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American rap sensation 50Cent or Curtis Jackson to his Granny, burst on to the music scene a few years back with "Go, go, go shorty its your birthday, we gonna party like its you birthday" ( have no idea what it was called).
In every review that was written about his music we were told that this was a "bullet riddled rapper" who had survived being shot 9 times, had very nearly died and had to learn to walk again following the attack.
Given the publics interest in 50's apparent bad boy past it would have been stupid not to capatalise on it, which he did with the release of the semi - autobiographical film "Get Rich or Die Tryin" in 2005.
Now fans everywhere can claim they know the ins and outs of 50cents life.
With one small problem it is only SEMI autobiographical, and infact rather alot of the film is romantic old tosh that never happend.
From Pieces to Weight, Once Upon A Time in Southside Queens, is however 50's truth told in his own words and written alongside Kris Ex.
The book is written well, its clear narritive style alows the story to flow freely from his early years to the present day.
Although the content of the book is deffinatley adult, the use of bad language is kept minimal, and there are no vivid descriptions of drugs use etc.
50 grew up in an environment where drugs were the norm, his mother was a drug dealer and she was murdered when he was 8, living with his grandparents he discoverd many of his aunts and uncles used drugs, and one of his uncles was in fact a major drugs player. Outside in the local community almost everyone either took or sold drugs.
Almost inevitably 50 statred selling crack at a very young age, in his book he not only details his daily struggles but talks of major life events, like his 2 arrests which led to 22 months in a drug rehab centre (although he never took drugs) and having to join a shock incarceration programme inorder to avoid a jail term.
Much of the book is dedicated to 50's early life, he talks not only of himself but of the countless others who were in his situation and the others who are still there. he writes of betrayel by his uncle, love for his Gran, desperation to be someone, and a fear of going nowhere. He tells the reader about learning to fight, buying a gun, but also about learning to love and having a son.
When 50 starts to try and make his way in the music bussiness he is constantly tempted by the money of drug dealing, and he struggles to survive while finding his place in the music bussiness.
And then comes the bit we all know, just as things are starting to happen for 50 he gets shot. 9 times. But he lives. In this part of the book he talks honestly of his feelings of mortality, his decisions and his hardships.
The end of the book talks of his meeting with Eminem, and Dr Dre and also talks about his "beef" with Ja Rule. He talks about his music, his company and his charity.
It is so hard to sum this book up. I am not a fan of fiftys music, although I had heard of him before and I have seen the film. The book is nothing like the film, its much much better.
In the book I like 50's honesty when he talks about where he came from, he talks about why he sings the things he does, he explains the mentatlity of his moto "Get rich or die tryin" and even goes in to his feelings about death and dying.
I dont think the book glamourises drugs or gangs, I think its just honest. It doesnt vilanise the white man either, but 50 does talk honestly of his suspicions and how he is over coming them.
50's tale is ultimatley one of the power of oneself, it urges the reader to go out there and do what it is they want to do and to spread thier message. It tells you that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it, because look where he came from and where he is now.
All a bit of a romantic notion I know, but its good for kids to know its never too late to turn your life around.
Rapper, 50 Cent has made it big in a very short space of time. Having been supported by Jam Master Jay, and produced by Dr Dre and Eminem, the rapper and poet has already experienced great success and critical acclaim for his anthemic single, 'In Da Club' and bestselling debut album. While some rappers just talk the talk, though, 50 Cent has walked the walk, and this brilliant insight into who he is and where he came from, is a must for all fans. Growing up in Jamaica, Queens, he was born to a 15-year-old drug-dealing mother - she was killed in mysterious circumstances - and took over the family business at the age of twelve. Living hard, he has been stabbed, shot nine times (one bullet in his face), and has survived a number of assassination attempts. He is a survivor, a man from the streets who has made it big-time without forgetting his roots. This is the inside story of a rap icon.