50 Cent has built his career on wealth and success: From his drug dealing origins in Queens, he turned himself into a hip-hop star, helped create VitaminWater and has starred in about two dozen films.
The only problem is that Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson doesn’t sell nearly as many albums as he used to, he sold his stake in VitaminWater a long time ago and none of those movies are very … good. This all culminated last summer, when Jackson filed for bankruptcy while reporting tens of millions worth of debt.
It raises an interesting question: If a hip-hop mogul can no longer boast about his money and success, what does he do? Apparently, Jackson attempted to go with a “business as usual” approach, defiantly posting multiple Instagram pictures of himself surrounded by stacks of green. But as he told a judge Tuesday (March 8), all that money is fake.
After 50 Cent was recently ordered to return to court and explain how his supposedly-millions-in-debt bank account is providing enormous stacks of green for his social media boasting. According to Fitty, it’s all for show.
“Hip-hop culture is widely recognized as aspirational in nature,” the rapper says in a declaration provided to the judge. “The standard by which artists and fans engage is commonly tied to money, jewelry, products and advertising over social media.”
According to 50, such posts are necessary to maintain his “brand,” and the money was actually prop cash used for photo shoots.
“Products and brands are now marketed through social media as an effective way to engage with consumers,” he explains in the declaration. “Just because I am sensitive to the needs of maintaining my brand does not mean that I am hiding assets or that I have lied on my filings in this Bankruptcy Case, neither of which is true.”
According to The Daily Mail, the images were flagged by Lastonia Leviston, who won $7 million in a high-profile sex-tape case with the rapper, but has been unable to collect thus far. In one photo, the vodka 50 Cent is paid to endorse is in his fridge, surrounded by stacks of hundreds. In another particularly defiant pic, the rapper has used his Benjamins to spell out the word “broke.”