November 11th, 2011
05:06 AM GMT
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New York (CNN) – I have never met anyone who was shot nine times at point blank range.

I wasn't sure what to expect from rapper 50 Cent. I went to interview him about his new energy drink Street King. 50 Cent has linked the product to the United Nations World Food Program, promising to donate one meal for every bottle sold. It is an ambitious goal, but then Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is an ambitious man.

Ambitious and, as I discovered, very nice. Yes, nice. In fact, it was hard to reconcile the scowling ripped rapper whose album “Get Rich Or Die Tryin'” went multi-platinum, with the soft-spoken, suit-wearing CEO sitting in front of me.

He smiles often, gently touching your arm when emphasizing a point, showing great hospitality as he showed us around his offices – joking throughout with our whole crew.

Jackson describes it as an evolution. "It has been a gradual process. At this point I need to show growth and do different things and be a strong impression on people's life without it relating to music. Music was the platform for me to get enough attention to matter. Now I can do things that are really effective."

He clearly enjoys the attention this new side of him is receiving. He has been doing a lot of interviews, including one with CNN's own Piers Morgan and he talked to me about the surprising feedback he is getting from rivals like Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz.

A lot of people are cynical about stars taking up causes to advance their own image. I have no way of knowing whether that played any role in 50 Cent’s initial motivation.

What I do know is that Jackson talks sincerely about the impact of visiting Africa and the desperation he saw and his desire to use his wealth and business savvy to make a difference.

He thinks the model for Street King, where profits are shared or directly linked with a cause or need, could be a new model for responsible capitalism.

Check out the interview and share your thoughts. Is this a model that could work in closing the gap between the haves and have-nots?

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Filed under: Business

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Mulenga

    Linking profits with a need or cause appears to be a powerful model...bravo 50 Cent!

    November 11, 2011 at 6:09 am |
  2. mane

    He is a model business man..he is just too good and am happy that he is doing somthing positive that will have a lasting impact cause other artist will soon take same route

    November 11, 2011 at 6:21 am |
  3. black cement

    i admire the humanistic approach of his business. responsible capitalism should be admired and followed by others. kudos to fitty cent.

    November 11, 2011 at 6:43 am |
  4. Richard

    Bravo 50 cents – maximise the leverage of your mind, celebrity status and your rap misic. That is the way to go, the leverage of seeing a bright future.

    November 11, 2011 at 6:51 am |
  5. abimbola abass

    i belief that he still have more to offer,he had done a great job in the past.

    November 11, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  6. willyblaze

    He is truly exceptional,and has a Good heart...WE are solidly behind you curtis jackson aka 50cent CROWNED KING OF NEWYORK!!!

    November 11, 2011 at 7:07 am |
  7. George

    Do not worry! that's what he could gave and he can give much more better. music is all about lives evolution. uh, l love him and please give the would more. God bless you.

    November 11, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  8. Jorge

    Wow, the man seems very well spoken and articulate. A sharp 180 from his "Get rich or die trying" days. Kudos to the man.

    November 11, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  9. Nii

    He smiles often, gently touching your arm when emphasizing a

    November 11, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  10. Andrew

    I support the SK movement 100%. Well done 50 cent.

    ps- I tried the SK energy drink and its actually really good!

    November 11, 2011 at 8:11 am |
  11. Ndubuisi

    I think he is a very blessed man who has moved his talents from music to linking his ideas to the UN food program, keep it up Curtis I hope other stars learn from you

    November 11, 2011 at 8:18 am |
  12. loudacris

    50 is the best of rap game and eminem

    November 11, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  13. Ethan

    He is so real and i believe it is his sincere drive to do this! Wish him all the success for Street King.
    This side of 50 is millions time brighter than his hip-hop songs and blings! His business model and cause related & responsible marketing will definitely work! he is business mogul indeed! I respect to him for what he is doing!! That is so cool! His works are profound positive impact to the society and humanity!!! Thank you Mr Curtis!

    November 11, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  14. lamo cyril

    50 is just the best we doff our hats 4 u

    November 11, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  15. samsam

    Appreciated noble man "50 cent". Great thinking and very good contribution for an important cause. Wish to see more from others as well.

    November 11, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  16. Ronnie

    Your passion for the motherland is well commented , thanks a million times for your purpose of cause to the Needy !!! Riches translated to deeds are worthy . Us from Africa love u my brother . May the Most High give you More More , Turning the 50Cents unto $$$'s

    November 11, 2011 at 10:35 am |

    This is a very positive move and I'm proud of him for the knowing the game. Inspiration can come from many events and motivate you to assist others. It's smart business and xcellent karma. No matter what you may feel or have heard about 50, he's a straight up Business Man and 50, thanks for wearing the suit. It made everything you spoke about legit.

    November 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  18. Sabelo

    50 cents, well done for the good work that you are doing, for the dollar that you donate you shall be blessed with 5 more.I wish you the best.We love you very much here in South Africa.Please bring Eminem to South Africa, we would love to host the two of you. Peace.

    November 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  19. Samkroz

    Don't know about you folks out there in the States, but we here in Nigeria, we are loving this guy 50(hell we could call him a dollar instead). 50 is a national Treasure – He could run economic section of the White House.

