The Real Reason We Don't Hear About 50 Cent Anymore

Rapper 50 Cent is no longer partying like it's his birthday. It seems the only time Curtis James Jackson III is in the news these days is when his bankruptcy case is being discussed or he's done something horrible, such as mocking a disabled person or leaking a sex tape. What led the "In Da Club" rapper down this path? He went from being a top-selling recording artist to being broke and considered a joke in his own industry, and here's how it happened.

He said he'd quit if Kanye outsold him

In 2007, 50 Cent told (viaToday) that if Kanye West's Graduation outsold his Curtis album, he would "no longer write music," claiming it would be his last solo album. Graduation sold more than 437,000 copies during its first day, while Curtis sold 691,000 copies its first week. While 50 Cent later retracted the statement, the embarrassment cost him a measure of career momentum that he's never regained.

He's had to pay for profanity

50 Cent was forced to pay a $1,100 fine when he cursed—adding a "motherf***in" to the song "P.I.M.P."—during a concert in St. Kitts, where it's illegal to use explicit language in public, reported Rolling Stone. He was arrested after his show on the Caribbean island on June 26, 2016. While the rapper's rep said they "would come back and perform in St. Kitts again anytime they would like to have us back," it remains to be seen if that will ever happen.

He made fun of a disabled person

In May 2016, 50 Cent uploaded a video where he's seen making fun of an airport employee who has autism and suffers from social anxiety. As captured on camera, while walking behind the young janitor, 19-year-old Andrew Farrell, 50 Cent says, "The new generation is crazy...look at him, what kind of sh** you think he took before he got to work? He high as a motherf***er right now." He later apologized, telling Page Six, "While the incident at the airport resulted from an unfortunate misunderstanding, I am truly sorry for offending the young man. It was certainly not my intent to insult him or the disability community, which is a source of great strength in America. I have apologized personally to him and his family."

Even his own vodka brand distanced itself

EFFEN Vodka, with which 50 Cent is a partner, released a statement after Fifty's disparraging comments about Farrell, saying, "EFFEN is a brand that considers social responsibility the highest of priorities, and 50 Cent's recent actions are in no way representative of EFFEN® Vodka or our brand values. We are taking this situation extremely seriously and have communicated our profound disappointment to 50 Cent directly."

He leaked a woman's sex tape without her consent

In 2009, 50 Cent bought a sex tape featuring Lastonia Leviston, his rival Rick Ross's ex-girlfriend, added his own offensive commentary body-shaming her in the video, then posted it on his website. Leviston sued, claiming the "tape destroyed her life and pushed her to the brink of suicide," reported the Daily Mail. According to the New York Daily News, 50 Cent's lawyer claimed she was trying to get at the rapper's "deep pockets" and asserted that "her life is better" because of the incident. According to TMZ, the jury deliberated for just over an hour before ordering 50 Cent to pay Leviston $5 million.

He filed for bankruptcy

After his dwindling album sales, failing business endeavors, and the lawsuit with Leviston, 50 Cent was forced to file for bankruptcy on July 13, 2015. His attorney said in a statement (via CNBC), "This filing for personal bankruptcy protection permits Mr. Jackson to continue his involvement with various business interests and continue his work as an entertainer, while he pursues an orderly reorganization of his financial affairs." The bankruptcy filing resulted in 50 Cent paying Leviston an extra $2 million in punitive damages, granting her $7 million total. He struck a deal to pay off creditors $23 million in five years, and told a judge he took photos with fake money (like the one above) for publicity.

His music still isn't selling

The "Candy Shop" rapper can't seem to make money off of his music anymore. His latest studio album, 2014's Animal Ambition, sold just under 200,000 copies. He reportedly makes about $29,000 per month in royalties from his recorded music, but that's a small number for a guy who was once one of the biggest entertainers in the world, selling more than 30 million albums worldwide.

He made (and lost) money with endorsements

Though his musical success has stalled, 50 Cent doesn't need to spit his own rhymes anymore. His endorsement deals with brands such as Reebok, Right Guard, and Vitaminwater—the last of which made him approximately $100 million when it was sold to Coca-Cola in 2007—in addition to his own G-Unit Records and G-Unit Clothing Company, keep the income coming. In 2014 alone, he made $78 million promoting Frigo Revolution Wear, a men's underwear brand. That said, he's also reportedly lost about $10 million with his G-Unit companies and hasn't been able to hold on to a lot of his earnings because of bad business deals.

He's got too many feuds in the industry

From Meek Mill to Ja Rule to Rick Ross, 50 Cent is constantly feuding with someone (You can read a comprehensive list here.) Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine, Fat Joe, Cam'ron, Nas, Jadakiss, and the Game, are just a few of the famous names with whom he's publicly sparred. His inability to collaborate and keep the peace could be preventing him from working on more successful projects.