Once snubbed of his breakthrough opportunity, Queens rapper 50 Cent retreated to the mix-tape circuit for a brief moment before a major-label bidding war ensued in 2002. The grimy, street-level rapper's career underwent many ups and downs over the years. In the late '90s, after he united with the Trackmasters and Sony/Columbia Records, his breakthrough seemed ensured. But on the eve of his release date in 1999, he was shot. Even worse, Columbia pulled his album, Power of the Dollar, claiming that it had been too heavily bootlegged for release. Rather than sulk, 50 Cent began recording dozens of tracks for release in the underground. A buzz ensued, and Eminem offered him a million dollar-plus contract in 2002. Once again, three years after his first breakthrough opportunity, 50 Cent's breakthrough seemed ensured.
Born Curtis Jackson, the one-time boxer first stood on the brink of national success in the late '90s. Columbia -- or, more specifically, Columbia-affiliated rap ... Read full biography