50

Hustler’s Ambition: 50 Cent’s 10 Best Business Moves! What Do You Think?


While it was Jay Z who famously rapped, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business man,” the lyric is certainly not exclusive to just him.  From Russell Simmons to Sean “Diddy” Combs and many others, Hip-Hop has come a long way solely on the strength of entrepreneurial spirits.  Additionally, music alone is obviously not generating revenue like it used to and so rap artists are constantly looking to find new ways of making money.  One artist who did that, even while his records were selling in the multi-millions, was Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

And considering his recent departure from Interscope Records, it is now important to acknowledge 50 for the mogul that he is.  He is definitely responsible for some hit music, but another thing that factors into his monumental success is his outstanding business acumen.

With the recent release of two new songs leading up to Animal Ambition on June 3, AllHipHop.com has put together a list of 50’s 10 best business moves (in chronological order) – both in and out of the recording studio.  It proves that Fif not only got rich instead of died trying, but also that he has the corporate savvy to continue to flourish for a very long time.

10). 50 Cent is the Future (2002): 50 Cent took Ice Cube’s “Jackin’ for Beats” approach and then elevated it to the next level.  Instead of just rapping a few bars or a verse over other artists’ instrumentals, he made records.  This showcased he could rap over quality production as well as write complete songs.  In 2005, the VP of A&R at Shady Records at the time said, “50 Cent used the mix tape circuit – he took all the hottest beats from every artist and flipped them with better hooks.”  It hadn’t been done so successfully, and the mix tape game certainly hasn’t been the same since.

09). G-Unit Clothing Company & Reebok Deal (2003): With help from Mark Ecko, the founder of Eckō Unlimited, 50 founded the G-Unit Clothing Company.  At one time, Ecko even compared their deal to “Nike and (Michael) Jordan coming together for Air Jordan.”  However, in 2008, G-Unit Clothing and Ecko split while 50 was able to retain full ownership of the brand.  In 2003, 50 also teamed up with Reebok and put out G-Unit sneakers.  According to a tweet from 50 himself in November 2012, he sold over 5 million paris of sneakers and made $80 million dollars during his time with the sports apparel and accessories company.

08). Beg for Mercy (2003): After the blockbuster success of his Shady / Aftermath debut, a follow-up from 50 Cent was in high demand.  However, instead of doing that, he opted to release a proper G-Unit album first.  Even though none of the other G-Unit soldiers had the star power 50 welded, the positioning and success of G Unit’s Beg For Mercy helped everyone else in the group. Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, and Tony Yayo eventually brought back plaques for their solo work and ultimately added to the G-Unit movement.

07). Formula 50 (2004): “I took quarter water, sold it in bottles for 2 bucks / And Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions, what the f**k?”  According to The Washington Post, 50’s then manager, Chris Lighty (R.I.P.), had a business acquaintance named Rohan Oza who worked for a beverage company called Glaceau which made Vitaminwater.  And after Oza saw 50 drinking Vitaminwater in a Reebok shoes commercial, Lighty and Oza came up with the idea of using 50 Cent as the spokesperson for a new Vitaminwater flavor called Formula 50 because it contained 50 percent of the recommended RDA (recommended daily/ dietary allowance) of seven different vitamins and minerals.  But rather than a conventional endorsement deal, 50 wanted to invest and he did.  Then in the spring of 2007, Coca-Cola bought Glaceau for $4.1 billion – a company which 50 had a 10% share.  After all other costs were deducted, the report that 50 received $400 million really turned out to be between $60 and $100 million.  Still not to shabby for a former drug dealer from South Jamaica, Queens.

06). Thisis50.com (2007): In 2007, 50 Cent and Chris “Broadway” Romero launched Thisis50.com.  It is a site with original content as well as, among other things, news, mixtape downloads, and videos.  According to the site itself, “Each month, THISIS50 reaches over 3 million unique visitors who look at nearly 20 million pages of content.”

05). Cheetah Vision (2009): While it’s not uncommon for rappers to star in movies, Mr. Jackson is unique in that he founded two film production companies -G-Unit Films in ‘03 and Cheetah Vision in ’09.  While G-Unit Films  would eventually fold, Cheetah Vision was more prosperous and even landed a $200 million deal which would be used to fund a 10 picture agreement.  In addition to it being a vehicle for 50 to expand his acting resume, Cheetah Vision has also gotten notable and well-established acting talents such as Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis, Forest Whitaker, John Cusack, and Rosario Dawson to star in their films as well.

