From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens

50 Cent, Author
50 Cent, Author . Pocket Books/MTV $23 (223p) ISBN 978-0-7434-8644-6
Reviewed on: 08/08/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-5216-5
Paperback - 223 pages - 978-0-7434-8804-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-5225-7
Compact Disc
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4165-2178-5
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The rap superstar known as 50 Cent was born Curtis James Jackson III in 1976. His mother, a smalltime drug dealer, was murdered when he was eight, but that didn't stop him from pursuing her profession. 50 Cent is unflinchingly honest about his mother, his drug past and just about everything else in this raw, literate memoir chronicling his rise from Jamaica, Queens, to the top of the Billboard charts. In his neighborhood, recalls 50 Cent, the only people with money were the drug dealers: "They were my role models." By 11, he'd made his first sale. Over the next decade, 50 Cent evolved from a hustler selling capsules of crack cocaine ("pieces") to a kingpin purchasing by the kilo ("weight"). With money came girls, clothes, cars—and trouble. 50 Cent describes spraying bullets at rivals, outrunning police on his motorcycle and waking up to a drug raid on his house. He avoided jail by serving time in a boot camp–style incarceration center, which did nothing but turn him into a "stronger, meaner, and more focused criminal." His big break into music came through a chance meeting with Jam Master Jay (of Run-DMC). Yet even while trying to break into the business, 50 Cent couldn't leave his past behind, wearing bulletproof vests to meetings with record executives and slipping back into the drug trade when his career didn't take off immediately. Fans will discover the origins of 50 Cent's famous feud with Ja Rule; they'll also get more details about the notorious 2000 shooting that left him with nine bullet holes in his body. Opinionated, unrepentant and unabashedly self-promoting, 50 Cent's memoir celebrates the rapper's peculiar brand of the American Dream (and the title of his breakthrough album): Get Rich or Die Tryin' . Agent, Marc Gerald at the Agency Group. First serial to MTV. com. (Aug. 9)

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