In the past decade, 50 Cent has established himself at one of the world’s highest selling rappers. Born Curtis Jackson III, from the South Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York, he learned how to rap under Run DMC’s DJ Jam Master Jay in the late 1990s. After putting out the underground single How to Rob in 1999, he survived being shot nine times in 2000. He kept rapping and was discovered by Eminem in 2002 on the strength of his Guess Who’s Back? mixtape, signing to Eminem’s Shady Records and Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label later that year. He also released the mixtape No Mercy, No Fear that featured the track Wanksta, and was later used on Eminem’s 8 Mile soundtrack. 50’s debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was released in 2003 on Interscope Records and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 872,000 copies in the first four days, and moving an astonishing 12 million copies worldwide. The album has a funky bounce of dark synth and drum kicks, and its lead single In da Club booms with horn bursts, propulsive organ, handclaps, and his signature laid-back and collected flow, captivating ticket buyers with its groove. In 2003, he also founded G-Unit Records, home to several successful rappers including, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and Young Buck. His subsequent albums, 2005’s The Massacre and 2007’s Curtis, were also commercial smashes, spawning sold-out concert tours around the world. Billboard magazine lauds him the number one rap artist of the 2000s, and his new album Street King Immortal is due out in 2014.