    November 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  20. 1Cent

    Perhaps he should have chosen a product that will also cause less human harm, research has shown the negative side effects of energy drinks, he could have for example made juice drinks, where the fruits are imported from Africa or Third World Countries, that will have a much better effect (Farming will create jobs, the packaging of fruits, the shipment,...). But who knows, this an elightened man, so he may already got similar ideas. Bless your soul my brother.

    November 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  21. Hans-Ronny

    Awesome Curtis! You're the man.

    November 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  22. Justavoice

    This is definitely a huge move by 50cent. Successful black men and black men in general need one of their own, someone of status, who will lead by example. There is a lot of work to be done but if he can encourage more stars to do good and use mass media to spread the word, he can impact not only the suffering in Africa but the mentality of black people in the US as well. A large part of hip hop began as a force for enlightenment and a lot of that has been lost, instead becoming mostly negative and shallow. This is a fantastic way for Mr. Jackson to prove that not all people who grow up in the streets are inherently f'ed up, just that growing up in those conditions puts you at a HUGE disadvantage coming out of the gate compared to those with the means. 50, you have a come a long way – I applaud your struggle and your courage to grow and effect change. God bless.

    November 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  23. ketsui

    he earned my respect, he is no longer just another music artist. hopefully other music artists will consider spending their millions on something besides big homes and fast cars

    November 11, 2011 at 3:44 pm |

    be a STRONG IMPRESSION on PEOPLE'S LIVES w/o relating to (music, profession that gave him the start)
    (lead to wealth) was the PLATFORM to get ATTENTION...... Now I can do things that are really EFFECTIVE
    CHANGE P E O P L E 'S lives......I pray that this man is saved and will realized that this next level is from
    from GOD may he use the gift for Good and beware of those things that may be come to distract him.

    November 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  25. the doc

    My hats off to you. More people need to be doing what you are attepting to do. A rap star of a rich millionaire it does not matter. HELPING is the key to changing how society will survive. I volunteer for the last five years 2 days at week at a charter school and if each year I can make a difference in just one kids life I have succeeded in my goal. I am your oldest fans at 69, white, tattoed and have five grand-kids. The Doc

    November 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  26. Dee

    Love me some "Fiddy"....!

    November 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  27. Bernard

    With lips as thick as 50 cent, he wouldn't have any trouble rapping.

    November 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  28. Babak from Los Angeles

    More power to the brother......

    November 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  29. ezeli ifeanyi

    50 cent,you are outstanding,I have always being a big fan but I know uou will fare better in business,more grace to ur elbows from Nigeria

    November 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  30. Xavier

    nothing but money laundering.....success mis huevos!!

    November 13, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  31. Bozz

    Well done 50!

    I support the SK movement 100%

    November 13, 2011 at 4:58 am |
  32. Jensen

    I greatly admire Curtis Jackson. Thank you for being so gracious. I wish other celebrities took the opportunity to help others in such generous ways. You are a positive role model.

    November 13, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  33. Shanagirl

    It is a good model and a great thing to do... But isn't it similar to what Bono did with Product Red?
    I like 50 cent's music but i like him even more now!!!

    November 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  34. jawite3

    when. I heard this king sing the first time I knew. he was. great. no matter what. you have made me proud and all of africa. is now and alwayS. YOU ARE A DIAMOND IN DIRT THAT AIN,T BEEN FOUND. KNOW U HAVE BEEN FOUND. KING 50CENT I PAY MY RESPRCTS . GOD BLESS U

    November 14, 2011 at 1:56 am |

    All the best Bro....YOU are a Winner no-matter what,Winners don't Quit and Quitters don't Win...GOD be with you...Amen.

    November 14, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  36. Visitor

    Although I agree with others here that Curtis is using capitalism to attribute to diminishing hunger in the world, I do have my flawed thoughts about this. UNHCR food-programmes need between 20 and 50 US$ cent to provide "1 meal", depending on the country where people aer malnourished. A quick Google search showed me that the energy drink "Street King" retails for around 3 US$.

    Leaves anywhere from $2.80 to $2.50 to produce, distribute, market and sell Street King nationwide; which is more than enough to make a decent profit as well?

    November 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  37. dean

    My only advise to this well meaning black man is to find a good honest ACCOUNTANT that will manage your fortune

    November 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  38. Gerald Amandla

    "A sucker is born every second"–PT Barnum.
    Hats off to a man who lyrically threatened violence to all comers. Imagine all the men who committed acts of violence as they got hyped by this man's music. There are many in graves and behind bars because they believed in living the lyrics 50 spitted. Make no mistake, the ENTIRE black community has suffered due to young men trying to emulate the rhymes of rappers. The man has a responsibility to admit the wrongs of his art that led many astray.

    November 14, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  39. Etianga

    Bravo brother keepup!!!!

    November 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  40. Peg

    I saw 50 Cent in Iraq, he came and gave quite a show. I have to admit I didn't know who he was as I was 52 years old and a country and western fan. I respect the man as he showed up when we were getting bombed daily and he never missed a beat. thank you 50 Cent, you da man.

    November 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
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  45. Takang Almang Ntui

    50cent has always been and inspiration for many people out there trying to make ends meet. He has been a lesson to the world of today that in every man there is greatness. So that is 50cent, Curtis

    January 8, 2014 at 1:32 pm |

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