*Recently I had the chance to speak with media icon 50 Cent regarding his current film project, “Freelancers.”
In doing the research I came across some information that confirmed something that I already knew. In a relatively short period of time Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson portfolio is one to be envied.
Films, music, video games and even a dietary supplement. You think it’s easy stretching rap money to other ventures? Ok, then if it’s so easy then how come there are so many broke rappers? I asked him how he was able to step outside of his original venture and still be successful.
“There’s pros and cons to being perceived a certain way in business,” said 50. “The aggressive nature of the material I put out initially keeps people from playing around with me, and I’ve been able to deal with people who are just really about doing business. People who are really about getting the job done. It eliminates those things that some people have to go through. All the nonsense. You just have to sort people out. It is pretty tough because there’s a lot going on. ”
People have long lamented on the tangible difference between the Big Apple and the City of Angels. Here’s what 50 says is a major business difference between the coasts.
“(T)he difference between Hollywood and New York City is, in New York they know how to tell you ‘No, that’s just not happening’. In Hollywood they’ll say ‘All right, we’re considering people’ and they will keep your reading a screenplay that doesn’t make sense, but they have already cast the role. Then you’ll find out when they make the announcement as to who the actual cast is. Up until then you’re still busy reading.”
Recently 50 Cents received his boxing promoter’s license from the state of New York marking yet another sure to be profitable business venture. TMT Promotions is the name of that company and he already has the world’s highest paid athlete as his #1 client. In fact, it was that client’s idea in the first place.
“It came from Floyd. You see I boxed when I was younger and I kind of live vicariously through Floyd,” he explained. “I’m fortunate enough to have the best fighter in the world to be my best friend. When you’re in that game, period, you have to watch who you’re mixing and doing business with. Also I happen to know the history of boxing.”
TMT Promotions has also signed former welterweight champion Andre Berto, and former welterweight and junior welterweight champion Zab Judah to his growing roster of elite big-time prize fighting boxers. I asked 50 if he thought Zab, once considered as close as a mere mortal can get to Mayweather’s equal in speed and agility, has anything left in him as far as big time fights are concerned. He defeated Vernon Paris back in March in the IBF light welterweight eliminator bout and is slated to fight Lamont Petersen for his IBF light welterweight belt. That’s the near future. There can’t be much left for the 34 year old Southpaw after that, can there?
“I think Zab is talented. I spoke earlier about boxing when I was younger, he was fighting amateur then. He’s had ups and downs throughout his career like everybody else. He’s always been talented but if you’re around long enough you’re going to get some losses unless you’re one of those special once in a lifetime fighters like Floyd. That’s what keeps Floyd working so hard. So, you’ve got people like that, but then ‘Roy Jones, Jr. vs. Tarver’. Then you never seen the same Roy Jones again. He met one guy and never was the same. ”
He does have a point. After Roy Jones, Jr., who at one time compared himself to Muhammad Ali in the ring, Antonio Tarver for the 3rd time he just didn’t seem like he was the same boxer. “He watches every fight and is not going to be made an example of,” said 50 of Mayweather. “He works hard to make sure his next fight is not his Tarver.”
Earlier in our discussion 50 spoke of how the preconcieved notions of others have been of some use to him in his business dealings, but those notions go out the window as far as Floyd and 50 are concerned. It appears to be as straight forward a business deal you’ll see in boxing.
“We don’t need anything from each other,” he explained when asked why they get along. “Financially, the state I’m in, and he’s the highest paid athlete, period. Like in all sports,” 50 reiterrated. “When you’re doing that then it alleviates the confusion as to why a person’s around. He might have a lot of friends, but a lot of people stay around just waiting for the next time he feels generous.”
I never thought that I would say this, but I felt sorry for Floyd-him having to wonder why friends are really around. Never thought I’d feel sorry for a multi-millionaire let alone anyone as abrasive as Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Ever the realist, 50 broke down to simple human behavior.
“But what’s the difference between what’s going on in that and every other scenario out there?” he asked. “Even the guy that raps has an entourage. Those people have expectations too. It’s people everywhere. Not just in the sport of boxing or in entertainment. It’s people everywhere with a since of entitlement. They feel like they deserve some of this shit. Give me something?”
Just in case I become a millionaire one day I asked him how would a brother be able to spot one of those “gimme” types before all hell breaks lose.
“The attention level. They feel like you should look out for them or something. If you buy a Mercedes for them it’s ‘Oh, that was cool. But you could’ve bought me a Bentley.’ You can’t really guage what people’s expectations are. You don’t have to have much or come from much but for that to shift when they get around you? They’ll get used to it. Especially when they see what’s actually coming in. The expectations grow from that.”
Fans of 50 can expect to catch his new film “Freelancers” at select theaters up until August 21st. Then it will go to DVD. In addition, you can catch his new album “Street King Immortal”, with the single “New Day”, on November 13th.