50 Cent covered the first ever Vibe international issue, Vibe now decided to let the article to be viewable online. Continue reading to read about 50’s future projects, his thoughts on Drake, Lil Wayne, Twitter and more.

50 CENT WOULD BE THE FIRST TO ADMIT THAT—AS THE LATE CHRISTOPHER WALLACE ONCE OBSERVED—THINGS DONE CHANGED. THE CONSUMMATE ANTAGONIST HAS DONE A LOT OF EVOLVING SINCE HE CAME OUT 12 YEARS AGO, RAPPING ABOUT THE ART OF LARCENY (“HOW TO ROB”). NOW HE’S GOT TO BRING HIS FANS ALONG WITH HIM. IN A COMFORTABLE SPACE, THE BUSINESSMAN TALKS GOD, GROWTH, GIRLS AND KEEPING IT GLOBAL

Story: Erik Parker II Photography: Erin Patrice

“THIS IS A TRAGEDY,” SAYS 50 CENT, furiously thumbing his BlackBerry. Just a moment ago, the 36-year-old rap mogul was happily sharing a story about his new lap dog, the scruffy darkish-grey Schnauzer he named Oprah. “Sometimes she looks like a Yorkie because she needs a haircut,” 50 says, all suave and cleaned up in a dark blue YSL suit and handmade David Chu bespoke Italian wing tips.

Then came the news that ruined his day: ÜberTwitter, his favorite mobile tweeting application, has just been kicked off the social media platform. “Find out the guy’s name, we’ll make a deal or something,” he barks into a phone and shakes his head. “I hate regular Twitter.”

The street hustler turned mixtape rapper who survived nine gunshots in a botched 2000 murder attempt is now a serial tweeter with more than 4 million followers. And while he chuckles at his use of the word “tragedy” to describe his Twitter troubles, 50’s social networking game brings real world ramifications. He’s ruffled the feathers of arch enemies and alleged former exes in 140 characters or less. (To Ciara: “Yeah I tweet things that reflect my character b*tch. I have a sense of humor get one. lol that’s why your 3 mill followers behind me.”) He recently fired off a tweet that some credited with sending a penny stock surging nearly 270% in one day.

Most pressing these days is his tweets about his new wireless headphone brand, Sleek By 50 Cent, and how they might affect his relationship with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. The same men who set him on the road to mega-stardom at Interscope Records also have a very successful competing headphone brand.

It’s clear to anyone who’s seen @50cent on their Twitter timeline, Curtis James Jackson III has not only expanded his brands and biggered his businesses, he’s broadened his own horizons. As a complement to his gun-slinging G-Unit label, he’s added G-Note records, which is designed to house artists with “less aggressive” content. He jumped it off with Hot Rod, a former G-Unit signee who’s hit upon a new Euro-club sound (“Dance With Me”) and R&B Soul artist Governor. For his next film, Things Fall Apart—produced by his production company, Cheetah Vision—he starved himself to portray a cancer-stricken high school football star. To Mr. Jackson, it’s all about growth. “What I get is, ‘I love the old 50,’” he says. “But you can’t expect the same person.” Besides, the new guy has some important tweets to send.

VIBE: After announcing that you would be selling your Sleek headphones, you tweeted that Dr. Dre was mad at you. Is he still mad?
I met with Jimmy Iovine and he’s not angry with me. He has a closer relationship with Dre. Me and Em are like Cain and Abel. You can figure out which one is the bad one. I get the bad guy hat because I’ll execute without their knowledge, because I can make the deal on my own. Em can too, but he has no interest in it.

That sounds like the same reason you would criticize Game or Yung Buck.
Let me explain something to you: If it was up to me there would be G-Unit South. Young Buck would be running that. I told him to run with that. When I did that, it was for him to present himself as a bigger artist to the Southern community.

Game—I wish nothing but the best for Game. As far as Black Wall Street is concerned, he did that prematurely. Then he turned around and told me to kiss his ass. If you can interpret that as me trying to keep them under my wing, that’s just a fucked-up interpretation.

Do you think Dr. Dre really cares about your headphone line competing with his?
I have a strong personality, a strong character. And I can be difficult to deal with at certain points because I’m vocal. If you upset Em, he’s just gonna not talk to you. You’re not going to get him in the next room you wanna get him in. With Dre, the same. He’s not comfortable with friction. That [tweet] is, “Hey look, I’m here. Is everybody still paying attention?” So they go, “Why he say that? Why he say we mad?” Then the meeting happens.

