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50 Cent Defends "Gangsta Rap"

Rapper 50 Cent, formerly known as Curtis Jackson, performs with G-Unit at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Mass., Monday, August 22, 2005, as part of his Massacre Tour 2005 to promote his new album and up coming movie. (AP Photo/Robert E. Klein)[Click image for details ]
AP/Robert E. Klien; Traffix
By The Showbuzz's Melissa Castellanos

When it comes to "Gangsta rap" 50 Cent doesn't play around.

He's not happy about comments Alicia Keys was quoted as making in a recent interview with Blender, even though the R&B songstress later said the quotes were "misrepresented" by the magazine.

"'Gangsta rap' was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other," Keys was quoted as saying. "'Gangsta rap' didn't exist."


Photos: Celebs Speak
According to the Associated Press, Keys issued a statement later saying that her comments were "misrepresented" and that she isn't a "conspiracy theorist" or "a racist."

"We stand by our story," Blender spokeswoman Kate Cafaro told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Regardless of Keys' explanation, 50 Cent wasn't too thrilled with the comment.

2"I don't like Alicia Keys no more though … the same reason why I said that I don't like Oprah Winfrey," 50 Cent toldTheShowBuzz.com. "I'm prejudice(d). I don't like people who don't like me. If you don't like the content that I write because of my experiences; I am being who I am when I am writing it. I fall into that 'label' as far as you considering artists creating 'Gangsta music,' we fall into that.

"If she don't like that, (then) I don't like that classical music s--- she be doing. At some point she's playing some s--- that don't relate to me. … We listen to it and try to figure out why people actually enjoy it. I am trying to enjoy it. That statement changes my perception of Alicia Keys totally. But the magazine is standing behind it, which means they probably have a tape of her in conversation saying it. It's just not really a bright comment anyway."

A multiplatinum artist ("Get Rich or Die Tryin" and "The Massacre") and business mogul, 50 Cent made a fortune from using rap to share his story of growing up hustling in the streets since the age of twelve.

He believes that hip-hop as an art form is often misjudged.


Photos: Stars Behind Bars
"I think hip-hop is so competitive, that the competitive nature, the art form makes it a competition," 50 Cent said. "I don't think that a lot of people who judge hip-hop actually enjoy it as an art form. They aren't into it enough to understand what they are listening to and they just hear disrespectful lyrics going back and forth and just say 'oh they're fighting' … so it's got to be negative if it's fighting. To just make reference to what hip-hop was from the very beginning was just two artists battling. Battling turned into beefing after Biggie and Tupac passed because unfortunately that turned into real incidents in the street."

50 Cent, who knows this way of life firsthand, said his mother (who was a cocaine dealer) was killed when he was 8 years old.

"Those things happen in that kind of lifestyle," he said.

50 Cent said that his "reference of nice things died with her." His grandparents, who took him in, had nine children, which meant finances were strained and times were tough.

Although 50 Cent was successful, Columbia Records let him go after he was shot 9 times on May 24, 2000. The rapper was in his car outside of his grandmother's house in South Jamaica, Queens when a gunman pulled up and shot him at close range while he was sitting in the car. He was shot in the hands, legs, chest, hip and left cheek.

He managed to redeem himself in the music biz once he healed and stopped hustling. He may be scarred, but he seems unscathed by the incident today.

"When you get shot, you just get up and go back to doing what you were doing and music was what I was doing," 50 Cent said.