Who 50 Cent Think He Foolin'
I just finished reading an interview 50 cent gave to The Guardian UK back in Sep, 2003. In this interview 50 cent makes some statements that were just plain dumb.
One of the weirdest things about becoming successful, he says, has been hearing commentators and critics, academics and journalists analysing life in his old neighbourhood from their position of luxury outside it. "I was really closed in. I'm from Queens, New York City, and I hadn't seen very much more than that. I mean, I've been places where I've heard references to 'gun culture'. And, um, where I'm from, we don't even speak like that. It's just a part of that environment."
Full Disclosure here: I grew up in Queen, NY. Southside Off Rockaway Blvd and the Conduit. Yeah, there were some knuckleheads as there are in just about every black neighborhood but by no means was it all guns and drugs. 50 cent is merely 4 years younger than me and from his bio, grew up a mere 10 blocks from me. Trouble was to be found if you wanted to find it (like anything else), but to make it sound like Queens, by it's nature is all 'hood is plain and simple wrong
When he was 12, Fifty started hustling on the street to take the financial pressure off his grandparents. It was, he says, a simple case of economics. "My grandparents had nine children, and they raised them at a time when shoes might cost $10. And times have changed: your shoes will cost you $125. Big difference. I wasn't comfortable asking them to provide for me like that. So I asked the people who appeared to have it, who I had met through my mother's activities. People who had really nice cars and seemed to have the finances. They gave me an opportunity to hustle. So I started that early."
Ok...what type of BS is this? Full disclosure, again 50 cent is merely 4 years my junior which means the sneakers (shoes) that I had access to he did. I didn't have a pair of sneakers that cost more than $21.64 (19.99 plus NYC sales tax of .25%) until my junior year in High School ( Which would have put 50 in JHS at that time). So what is the $120 shoes he's talking about? He could have hit Models on Jamaica Ave (right off Guy Brewer Ave). What he should have said was that he didn't have the guts to wear the $19.99 Lottos or Skore (Shell top Addidas knock offs which I got teased about when I had a pair) so he felt himself above...ohhh..the Bantus spoken about earlier. And, not a few blocks away there were landscapers who would hire local kids to but lawns and such for a few bucks....but anyways
All smart kids at Andrew Jackson High did the same. "Someone says to you, if you stay in school, in eight years you can have a new car. And the kid looks round his neighbourhood and sees someone who got it in six months. Hustling doesn't seem like one of the options, it seems like the only option. My grandparents thought I was in after-school club. The only time I could hustle was between three and six."
Andrew Jackson High School. Take the Q44 Bus past John Bowne HS. No all the smart kids stayed off the corner and in thier books. How many hustlers and dealers are alive today and living large? Just 50 cause the people I knew that wanted to be high rollers are now living at home with parents. Some are just out of the clink, some stand vy the corner store getting their chemical escape on. So 50 cent is tryin' to say that hustlin' was smarter than hitting the books? And the main motivation is a fancy car? Cars that now are worth maybe $500? That's smart?
Look I'm not hating on 50 cent. He's doing the American thing and getting paid. But some of the things he's saying makes no sense. The Blacks in Queens NY currently have a higher per-capita income than whites (Mostly from dual employment). There are hood sections of Queens, but to act like there were no Jobs to get to ( The airport always hired) and the like is just plain wrong. I grew up there and I'm calling him on it.