Thursday, July 5th 2007
The free ride is over at 50 Cent's G-Unit Records.
The rap mogul has confessed he was overgenerous with artists on his label. In fact, Fitty spent $8.5 million of his own money to take a lot of the rappers on his most recent tour so that they could bring their entourages - and so that everyone could travel, as he says, "comfortably."
Not only that, he'd hand out hundreds of thousands of dollars to them at a time just for the asking, Sacha Jenkins writes in the new issue of XXL magazine. "Whether I got to give them $500,000 or $300,000 ... Just 'cause they want $300,000 more to make what they doing at the time comfortable. Like, 'yo, I want to get this new place over here.' "
Sure, 50's got plenty of do-re-mi: His albums "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " and "The Massacre" sold 20 million copies combined. And though his album "curtis" is delayed till September, he's getting a payday playing a boxer in the Nicolas Cage movie "The Dance," and a drug dealer in "Righteous Kill" with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. And there are the clothing and sneaker lines - and at least $100 million more he stands to make now that coca-cola has bought Glaceau, which owns Fitty's Formula 50 Vitamin Water.
But still, he called a meeting and told the artists at his label that the free ride was over.
"Laze was there as representation of M.O.P., Havoc and Prodigy," he told the hip-hop mag. "Banks, Buck. Spider was on the phone. Olivia was there. Sha Money was there. I broke it down. I told them I wouldn't be assisting them financially anymore. Pretty much I was telling them I wouldn't be there. they'd make a lot of money and spend a lot of money and have me there to fix it."
There was another problem. "I looked around the room, and I was the only person with G-Unit sneakers on. But they were being paid," he adds. "It had become the norm for the check to come, but they were no longer wearing the clothes."
Still, 50 lives in the largest mansion in connecticut - Mike Tyson's former spread. He moved there from a basement room in his grandmother's house in Queens, where, in a visit beautifully shot by Ben Watts, 50 ruminates: "When I come back here ... it's like my feet are on the ground."