Recently, I met up with 50 at G-Unit Clothing headquarters on 23rd Street, which boasts a faux-library of gold-painted books and topless ebony mannequins. In the flesh, Curtis Jackson III repped his brand loyalties by wearing a white Yankees cap, white Reeboks, and having the office stocked with more Vitamin Water than one person could drink. He was shorter, but just as thick, as I’d imagined, and much, much nicer. Charming, in fact, and generous with his time. He answered thirty minutes of my questions—complete with compulsory Kanye, Fat Joe and Lil Wayne disses—and would probably have gone another thirty if I’d asked.
How would you describe the impact of “I Get Money”?
That record has impacted in a way that you can’t gauge. Hands down it’s the hottest record in the nightclub.
What’s your favorite song on Curtis?
“Man Down.” It’s censored, though. Even on the dirty version.
I think companies are sensitive to the nonsense that goes on in the media.
The Russell Simmons stuff?
Yeah, totally that. While that’s there, they want to avoid any possibilities of CDs being pulled off the shelves, with record sales the way they are.
Do you disagree with Simmons about self-censorship in rap?
I think he displayed to everyone that he aspires to pursue politics. I just think he was being politically correct. He said, “The rappers should censor themselves.” It’s the middle [ground].