Then they say, “We’re not mad?”
Yeah. “Were not mad. Stop it.” It’s funny situation. Because they don’t deal with confrontation or altercations very well. Their way of dealing with things is not dealing with it.

Your controversial tweets don’t stop there. You tweeted a picture of Chelsea Handler kissing you on the cheek and wrote: “I don’t know why people say I have jungle fever. I never kissed a white girl.”

Your controversial tweets don’t stop there. You tweeted a picture of Chelsea Handler kissing you on the cheek and wrote: “I don’t know why people say I have jungle fever. I never kissed a white girl.”
Ha-ha. Yeah, I got jokes for you.

You never admitted to having anything going on with her.
Yeah, because we’re friends.

Are you still friends?
I don’t speak to her as much as I did.

US Weekly says she refused gifts from you and said she can buy her own gifts.
Chelsea is wealthy. What gift can’t she buy? That was an assumption to write that. That was an easy shot to say she can buy her own gifts.

Okay, okay. But if you did catch “jungle fever” would she be the one?

Chelsea is confident. I think confidence is the sexiest thing about a person. She’s the kind of person that if you’re blessed with the opportunity to hang out with her, you’ll enjoy it. I’m not sure you’ll look at her and actually want to jump over the table and fuck her, but you might. You would leave after talking with her feeling that she is a cool person.

How about the Ciara flare-up? She tweeted something about your character and your tweets.
I’m being interrogated by previous tweets!

Yeah, your tweets can and will be held against you.
[laughs] Like in everything else I mentioned, isn’t it always me being attacked first?

I don’t know about that.
I could care less about trying to attack someone or bring them down in any way. I look at those scenarios like they’re actually trying to attack me. See, even if I have to assume that US Weekly said what you say. I’m sure she didn’t say that.

What about Ciara’s case?
She’s a friend. She’s been a friend. You know? And it’s like, I don’t know what to expect of people. I’ve been surprised a lot. You think you know what to expect out of people but…. I don’t know how I respond to that without being the bad guy.

Okay, here’s a chance to support a good guy: Do you think Justin Bieber was robbed for the Best New Artist Grammy?
I think Drake got robbed. He should have got artist of the year last year [laughs] to be real with you.

Why should he have won this year?
He did a lot, man. I don’t believe that Drake would have been as successful or his project would have been as successful if Lil’ Wayne was home. That point where Wayne had to sit down provided a complete focus on Drake.

You think Wayne detracts from Drake’s ability to shine?

You think Wayne detracts from Drake’s ability to shine?
It’s impossible to make that guy disappear when his light shines as bright as his does. I think [Lloyd] Banks would have sold 5 mil if I was in jail during the period when his album was released. It was a way for a Wayne fan to be just a Drake fan during that time.

Why do you think he didn’t win the Grammy?
I didn’t get it the year I was supposed to get it, for different reasons. I think the board is not young. They’re not hip. [In my case it was] just the choices to write the harsh reality. I point to that.

Now you’re dealing with the reality of Hollywood. You shed 54 pounds for your latest role. Why?
Things Fall Apart is a passion project for me. I disciplined myself physically more than I had up to this point.

What film performances have you seen that have inspired you?
Christian Bale in The Fighter. That was a performance. I know it was Mark Wahlberg’s baby and wouldn’t have happened without him, but Christian showed up. Let’s say I grew up around people who indulged in drug addiction, and he convinced me he was on crack. [laughs] I’m still not sure he wasn’t on crack.

What films have you connected with emotionally?
I like Aviator. I watched it over and over. Leonardo [DiCaprio] makes really good choices. But that was one of my favorite joints from him. I saw an HBO movie Sunset Limit that was really impressive. It has Samuel Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones. Samuel L. Jackson is probably the most underrated actor. Like, he’s trying to go for the world record of underrated.

But he gets all kinds of accolades, and he’s in mad films.
What accolades? Yeah, he works… [But] you have the strongest monologue and awesome performance in Pulp Fiction and it’s overlooked.

He gets props for that one.
Props don’t count. He deserves an Academy look.

Samuel Jackson said you rappers shouldn’t be taking all the movie roles.
Well, yeah. He said something about me earlier. I was a fan of him before and after he said it. You understand, if you are that passionate… That person has disciplined himself and trained himself.

Especially now that you’ve been going through training.
Right. Then you understand the frustration. I’m with Sam: I don’t want to be in no movie with no damn rapper.

→ Pick up the April/May issue to see 50’s thoughts on God, why he’s not that close with Puff & Hov and his thoughts on Detox.

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