50 Cent's most controversial moments

50 Cent emerged on the hip-hop scene in the early '00s with one of the most attention-grabbing backstories. Indeed, not many other rappers have reportedly been shot nine times and lived to tell the tale. And ever since, the man born Curtis Jackson hasn't stopped grabbing headlines with the kind of behavior that makes his enfant terrible mentor Eminem look like a shy and retiring wallflower. 

In fact, we could quite easily fill this list several times over with Fiddy's antics over the past two decades. Fat Joe, Jay-Z and French Montana are just a few of the other hip-hop giants he's developed a beef with over the years. The hitmaker/troublemaker also got on the wrong side of several names outside the rap game, including Wendy Williams, Dwyane Wade and Steve Stoute. And the New York Police Department's Deputy Inspector once became so enraged by an alleged threat made against him by 50 on the rapper's favorite stomping ground, social media, that he allegedly ordered officers to "shoot" the star "on sight," per the BBC. The Inspector was cleared of the accusation, but it was far from 50's last public controversy. 

We haven't even mentioned his rant about women of color, the music video in which he allegedly wore stolen jewelry, and the time he got arrested in St. Kitts for the gangsta act of, erm, cursing. So which of his many, many, misdemeanors did make the cut? 

50 Cent's problematic history with homophobia

Homophobia has always been a major problem in the hip-hop world, but few rappers have made their disdain for the LGTBQ community as blatant as 50 Cent. In a shocking 2004 interview with Playboy — as reported by MTV — he declared that he wasn't into "f****ts" before adding, "I don't like gay people around me, because I'm not comfortable with what their thoughts are. I'm not prejudiced. I just don't go with gay people and kick it — we don't have that much in common. I'd rather hang out with a straight dude. But women who like women, that's cool."

Six years later, he doubled down on his homophobic views during a spat with Perez Hilton, the gossip-mongering blogger who'd taken issue with some of Fiddy's past comments. According to The Advocate, the rapper tweeted, "Perez Hilton called me [a] douchebag so I had my homie shoot up a gay wedding. Wasn't his but still made me feel better." Apparently learning nothing from the outcry that followed, 50 tweeted another seemingly homophobic remark later that same month, writing, "If you a man and you're over 25 and you don't eat p***y just kill yourself damn it. The world will be a better place. Lol." Understandably, this didn't have many ROFLMAOing. In fact, according to BBC's Newsbeat, the backlash was so strong that the Power star backtracked the "joke" by saying it was out of context, and even pointed out that his mom "loved women." 

The leaked tape that landed 50 Cent in court

For many, 50 Cent's online stunt in 2009 was his most unforgivable. It was certainly his costliest, with a Manhattan jury ordering the star to pay out $5 million to the unsuspecting victim that unwittingly took center stage in a 13-minute skit narrated by Fiddy's "comedic" alter-ego Pimpin' Curly. So how exactly did the rapper land himself in such hot water?

Well, the drama started when he allegedly acquired an intimate tape made by a woman named Lastonia Leviston and her then-boyfriend. Why her? Leviston has a child with 50's longtime rival, fellow rapper Rick Ross. Performing as his wig-wearing sketch comedy character, 50 recorded a commentary over the footage in which he made crude remarks about Leviston and repeatedly taunted Ross — then he reportedly uploaded it for all the world to see.

Fiddy believed that getting permission from the man on the tape would be enough to cover his heavily tattooed back. But when an understandably horrified Leviston discovered its existence — and that over four million people had watched it — she filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit. The Chicago Tribune stated that during her testimony, she said, "This was something done to me. I didn't have a choice. I would never, ever do this to myself." In an unlikely turn of events in 2018, Leviston showed up on 50's Instagram, appearing to be partying with the man who invaded her privacy so publicly. 

50 Cent mocked an autistic teen

50 Cent's complete lack of filter backfired once again in 2016 when he accused an autistic cleaner at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport of being on drugs. The rapper made the remark on an Instagram video after spotting the then-19-year-old Andrew Farrell pushing a cart of cleaning supplies. When Farrell didn't respond to being asked about his name, Fiddy claimed, "He high ... right here in the airport, pupils dilated everything..."

The BBC reported that an ex-classmate of Farrell happened to see the footage and alerted 50 about his mistake on the photo-sharing platform: "He has a hard enough time getting through life without jackasses like you making fun of him. I hope you feel good about yourself. You just lost a huge fan." Unsurprisingly, Farrell's family was also upset by the rapper's insensitivity, with the man himself stating to Cincinnati.com, "I was just starting work. Pushing my cart, minding my own business."

But it turns out that 50 does have a conscience after all. On learning about the teen's autism, the star issued a heartfelt apology which the Farrells accepted. However, Local 12 reports they also made it clear that they wanted lessons to be learned: "Regardless of the way that another person appears to you, it is never okay to publicly humiliate them via social media. We hope that this situation brings more awareness to what people with autism and other forms of social anxiety suffer through on a daily basis."

