Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson"s love affair v automobiles obtained off come an inauspicious start. His first car practically got that killed, and not since he was driving too fast. In the summer the 1994, at the age of 19, Jackson plunked under $53,000 in cash do from peddling drugs on the roadways of new York because that a charcoal gray Toyota soil Cruiser. He tricked it out with a rooftop bike rack, new wheels and also a sound device with a bass that vibration so tough it rattled the license plate versus the back hatch.

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A few months later, Jackson to be driving his automobile through a rough ar when a stranger pulled up beside him, flashed a menacing look and asked, "Yo, whereby Black at?" "Black" was the street surname of a notorious--and violent--gangster. Jackson easily put it all together: Black had a similar-looking car. Jackson shrugged at his questioner and, luckily for him, the guy drove off into the night.

The following day, Jackson went back to the dealership. "Why the f**k walk you market the same color truck as me?" he demanded. "I nearly got eliminated last night."

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the traded in the floor Cruiser for a white Mercedes-Benz 400 SEL v bulletproof windows and also a 6.0 liter V-12 engine. However the 2nd car turned out to it is in no far better than the first. The Mercedes was conspicuous, an easy target because that thieves. A pair of equipped robbers ambushed him external his grandmother"s home in Queens. Jackson proper escaped through a earlier alley and soon marketed the vehicle.

Then came an ext car trouble, but this time just his ego was bruised. In the late 1990s, Jackson decided to leave the drug-dealing days behind come commit himself fully to his music, in part to you re welcome his grandmother, who"d raised him from age 8 after ~ his mommy was killed (an attempt on Jackson"s very own life and the bear of his son detailed the main inspiration for his job change). The much more virtuous life had actually its very own problems: He to be left with substantially less money. Which expected he to be stuck driving a homely 1992 burgundy evade Caravan. "The a/c didn"t work," the recalls glumly.

But his fortunes--and car collection--soon adjusted for the better. After ~ linking up with Eminem and Dr. Dre, Jackson tape-recorded the album that would make the a star, 2003"s Get affluent or dice Tryin". It would go on come sell much more than 8 million copies in the U.S. Alone, ending up being one the the most successful laboratory albums of every time. Buying and customizing uberluxury car soon became the way by i beg your pardon he commemorated his music triumphs.

With money from his an initial album, Jackson first rewarded his grandmother, leasing a Mercedes-Benz C240 for her. Next he bought self a Rolls-Royce Phantom. He at first wanted to customize it, extending it totally in chrome. Climate he met v the president of Rolls-Royce, who confirmed him what a door slathered in the shiny substance looked like. "I didn"t establish how big the car was," states Jackson, reclining on a sofa in his Midtown Manhattan office. "It would have actually looked prefer a silver bus. You know what I"m saying? therefore I readjusted my mind."

Since climate Jackson has actually released three much more solo albums, advertise his worldwide sales total past 30 million; his next is due out later this year. He"s likewise created a business realm that contains his very own clothing and shoe lines, videogames and also films, headphones and also energy shots, also his very own flavor the VitaminWater. Jackson now has actually a net worth that $125 million. "You discover a lot around yourself when you have actually success for a while," that says. "Like, a the majority of things the you think space really essential aren"t. Yet you need that process."

One point that has actually remained crucial to Jackson is the cars. That owns two bulletproof Chevrolet Suburbans that function bombproof undercarriages. The $200,000 vehicles were developed for the Iraq war. He bought a Lamborghini Murcielago come celebrate the launch of his second album. The $300,000 car was painted charcoal gray, just like his ill-fated soil Cruiser. Perhaps to erase the ghosts of his youth--and fulfill the urge he had actually with his Rolls--Jackson decked the Lamborghini the end in an all-chrome finish.

50 Cent v his 2005 Lamborghini Murcielago and Tiffany Lighty, the daughter that his so late manager... <+> kris Lighty.

Over the years, Jackson included a Ferrari convertible and also a Yamaha YZF-R1 motorcycle, together with a Bentley Mulsanne v beige leather seats (to complement his coat, as he defines in one song). He recently painted his West coast fleet a metallic blue and added matching ceramic brakes come his Lamborghini, being more interested in freshening up his currently rides than trading them for newer models--which, he says, "are starting to rotate a small space-agey to me." He"s no stranger to futuristic rides: critical year the designed a couple of concept dare of his own.

These days, Jackson isn"t worried around drug dealers and also gangsters. It"s the taxman that merits concern.

"If you"re acquainted with my guy Uncle Sam, you understand the only method you have the right to actually feel much better about what he"s gonna take, come the finish of the year, is lifestyle," claims Jackson. "Only thing you deserve to do is spend few of it."

Additional reporting by Hannah Elliott.

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Zack O"Malley Greenburg is an elderly editor of media & entertainment in ~ and also author of 4 books, includingA-List Angels: exactly how a band of Actors, Artists and Athletes

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Zack O"Malley Greenburg is an elderly editor of media & entertainment in ~ and also author of four books, includingA-List Angels: how a tape of Actors, Artists and also Athletes Hacked Silicon Valleyand the Jay-Z biographyEmpire State that Mind. Zack"s occupational has also appeared in the New York Times,Washington Post, Billboard, Sports Illustrated, Vibe, McSweeney"s and the Library of Congress. In over a te at, he has investigated topics from Wu-Tang Clan"s secret album in Morocco come the return of tourism in post-conflict Sierra Leone come the earning strength of Hip-Hop"s Cash Kings, writing cover stories on subjects ranging from Richard Branson to Ashton Kutcher come Katy Perry. A previous child actor, Zack play the title function in the movie Lorenzo"s Oil (1992) and arrived at in 2007 ~ graduating indigenous Yale v an American research studies degree. For more, monitor him top top Twitter, Facebook, newsletter and via Got a tip on a music, media & entertainment story? Send it over via SecureDrop. Indict here: