In a brand new letter to his younger self, 50 Cent talks about the importance of meeting Jam Master Jay early on.
“Jay taught me how to count bars – and when the chorus should start and stop,” recalls 50. “I think Jay liked me ‘cause I looked like the lyrics. I had all the jewelry, I looked like a hustler. I’d been on the street so long, people respected me. The honest truth is, at that point, the drug dealers were the leaders of the neighborhood. They had more money than the rappers. The things LL Cool J and Run DMC wanted were the things guys hustling already had. Now, of course, the artists are way richer than the dealers, the hip hop culture has grown so much.”
Curtis goes on to talk about Eminem’s importance in hip-hop culture (“From early days, he was this great battle artist”) and ends with advice to a younger self: “If I could talk to my teenage self, I’d tell him to focus on music with a stronger intensity.”