In a recent interview with Power 106’s Big Boy, 50 was asked what the single biggest check he ever received. Curtis immediately talked about how Reebok had lost the bidding war for Lebron James, and therefore wanted to focus on lifestyle branding with G-Unit Sneakers and Jay-Z’s S. Carter shoe (anyone remember this commercial?) before revealing that Reebok made him “about $80 million” overall.
The answer sends uncomfortable giggles and whispers of “that’s depressing” through the studio, as 50 grins and the radio hosts look on in astonishment. When asked why he didn’t just stop right there and bow out respectfully, 50 explains how he was surrounded by a new circle of businessmen who made him raise his own standard of excellence within his own career.
According to 50, “You move into different circles. You have people that have accomplished so much that it minimizes your accomplishments, it makes you feel like ‘OK cool, that was something cute I did. But these guys did THAT.’ He went on to describe the difference between the perspective of a rapper and the view of a businessman: “You often get involved in a race where you’re not actually running in front. As far as the artists are concerned, they think you’re actually at the front of the race, but nah, I’m already not in this race.
Fif continued:. “When I look at Forbes every year and they put me on the list….I’ve been here ten years straight. I haven’t put an album out in three years and I’ve sustained my spot. Everybody else is there but [they have] released the record. I don’t even care to be there, in that spot. Why am I in the music spot? Why not in the business without music?”
50 seems to be presenting his audiences with a paradox. He doesn’t care to be in the musical spotlight as long as he’s getting paid in the business world, yet he is aware that cash flow does not equate to being cool in the eyes of fans. Rappers take note: 50 Cent is richer than you, but not cooler.