"Born Gangsta" an unauthorized glimpse
into the lives of rap stars Tupac Shakur and 50 Cent, will hit bookstores soon.
According to co-author Anthony Thomas, the book
points out parallels and contrasts between the two rappers careers and their
impact on American culture.
"I wanted to bring up the point that both
men rose to stardom from poverty in a short time," Thomas told AllHipHop.com.
"They both had their rivalries, Ja-Rule and 50, Pac and B.I.G. 50 getting
shot nine times, the guy narrowly escaped death as did PAC when he was shot
in a Manhattan recording studio."
Tupac’s posthumous albums have generated around
$60 million for his estate, while 50 Cent went from being an underground artist
giving his material to bootleggers, to being worth an estimated $18 million
dollars in one year.
"We went to the bootleggers on Canal Street
in New York and asked how many tapes 50 put out. Those guys on Canal, who are
mostly African, wouldn’t discuss how much money they made and they never smile.
When we mentioned 50’s name they actually cracked smiles, implying that the
guy made them a lot of money."
Thomas said they he and his co-author reached
out to 50 and Pac’s respective camps for comments, but found they were stonewalled.
"We reached out to 50 and PAC’s people,
but being a small company it’s hard to get to the artists and get a representation
of their side," Thomas said.
Thomas said that in writing the book, they reached
out to various people who knew 50 Cent, including people from his neighborhood,
various mixtape DJ’s and the bootleggers themselves.
The book also features an in depth analysis as
to why Tupac, 50 Cent, Eminem and others are constantly being criticized by
conservative news commentators.
"It’s not just the rappers responsibility,"
Thomas continued. "It’s the media, the record companies and the artists.
Artists and the record labels can put out music that doesn’t always have to
Currently, the publishers are in negotiations
with various bookstores, including Barnes & Nobles to carry the book. The
book is expected to hit chains nationwide sometime in the spring.