50 Cent

While making his media rounds in support of his upcoming Animal Ambition album, 50 Cent reflects a little on his career.

In an interview with New York Magazine, the rap mogul recalled moments his career during the 1990s, when he was on the brink of success with his first record deal with Columbia. At the time, he had begun receiving attention from his controversial single, “How To Rob”… and was set to release the second single with Beyonce called “Thug Love,” but he got shot.

Below is an excerpt (via Vulture), which appears in the March 24th issue of New York Magazine:

When I found myself approaching the actual release date of my record, “How to Rob” was something out of desperation. There was no plan B. The music absolutely had to work. So when Columbia Records didn’t quite understand what I was trying to do as an artist, I saw myself still moving steadily toward an album release date. The major record companies, sometimes they’ll have developed an outline of what is appropriate for an artist for a launch, and if you don’t have specifics, they just spend the money. So time goes by and you look at the budget, and you go, “Good Lord, we spent how much money?” You won’t believe how much money you spent when it’s been dragging along. “I spent how much money on car services? I could have took the train! What the f***!” They were spending it in pieces, and you look back and you say, “Damn, they spent a whole lot of money, and there’s no momentum.” They ended up taking the song and putting it on a soundtrack, the In Too Deep movie soundtrack, because they wanted to put the hottest things they had at the time on it. And I still had to figure out what was next, for the actual album. Actually, me and Beyoncé had a song called “Thug Love” which I recorded in ’98, and that was the next single on schedule for me to actually shoot the video. It was on schedule right before I got shot, so we never actually created the visual.

Following Tupac and Biggie, it was almost taboo for you to mention an artist’s name on a record. So all the artists were still competing, but they was doing it subliminally, without actually saying the artist’s name. So when I came with the “How to Rob” record, it impacted. What “How to Rob” did was it put me in the culture. It wasn’t the kind of hit record that would change your financial position, but it was the kind of hit record that made everyone take note of me. They were like, “Whoa! Who is this new guy, and he’s saying everybody’s name! He don’t care about nothing!”