50 Cent in the last few years could easily make people forget that he got his start as a Hip-Hop superstar. His last album was 2014’s Animal Ambition, and he was slated to drop an album called Street King Immortal, yet that album hasn’t seen the light of day. Yes, 50 has been rocking the Hollywood circuit appearing in films such as Southpaw and Den of Thieves, and also in television shows serving as a producer as well in shows such as For Life where he plays the role of Cassius Dawkins most notably his role in Power as Kanan, but his pettiness seems to take center stage more than anything.
Fif first stormed the scene with his 1999 single “How To Rob”. The now mogul once sat with his Power co-star Omari Hardwick for an episode of Poetics where he reflected on his early beginnings. “By the time I was done my first body of work, it was 97. It was eleven songs, and [Jam Master]Jay had took five or six of the eleven songs and played it for Def Jam. He played the records for people at Def Jam because he had a record company name, JMJ Records, but it was functioning as a production company,” he recalled. “He’d produce the music and then go get the record deal from Def Jam. So, I didn’t even understand the music business enough to know it wasn’t a record company. When he went to play the music for Def Jam, they was like ‘ahhh, you know…'”
But it wasn’t until 2002 when Wanksta hit the airwaves that he would begin to see massive success. During this time and before the world at large would even know this, he had already entered into what would become one of, if not the longest-running beefs in Hip-Hop history with Ja Rule and Murder Inc CEO Irv Gotti. He recounts Gotti being among those in the listening session at Def Jam (50 ultimately signed a joint venture with Eminem and Dr. Dre’s Shady & Aftermath Records under Interscope), although he hadn’t met him as of yet.
“At that point, me and Irv didn’t even have run-ins with each other at that point,” the “In Da Club” rapper recalled. “But he said ‘Nah, it kind of remind me of Jay.’ Now, hip-hop was so important that you’d have your own sound, own style, nocomparisons to the two. One of the records was a song that had Jam Master Jay cutting. Scratching on the record, Nas saying ‘somehow the rap game remind me of the crack game.’”
He added, “After he played the record, Jay’s next album came out. There was a song on Jay’s next album that had the direct comparison of ‘somehow the rap game remind me of the crack game.’ It was the same concept, same song. Now I’m going, ‘Yo Jay, did you play it for that n—a?’ He was like, ‘Nah, no. [Jay-Z] wasn’t there.'” This would ultimately plant the seed of animosity between him and Irv.
Then in 1999, Ja Rule was robbed for his chain in Queens, hometown to both rappers, while shooting a music video. The two would run into one another later at a club where the “Always On Time” rapper would view him hanging with the perpetrator that robbed him. 50 wrote on the incident in his 2005 autobiography From Pieces To Weight. “A friend of mine robbed Ja Rule,” 50 Cent wrote “That’s how the beef originally started. My man robbed him for a chain, and then this guy named Brown came and got the chain back for Ja. Later, Ja saw me in a club with the kid who robbed him. I went over to say, ‘What’s up’ to Ja, and he acted like he had a problem with me. But I’m not the one who robbed him.”
Ja Rule denied seeing 50 in the club but confirmed the robbery. He claims, however, 50’s beef with them is due to not being chosen to be a part of the music video for his single Murda 4 Life. That same year, 50 released the blatant diss track “Life’s On The Line” that houses a mocking “Murda” chant similar to the label.
Their beef went far and beyond just keeping it “on wax” with multiple run-ins that included a fistfight between the two and 50 being stabbed outside of once-popular studio The Hit Factory in NYC, allegedly by someone in Murder Inc’s crew. Things between the two have never quieted down over the years, and Irv came back to turn the heat up once again.
Gotti participated in an interview with B High ATL in September where he revealed that his advice was sought after pertaining to whether labels should sign 50 or not after being asked what advice he would give his younger self. Irv said he would “let Atlantic Records sign 50,” and then continued saying, “I blocked a n—a until he fell into Em and Dre’s lap. Labels would call me—and I was so hot, just the hottest thing—so I would be like ‘Yo if you [mess]with him I ain’t [messing] with you.’ And they would be like ‘We ain’t [messing] with him, Gotti, forget it.’”
In true 50 form, he wouldn’t let the comments slide and took to Instagram to share the clip along with a caption explaining why he still harbors animosity towards them. “These [dudes] be out here working against you, instead of working on their own [stuff] now look at them, all [messed] up,” referring to the demise of Gotti’s label.
While 50 has ended some of his longstanding feuds (The Game, Rick Ross, Fat Joe…), it seems as though this one won’t see its end anytime soon. Gotti interviewed on VladTV where he shared some more words about his rival, also bringing up allegations of him being a federal informant. “He’s a very unique individual,” stated Gotti. “Here’s a guy who starts beefing and pretends he’s the bully. The roughest, toughest n—a on the face of the earth. And then he tells on you. It’s like the biggest oxymoron…”
But then Gotti brought up the infamous night where 50 was sprayed 9 times and began to question why he may still be alive after that incident, perhaps inspired by 50’s lyric on “I’m Supposed To Die Tonight” where he says, “Sometimes I sit and look at life from a different angle, don’t know if I’m God’s child or I’m Satan’s angel.”
“Who saved him?” asks Irv, as he looked Vlad in the eye. “People be like ‘God.’ The first thing is ‘yo, God saved this guy.’ Maybe Satan saved him. He’s a great agent of chaos. I don’t think God would save somebody who moves like that. Somebody who disrespects his own family. Everything you think of 50 is just negative. He’s an engine of negativity, beef, chaos. Sounds like he’s with Satan to me, man.”