Diddy shrugged off 50 Cent's repeated attacks

The murders of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur that stemmed from the 1990s' East Coast/West Coast hip-hop rivalry remain some of the most high-profile unsolved mysteries out there. However, judging by his 2006 mixtape Hip Hop Is Dead: G-Unit Radio Part 22, Detective 50 Cent believes he's cracked at least part of the case.

On the imaginatively-titled "Hip Hop," Fiddy rhymes, "Who shot Biggie Smalls?/(If) we don't get them, they gonna kill us all/Man, Puffy know who hit that n**** man, that n****'s soft/He's scared them boys from the west side gonna break him off." Puffy, aka P Diddy, Sean Combs and a plethora of other names, was part of Biggie's entourage on the evening the larger-than-life rapper was gunned down after attending the Soul Train Awards.

And that's not the only time that 50 has taken a pop at the Bad Boy mogul. Just four years later, he claimed that Diddy was exploiting his late best friend's death, bizarrely in the form of a Twitter petition. And in 2016 he argued on Instagram — as reported by Complex — that Biggie had passed away because he "danced with the devil." The devil being the "I've Been Missing You" hitmaker, of course. Fiddy's continued jibes are all the more puzzling for the fact that Diddy told The Breakfast Club in 2018 that he has "no beef" with the man who's essentially accused him of being an accomplice to murder.  

When trolling Floyd Mayweather went too far

Comic timing doesn't exactly appear to be 50 Cent's forte. In 2020, the star decided to continue his long-running beef with Floyd Mayweather by yet again poking fun at the undefeated boxer's literacy struggles. Only this time, he also chose to reference the George Floyd, the Minneapolis man whose shocking death sparked a wave of civil unrest.

50 tweeted an edited image of the former world champion sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with a misspelling of "I Can't Breathe." These three words were Floyd's last, as a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes. They're the same words previously uttered by Eric Garner, another Black man who died after being held in a chokehold by police. The phrase was later adopted as a slogan by the Black Lives Matter movement. Unsurprisingly, those committed to the cause didn't find Fiddy making light of the subject particularly hilarious.

Remarkably, the Power star used to be best buds with Mayweather until 2012, when a business dispute arose over 50's handling of Mayweather's promotional company while Mayweather was in prison. For years, 50 went back-and-forth on whether the dispute was real or just a marketing stunt, but in 2020, Mayweather told the Champside podcast that the rapper was demanding "half of [his] company." The baffled athlete then pondered, "Now it's, 'You're dumb and you're stupid, you can't do this and you can't do that.' But if I can't do all these things, why are you hanging around with me?"

Did 50 Cent threaten DJ Khaled's mother?

50 Cent became a real-life villain when he broke one of hip-hop's cardinal rules in 2009: You don't go after someone's mom. In a diss video titled "A Psychic Told Me," the rapper not only took aim at one of longtime enemy Rick Ross' closest allies, DJ Khaled, but also Khaled's entirely innocent mother. It wasn't exactly a good look for the self-proclaimed gangsta.

In the clip, footage is shown of a house purportedly belonging to Mrs. Khaled, who is also "captured" taking a nap at her workplace. The promo ends with Fiddy stating he "has less compassion than the average human" before the sound of gunshots ring out. In an interview with Miss Info, the rapper argued that his menacing tactics were only a form of self-defense: his son Marquise's face had previously been Photoshopped onto a monkey's head in a promo for Ross' new LP. "You push, I punch. You stab, I shoot," he told the radio personality.

Ross pleaded ignorance about the monkey promo and also told MTV that he wasn't impressed with 50 bringing DJ Khaled's mother into their beef. "To the real Gs, they don't even watch it or entertain it. ... Khaled, his mom knows she's safe. All the Gs worldwide know what it is, and it gets no points." Fiddy's controversial promo was later taken down from the ThisIs50 site it premiered on.

Terry Crews found no ally in 50 Cent

While speaking in favor of the Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill of Rights at the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2018, Terry Crews discussed his groping at the hands of a Hollywood exec. While most praised the Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor for being so open about his ordeal, 50 Cent believed he was only worthy of mockery.

According to Deadline, the rapper uploaded two derogatory shots of Crews to his Instagram account that were captioned, "LOL, What the f*** is going on out here man? Terry: I froze in fear. they would have had to take me to jail. Get the strap." 50 ended up deleting the post after many of his followers accused him of belittling a sexual assault survivor. But the man formerly known as Curtis Jackson told The View panel shortly after that he didn't mean to cause any offense. "I wasn't looking at Terry Crews that way, at that point. I'm looking at the Hulk. The guy is this big, that's being taken advantage of."

"If you asked [a man] if someone touched them ... They go, 'Yo, what you doing?' Nothing more but 'What you doing?' In the Senate, when they [were] talking about it, he didn't even respond [to the alleged perpetrator] by doing that." Co-host Whoopi Goldberg leapt to Crews' defense, responding, "Because he was in shock!" Fiddy acknowledged that he would have been shocked, too, but still insisted that he would have handled things differently.

