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50 Cent turns self-help guru to publish The 50th Law

by Purple Revolver. Published Sat 05 Sep 2009 15:52, last updated: 05/09/09

Rapper and former drug dealer 50 Cent aka Curtis Jackson has joined forces with bestselling self-help guru Robert Greene to pen The 50th Law - a motivational handbook.

When 50 Cent first read The 48 Laws Of Power he said he related to it immediately. The book, by Robert Greene, is a coldly amoral compilation of rules for winning life's wars – "Never outshine the master," "Pose as a friend, work as a spy" and "Crush your enemy totally."

Greene's work has influenced many hip-hop artists including Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z. His unsentimental view of humanity features experiences of urban hardship and the dog-eat-dog music industry.

50 Cent defines Greene's work as 'divine revelation.'

Fiddy said: "You know how, no matter how you're feeling, you can go find a passage in the Bible that feels like it was written for that moment? It was like that."

50 Cent and Greene have known each other since 2006, after Greene received word that the rapper wanted to meet to discuss a collaboration.

Together they worked on The 50th Law, a manual on power similar to the works of Machiavelli or Sun Tzu, only with more anecdotes drawn from the crack trade.

50 Cent speaks with authority on the main theme of the book 'the conquest of fear,' he was orphaned at eight when his mother was murdered, has been jailed for selling crack, and was once shot nine times at close range through a car window.

Fiddy added: "Hip-hop, it's the safari: it allows people who aren't under those circumstances to come closer to inner-city life, to explore it without actually being in danger.

"It's something kids in middle America indulge in to be rebellious."

In 2000, after Fifty had left his life as a drug dealer behind and was on the verge of a deal with Columbia Records, he was shot through the window of the car, sustaining injuries to the hand, arm, hip, chest, legs and cheek (he speaks with a slur: one bullet hit his jaw).

The attack has been variously attributed to an old crack feud and to lyrics he'd released discussing the criminal activities of a Queens drugs kingpin. Panicked, Columbia called off the deal, exiling the rapper to two more years of self-released albums before Eminem, the megastar of the day, noticed his talent and brokered an arrangement with Interscope.

All this might imply that the shooting was a setback. In fact, Fifty quickly co-opted it into his brand-building efforts: a song released soon after, addressing his attacker, is entitled Fuck You. The incident is also mined for full effect in The 50th Law, where it's presented as a transformational moment.

Fifty said: "When you get hurt as bad as I was hurt when I was shot, either your fear consumes you, or you become, on some level, insensitive."

"Things that came to me after that started to matter a lot less. If it happens to you, it could be something basic.

"It could be the loss of your mom or your dad, but it's dramatic enough to make whatever else happens not such a big deal. And it makes you completely conscious.

"When you've been in life-threatening situations, you become aware that life is not for ever."

The 50th Law is mostly about manipulating other people in order to get what you want. Greene's other books include The Art Of Seduction and The 33 Strategies Of War, is always encountering people who object to this view of life on the straightforward grounds that it's not very nice.


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