04). SMS Audio (2011): 50 founded SMS Audio and, within the same year, bought out KonAudio with the intention of rebranding KonAudio using his name and star power.  Over that last few years, the company has continued to consistently put new headphones in the marketplace.  This past January, SMS Audio introduced a Carmelo Anthony signature line and Star Wars themed headphones as part of a collaboration with Lucasfilm.

03). Street King (2011): After a trip to Africa, 50 Cent partnered with Pure Growth Partners and launched an energy drink, Street King, with the goal that proceeds from those sales would be used to feed a billion kids in Africa by 2016. “50 Cent and I share a common vision,” Chris Clark expressed, founder and CEO of Pure Growth Partners, “To address the world’s growing problems through smart and sustainable business models.”

02). Boxing Promotion (2012): When 50 first ventured into the boxing business, he became a licensed promoter and created TMT Promotions with Floyd Mayweather, Jr.  However, after a few months, Floyd and 50 parted ways and 50 formed a new company, SMS Promotions, without Mayweather’s assistance.  Perhaps most notably, SMS Promotions signed junior middleweight James Kirkland in October 2013 after he had been out of action since March of the previous year due to legal issues and a lawsuit with his last promoter.

1). Swan Racing (2014): Just recently, 50 got involved with NASCAR when his SMS audio line became an associate sponsor of Sprint Cup Series team, Swan Racing.  “Swan Racing and its up-and-coming drivers are the perfect match for SMS Audio,” Fif announced in a statement.  “They are as passionate for the sport of racing as we are for our audio products, and we’re confident that the music-loving NASCAR fan base is going to enjoy our headphones.”

What do you think of 50 as a mogul?  What do you think is his best business move?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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  • andone

    yall forgot signing wit em and dre but i think we all kno that quater water deff doubled up 50(no pun intended)…. after that id say

    G-UNIT clothing/sneakers
    thisis50
    cheeta vision
    SK energy
    SMS audio

    • Shad Reed

      Thank you for reading and your comment. When writing the piece, I definitely thought of that (50 linking up with Shady / Aftermath). However, I wanted to point out things that he did that were different and unique. And who wouldn’t want to sign with Eminem and Dr. Dre? Know what I mean? And I didn’t include him leaving there because that was kind of the basis for writing the list, as pointed out in the opening paragraphs, so I didn’t want to sound repetitive.

      • andone

        I completely understand and agree as well… good thread lets try and get more of these on others in the future too if possible… dope topic and motivating, until then stay up… Peace!

      • Shad Reed

        Thank you. Peace to you as well.

  • Black Jay

    Hahahaha…. For real AHH? Another 50 article?

    • superh8

      & u still here swinging from his nuts

  • Jacqueline Simard

    *KonoAudio

    • Shad Reed

      Thanks for correcting that name and taking time to read the article. Hopefully, you enjoyed it.

  • dehova

    cool

  • Guest

    Hhh

  • DLOUPO

    Funny g unit clothes bankrupt, his web site the only people on there are 50 fans SK,SMS, boxing promotions hasn’t turn a profit yet but I love his biggest business move on how he flipped 10 million records sold to 436,000 records sold with b4 I self destruct

    • Eli Pinilla

      Funny DLOUPO clothing line don’t exist, his comments get no likes _____,______,______ promotions has yet to turn a profit yet but I love how his biggest business move on how he flipped 0 million records sold to 0 million records sold with his Hating ass comment……go ahead and add in the blanks and tell somebody how much better u did than 50 or any other rapper u hate on this much.

      • DLOUPO

        What u mad at me for? yall don’t even know what I been through, I play chicken wit a Mac truck, y’all clowns would of been moved, look lil nigga, I was saying the truth! nothing I said was false. You gotta respect the truth son, the truth will set you free, the truth will set u free

  • Eli Pinilla

    Gotta go with the water homie. He did that. All that other shit, other rappers had done, he just used his shine to promote his brand of sneakers, cloths, or albums…but the water?!?!?! Wasn’t nobody fuckin with no type of water lol not no distilled water, tap water, bottled water, nothin!!! Not only was it his most original investment ( 50th law being another good one) but it produced the most profit and overall returns. He made himself and a lot of other people very rich off that move.

