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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
9/25/2003 1:08:30 PM

Tags and topics realted to this article include 50 Cent.

IN A world where disputes are settled with gunfire and being "real" is everything, there is one man who claims to be the baddest gangsta rapper of them all.

50 Cent - the hip-hop star who has survived nine bullet wounds to his face and body - is still wanted for questioning by the New Jersey Police in connection with another firearms incident.

But tonight he goes on stage at Wembley Arena in front of thousands of Brits. Yet what his young fans may not know is that 50 Cent may not be quite as real as he would have us believe.

An expose in respected hip-hop magazine The Source claims that his first stage name was Boo Boo and he spent a mere seven months in a boot camp for minor drug offences - not the "three-to-nine" year stretch he refers to in his songs. It is also claimed that the rapper was so scared of a rival that he applied for a protection order.

In the flesh, however, 50 Cent is convincingly blase about both an attempt on his life and an assault on his street cred. In April 2000 he was shot nine times, including a 9mm round to the face.

So perhaps it is with some justification that he says: "No one can rap about the streets if they haven't been there.

"I'm real and I know there are people out there who want me dead. But I've been dealing with these situations because it's nothing new. It doesn't alter my mood. I can look after myself and I'm not scared of death."

Whether he's scared or not, 50 Cent travels everywhere with an entourage of six armed bodyguards at an estimated cost of around £20,000 a week. Even his six-year-old son Marquise wears a bullet-proof vest.

And, according to the New York Police Department, it's money well spent.

"50 Cent needs the protection," one police source told the Daily Mirror.

"He says he isn't scared but he has upset a lot of people and now he's in the limelight, he has to stop boasting about what he's done and where he's been."

According to the 50 Cent legend peddled on his website, the rapper was already dealing drugs in Jamaica, Queens, by the age of 12.

His mother was a career drug-pusher who gave birth to him when she was 15 and died when he was eight. She was gassed in her apartment - probably by a business rival.

The youngster - who's real name is Curtis Jackson - was brought up by his grandparents.

Appearances at school were rare and he was barely in his teens when he was given three-and-a-half grams of cocaine by some of his late mother's old associates and told to earn himself some money.

Even away from the street, 50 Cent says he feels no remorse about selling drugs. "Guilt for how? Try telling a kid that's 12 years old, 'If you do good in school for eight more years you can have a car.'"

By 15 he had his first gun and by 18 he claims he was known and feared throughout the neighbourhood, controlling his own crack house and making £3,000 a day.

Depending on which version you believe, it was either his lengthy jail sentences or the birth of his son that made him decide the only safe way

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