Rapper 50 Cent, so named for his days spent slinging Kennedy half-dollars on the streets, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today—a request that unfortunately offers no protection against the many money-related punchlines he’s spent the past decade-plus setting up. Besides literally naming himself after the highest amount of money possible, 50 Cent has made his own wealth and the pursuit thereof absolutely central to his songs, which are essentially quarterly earnings reports set to beats. For one thing, he called his breakthrough album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, a title that now suggests he actually meant “of embarrassment.”
After all, the filings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Hartford, Connecticut, paint a very different, much less club-worthy financial picture than the one the man born Curtis Jackson sort-of sings about—and definitely much different than the $155 million Forbes estimated as his worth earlier this year. Today’s court papers claim that Jackson actually has assets and debts each in the range of $10 to $50 million, with somewhere between one and 49 creditors to his name. Previously, Jackson was reported to have made somewhere between $60 and $100 million just from his minority stake in Vitamin Water, making him worth nearly half a billion. He even rapped about this in the 2007 single “I Get Money,” just one of many 50 Cent songs that are now enjoyable ironically.
Since then, Jackson has spent most of his time playing entrepreneur, rivaling only the likes of Snoop Dogg in the amount of crap with his face on it. Or, to put it in the terms of The New York Times’ glowing profile of a mere week ago, he is a “Renaissance man” with “exceptional business instincts,” as particular in his taste for Burberry as he is his taste for pickles. One might be tempted to say Jackson simply spread himself too thin in his engaging in the ancient Renaissance art of putting of his name on stuff, investing in his own lines of audio equipment, young-adult books, exercise plans, crappy video games, comedy websites, boxing promotion, cancer movies, premium cable dramas, luxury underwear, and condoms—all ostensibly to have more things to rap about should he ever decide to rap again.
But while Jackson lost more than $16 million last year due to a failed partnership with (and accusations of stealing designs from) Sleek Audio, his bankruptcy filing comes mere days after he was ordered to pay $5 million to Rick Ross’ ex-girlfriend for illegally distributing a sex tape of her back in 2009. His attorneys say filing for Chapter 11 will allow 50 Cent 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,” while also pursuing ways to avoid paying that.
With his personal wealth no longer in his repertoire, 50 Cent will now rap exclusively about blowjobs, which no court in this land can take away from you.