50 Cents and His Rolls Royce Phantom

50 Cents and His Rolls Royce Phantom

Real Name: Curtis James Jackson

Date of birth: July 6, 1975

50 Cent (a.k.a. Fifty or Fiddy as pronounced in African American Vernacular English, born Curtis Jackson on July 6, 1976 in Queens, New York), is a popular African American hip-hop artist. Once almost unknown outside his hometown of southside Jamaica, Queens, he is currently signed to Eminem’s record label Shady Records and Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment. The rapper, who was the first to sign to Shady Records, was scouted before knowing Eminem. Eminem first encountered 50 Cent with MTV News reporter Sway Calloway; Eminem apparently had not heard any of 50 Cent’s performances before seeing him in person. He appeared on the 8 Mile soundtrack with an accompanying song and video (“Wanksta”) that immediately went into heavy rotation on BET, MTV, and radio stations across the country. In the opinion of many observers his continued success seems guaranteed by his large underground fanbase and the street credibility he has gained by appearing on almost every major mix tape sold in New York in the past few years.

Early Life

Curtis Jackson never knew his crack cocaine-addicted father, and his mother, a bisexual Queens drug dealer working under “Fat Cat”, was murdered when Jackson was only eight years old. Her death had a major impact on Jackson, the degree of which is speculated over by fans, and her sexuality also played a key part in Jackson’s emotional growth, which he would later reference in the song “Hate It or Love It” off The Game’s album The Documentary), “Comin’ up, I was confused, my momma kissin’ a girl/ Confusion occurs, comin’ up in a cold world”. The same song also contains a mild indictment of his father’s absence, “Daddy ain’t around, probably out committin’ felonies”.

After his mother’s death, Jackson ended up living with his grandparents, where as a teenager he became immersed in the local drug trade. Hustling around his native Jamaica, Queens neighborhood, Jackson went by the name of “Boo Boo”. It was during this period of distributing narcotics that Jackson met fellow Queens native Tony Yayo, who would later become a member of Jackson’s G-Unit group. In June of 1994, Jackson was arrested on felony drug charges. Being a second time offender, Jackson was able to plead out of significant prison time by accepting seven months in a “shock incarceration” boot camp. He would later boast about this period as his doing “seven to nine.”

He became a father to a son, Marquise in 1997. Jackson met up with Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC fame and was signed to his label JMJ. Jay taught him the basics and then 50 left the label in search of someone who could help him achieve his dream of rap stardom. He teamed up with the hip-hop production duo Track Masters who recognized 50 Cent’s talent for incisive lyrics and signed him to Columbia Records in 1999. Although he looks back on this time with displeasure (his biography refers to it as being “locked up in the studio”), the 18 days spent in a studio in Upstate New York produced 36 tracks which later became his breakthrough album Power of the Dollar. “How to Rob”, the humorous ode to robbing a slew of industry rappers (Jay-Z, Puff Daddy, Busta Rhymes (Flipmode Squad), various members of the Wu-Tang Clan, even Track Masters, and many more) was an instant hit for New York radio. Power Of The Dollar was never released, due to his shooting in 2000 and Columbia Records executives decided to drop him, claiming the shooting was negative publicity.

His Car

In the world of hip-hop, cars maketh the star, and there is no star bigger than 50 Cent at the moment. But ‘Fifty’ ain’t happy with what’s in his garage, and he has plans to turn the car world on its head, literally. 50 Cent is about to make his Rolls-Royce Phantom a drop-top, even before the company does the work for itself…

“I just want something everybody else doesn’t have,” declares the megastar backstage at a one-off UK concert at Rockingham race track. He then unleashes a tidal wave of how and why he is going to butcher his Phantom. “I don’t care if it messes up the electrical system. The roof is gonna be gone. I want something more sporty. I’m not an old man. That’s why I want to chop the roof off it. I’ll leave the TVs. They had TVs in the package I got. It’s fully loaded. I’ll leave everything that’s in there. I’ll just cut the roof off. Make it into a ‘vertible.”

The man to whom 50 will turn for this ultimate chop-top is Funkmaster Flex, New York car artiste to the rap stars. The Bronx-based customiser, 50 Cent’s motoring mentor and restorer of the singer’s ’65 Chevy Impala and ’84 Buick Regal has been trying to talk the megastar out of what some will regard as sacrilege.

“I don’t think is such a good idea and it’s going to end up costing him almost as much as the car,” predicts the host of the ‘Ride With Funkmaster Flex’ cult TV show. Rather than hack the roof off the Phantom, Flex thinks it would be better to try and buy a production example of the stunning 100EX convertible concept car when it goes on sale in 2007. An idea 50 is having none of.

“They won’t give me one,” he tuts with the air of a petulant teenager. “Having me drive a Rolls-Royce is great for [promoting the company], but they don’t see eye to eye with the kid yet.”

50 (I have been warned not to call him Mr. Cent!) is flexing his considerable muscles. Less than three years since being drop-kicked to the top of the hip-hop parade with a plug from Eminem, 50 is enjoying the power of fame and spending a $100 million fortune which would run many a small country.

Fame and fortune has come at a price. In 2000, Curtis James Jackson III was shot outside his grandma’ New York house. Now there are more bullet wounds in his body than fingers on one of his blinged-up diamond-encrusted hands. One 9mm shell even went through his front teeth. Every time he grins I try and spot it. So far I have failed.

Specifications of Rolls Royce Phantom

Model year: 2005

Make: Rolls Royce
Model: Phantom
Style: RWD
Base Price: 328750$
Drive Type: Rear
Transmission Type: 6-Speed Automatic
Engine Type: V12
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 453 @ 5350
Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm): 531 @ 3500
0 - 30 (sec): 2.3
0 - 45 (sec): 4.1
0 - 60 (sec): 5.9
0 - 75 (sec): 8.8
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 14.3 @ 98
Top Speed: 150 mph