  • bigdoe6

    If your family owned a business and you grew help out the family business then you understand what business is and how it works. People who don’t understand the mechanics of business don’t even need to comment about 50 and ventures. In business you make money and take losses. Everything is a risk. Some ventures go good and become profitable, some fail. Everybody doesn’t win. 50 made money off G-Unit clothing, but did it become the next Ralph Lauren??? NO. Well he tried the fashion game now it’s on to the next venture. That’s how it goes in when your creating businesses. Most people would never think you can flip money by investing in water or beverage. Well 50 invested and he made a profit. Business is all risk. Even Donald Trump went broke.

    • ACEBOOGER

      REAL TALK MY NINJA REALEST THING I’VE READ SO FAR TODAY. BUT, IT’S STILL HELLA EARLY DOH

  • Eny Daboss

    lol they removed my comment

  • Eny Daboss

    you right 50 ventures are funny… the only good deal was vitamin 50 where he made 100 millie, but remember the irs has to take 45% percent of amount, then reebok deal wasnt no dam 80 millie, reebook highest endorsement of all the time was iverson and serena now shaq with 30 millie… and their biggest partnership was with shakira and it was far from 60 millie
    yall need to spend more time on forbes and cnn fortune… i gave this article a F- how you tryna promote a dude album with lies
    gunit clothing never made 100 millie, it wasnt roca wear or sean john those brands been working for decades gunit clothing didnt stay that long…
    sk n sms aint sellling… the boxing thing you dont even hear bout it anymore, wassup with cheetah 200 milli and never been in da box office???
    when you go to that casino the only good thing you can from there is the bishez from starlet and Lust nightclub cmon i bet this mofo gonna delete my post again lol

    • brollya

      u sound like a angry fan who couldnt get a autograph

      • Eny Daboss

        lol so cuz im saying facts im an angry fan? lol how about me being fan of the truth? and you being blind cuz you a stupid fan?

      • brollya

        he made dat song for u,,,,,,,,
        “dont worry bout how i get my money, hoe just know i grt my money….. dont worry bout how i spend my money boi i got alot”

      • Eny Daboss

        hmmm im not worried bout his money cause i have a job and good credit 😉 … but im worry bout the ppl who believes in this stupid article

      • superh8

        Stupid ppl like u who have nothing 2 say but so much 2 talk about.with a million n 1 comments n u aint worried.smdh.contradicting ur damn self

      • Cameron Ponce De Leon

        HAHA

      • superh8

        Lmfao

    • bigdoe6

      Why worry about the box office when u can go straight to DVD or Blu Ray. Man you are just dumb. Use your head. Why sell a movie ticket for $8 when you can sell a Blu Ray disk for $25-30?????? 50 is a international brand so the money will be made either way.

      • Eny Daboss

        lol at international brand do you know that to be international you have to with which company his dvd will go out … i guess you dont cause if yes you would have check it before posting $623,000.00

  • JimJames29

    Aside from the vitamin water and some of the music-related decisions, like releasing the beg for mercy album to boost g-unit members solo careers, those are some pretty laughable business moves.

    • kixxxers

      What have you done?

  • Havoc Wreaka III

    He’ll advenutaully hit the big one, the vitamin water deal was to put money in his savings and the rest is to fund more businesses.. at least he’s not one of these $1.2 million former rappers that are barely hanging on to that money

  • 2012Industry1

    Can’t knock his hustle…..I just don’t like dude as a rapper,or human being. He’s very manipulative, kaniving, and very shifty character.

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  • kixxxers

    Respect!

  • Montezuma1

    Can you make a hit record though? I’m a music fan. I don’t care about your portfolio or who you’re dating. Each deal mentioned earned someone else the lion’s share of the money. None of those deals would be possible without a successful music career so at the end of the day if you’re not hot as a musical artist your value as an EMPLOYED pitchman diminishes. Only in hip hop do workers get to masquerade as bosses to people who don’t know the difference or care.

  • Montezuma1

    Vitamin Water was a 4.5 BILLION dollar deal and 50 saw less than 100 million. Now 100 million is nothing to sneeze at (I heard 40m but whatever) but the real winner is the people who received 4.4 Billion of the money. Small people have small heroes and get excited about small accomplishments and small it is when put in the proper context.

  • Montezuma1

    No one must visit ThisIs50 anymore because he’s always on AHH. I think 50 should just disappear for 2 years then pop back up. People are tired of his antics. No hit records and a lot of overrated deals. No one is buying what 50’s selling. It’s over homie.

  • Moe Hennessey

    alot of ya niggaz talking like you even going to sniff a hundred grand forget millions ~lmao