How 50 Cent Built His Empire

Rapper made it to $150 million thanks to business tactics, not musical talent
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2009 11:44 AM CDT
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, left, and Russell Simmons pose together at the Vitamin Water House during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Jan. 17, 2009.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Believe it or not, it might do you good to take some business advice from shot-nine-times rapper 50 Cent. After all, it was business savvy more than rap music that helped build his $150 million empire. Business Insider takes a look at how he did it:

  • His endorsement with Vitamin Water is his best known and most lucrative source of revenue; when Coca-Cola bought the parent company in 2007, he netted $100 million

  • Before 50 split with Mark Ecko last year, he pocketed royalties from his G-Unit clothing line to the tune of $6 million in 2006; he's snagged another $20 million for endorsing Reebok.
  • His first book, a ghostwritten memoir, had $1.9 million in sales—and he just released a new one, The 50th Law. He also stars in a video game, which—despite horrible reviews—sold more than 2.5 million copies and spawned a follow-up.
  • 50 Cent launched an acting career in 2005 that hasn't amounted to much; he's since started a film-production company that is set to develop eight movies, including The Dance with Nicolas Cage and 13 with Mickey Rourke.
  • He also has a financial portfolio including stocks, bonds, investment pools,and real estate—but he lost millions in the economic downturn and is struggling to offload Mike Tyson’s old mansion.
  • 50’s next move may be to invest in precious metals and launch his own line of platinum, and he is also considering a line of dietary supplements and moisturizers.