LOS ANGELES, June 21 — Rapper 50 Cent, who rose to fame with songs that told of drug use and violence, is aiming to steer teenagers away from schoolyard bullying with a book called “Playground” that will reach stores in January, his publisher said yesterday.
The story 50 Cent will pen is about a 13-year-old bully who learns to mend his ways after witnessing the harm he caused, according to Penguin Young Readers Group.
It is partly based on 50 Cent’s own life. The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, grew up in the New York City neighbourhood of Jamaica, Queens, in an area that had heavy crime during his youth.
“I had a strong desire to write ‘Playground’ because I wanted to explore how a kid becomes a bully,” 50 Cent, who has a teenage son, said in a statement.
“I drew on events from my own childhood and adolescence, but was excited to see the story take on its own life,” the rapper said.
50 Cent began winning fans in the late 1990s with songs such as “Thug Love” and “How to Rob”, but after an attempt on his life, his record company dropped him. He staged a comeback in the early 2000s with his album “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”, and since then he has recorded albums and performed in movies.
He published a 2005 autobiography called “From Pieces to Weight” and followed that in 2009 with a life strategy book “The 50th Law”, co-written with Robert Greene.
Even though the rapper, who has sold over 22 million albums worldwide, hopes to discourage teens from bullying, he has engaged in his share of public feuds over the years.
In 2009, he traded barbs with rapper Rick Ross, taunting him in lyrics and on video for having previously worked as a corrections officer. Before that, 50 Cent traded insults with rappers The Game and Cam’ron, among others. — Reuters