 50 Cent told Hot 97 radio. "The people that I've been in altercations with will tear into [my] ass if [I] say something to them. How can I be a bully if I'm not picking weak individuals?"

Even as 50 Cent was announcing his new book, the rapper was also getting into trouble with his label, leaking a new single from his forthcoming album. "Ok I tried to be cool with my record company," he wrote on Twitter. "This is the last fuckking album THEY BETTER WAKE UP AND WORK ... my shit coming out WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT ... I don't know why they play with me they know how I get." Viewed from a certain perspective, this behaviour could be perceived as – oh, what's the word? Ah yes: bullying.

Interscope has now "begun to resolve" his complaints, 50 Cent said, but his fifth studio album is still without a release date.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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