50 Cent is a rapper, entrepreneur and media mogul. Still, when he first arrived on the hip-hop scene in the early 2000s, he was undoubtedly known as a bit of a gangster. The musician (real name Curtis Jackson) was involved in a bit of controversy before he made it big. He was once even nearly killed in a drive-by shooting.
Jackson has previously detailed his shooting, highlighting that his attacker was a “low-level” drug dealer. However, irrespective of his status, the man Jackson referenced still nearly brought about his early demise. Happily shooting the rapper nine times, several bullets hit Jackson across various parts of his body.
Shrapnel penetrated Jackson and entered his hand, arm, hip, legs, chest, and face, resulting in a permanently partially visible hole in his face. Rightly angry, the Queens native addressed it on his 2003 album, Get Rich Or Die Tryin‘. More specifically, on the song ‘Many Men’.
‘Many Men’ spoke on how there were a multitude of individuals who wanted to see Jackson dead in the early 2000s. The track features lines such as “Many men, wish death upon me/ Blood in my eye dawg and I can’t see/ I’m trying to be what I’m destined to be/ And n*ggas trying to take my life away.” Speaking on his previous struggles growing up in the South Jamaica neighbourhood of Queens the musician rapped, “Sunny days wouldn’t be special, if it wasn’t for rain/ Joy wouldn’t feel so good, if it wasn’t for pain/ Death gotta be easy ’cause life is hard/ It’ll leave you physically, mentally, and emotionally scarred.”
The highly emotional track is a reflective yet awfully aggressive one that includes some terribly incendiary lines. However, one of its overarching messages is that no matter how many people are against you or want to kill you one can overcome the odds and achieve greatness. In 2003, 50 Cent performed the track for the first time since his near-death experience only three years prior. You can watch the epic performance in the video below.