Will 50 Cent's violent feud with Ja Rule ever end?

The most enduring out of 50 Cent's numerous rap feuds undoubtedly involves Ja Rule. The pair became sworn enemies in the late 1990s when Fiddy's pal allegedly robbed the gruff-voiced rapper for his neck chain at gunpoint. The violence between the two rappers apparently continued at the turn of the century, and bizarrely, jewelry was once again a factor. In 2000, 50 and Ja allegedly broke each other's neck chains during a scuffle at an Atlanta nightclub where they were both scheduled to perform. Speaking about the incident with VladTV in 2016, Ja's longtime producer Chris Gotti claimed Fiddy threw the first punch after becoming incensed with Ja's constant questioning. The Cookie Monster soundalike then allegedly pulled 50's shirt over his head and began hitting back.

We're not sure who was victorious on the night, but Ja definitely walked away the most unscathed during their next physical encounter. That same year the Murder Inc. signing and his posse received a tip off that 50 was recording at New York's Hit Factory studios. The "In Da Club" star was stabbed during the subsequent melee, with another rapper, Black Child, said to be the culprit.

50 and Ja were still at it nearly two decades later when the "Always on Time" hitmaker responded to a 2018 Saturday Night Live sketch referencing their beef and — according to the NME — 50 replied, "It's never over. We may take a break, but [it] ain't over till one of us is gone."

50 Cent publicly humiliated Young Buck

It's not just sex tapes that 50 Cent has allegedly leaked without the person at the center's knowledge. The rapper also got his revenge on Young Buck, then a former member of his G-Unit crew, for an act of disloyalty by uploading a private phone conversation between the pair. And it was one that instantly ruined any of his protégé's street cred.

The drama reportedly began when Young Buck shouted "F*** G-Unit" live on stage, thus enraging the man who'd put the collective together. In a calculated move, Fiddy then recorded a subsequent discussion in which Young Buck broke down in tears over the state of his finances and how much he missed being a part of the group he'd been ousted from at least twice, starting in 2005

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a man who once boasted that he has "less compassion than the average human," the "21 Questions" rapper then made this call available to the general public. Buck retaliated shortly thereafter in the way every self-respecting rapper does, in the form of a diss track, before the warring pair unexpectedly let bygones be bygones with the reformation of G-Unit in 2014.

Fake money caused real legal issues for 50 Cent

50 Cent's financial woes indicate that the seemingly savvy star may not be the sharpest tool in the shed after all. In 2015, the rapper declared himself bankrupt, despite previous reports that his net worth stood at a colossal $155 million. And then shortly after, he got into trouble for making a mockery of his financial status.

Yes, many of his Instagram followers were left puzzled as to how the apparently penniless star managed to use thousands and thousands of dollar bills to fill his sandwiches, make his own bespoke coffee table, and even spell the word 'broke' out in capital letters using stacks of cash. A judge in Connecticut, who certainly wasn't amused by Fiddy's apparent display of wealth, ordered the "Candy Shop" rapper to offer an explanation for his social media activity.

As a result, 50 was forced to admit that the cash he was boasting about was only suitable to play Monopoly with. Yes, they were all fake dollar bills. And the chart-topper wasn't impressed at having to explain himself. According to Time, he claimed on Instagram, "I have millions of dollar in my companies, the court knows this. I was accused of committing fraud with nothing but a IG photo. I can careless what these people think of me but it's not right." He then revealed he was quitting the photo-sharing platform for good, but unsurprisingly he didn't stay away for too long. 

50 Cent's flip-flop on Donald Trump

50 Cent didn't initially appear to be the biggest fan of Donald Trump, describing the 45th U.S. president as "an accident" and turning down a campaign endorsement deal reportedly worth half a million dollars. That all changed, however, in 2020 when Fiddy discovered that opponent Joe Biden was planning to raise taxes for high-earning Americans.

Yes, the threat of losing some cold hard cash quickly turned the rapper into an unlikely Trump supporter. In an Instagram post featuring a screenshot of a CNBC report about the tax raise, 50 wrote, "What the f*** (Vote for Trump). I'm out. F*** New York. The Knicks never win anyway. I don't care Trump doesn't like black people. 62% are you out of ya f***ing mind."

Needless to say, the star's pro-Trump outburst didn't go down well with many of his followers. And his ex-girlfriend Chelsea Handler wasn't particularly impressed, either, although she did offer him an incentive to cast his vote toward Biden instead. The outspoken talk show host tweeted 50, "Hey f***er! I will pay your taxes in exchange for you coming to your senses. Happily! Black lives matter. That's you, f***er! Remember?" Handler's promise appeared to do the trick as just a day later, the rapper responded on Twitter, "F*** Donald Trump, I never liked him."