50 Cent Files for Bankruptcy

Last week, a jury ordered 50 Cent to pay $5 million to a Florida woman who has a child with Rick Ross after it was determined he violated her rights by posting a sex tape online in 2009. This morning, attorneys for 50 filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection papers in Connecticut that claim the rapper’s $10-$50 million in assests match his $10-50 million in debt, effectively leaving him broke.

A few years ago I would’ve had a field day posting this kind of story about Curtis Jackson. This is a dude who for years initiated publicity stunt driven beefs with countless rivals and then rather than relying on Rap skills to best them, continuously cited his vast wealth as the sole reason why he should be considered the superior artist. For years 50′s knee-jerk defense strategy has amounted to, “so what you can rap better than me, I’m rich.” And now here he is filing for Chapter 11.

However, as anybody even somewhat familiar with bankruptcy knows, filing for Chapter 11 does not neccessarily mean you’re broke. It’s a legal tool that rich people use to get out of debt all the time and you can’t blame somebody, not even 50, for attempting to use it to avoid paying millions to a plaintive in a legal judgement. But as you also probably know, all that really matters is the headline. Most people are going to read “50 Cent is Bankrupt” and not consider the full story.

The streets don’t care about the intricacies of strategic financial maneuvering, all they’re going to hear is “50 Cent is broke” and to somebody like 50 that’s nearly as bad as actually being broke. Even when his music stopped selling, he was still hailed as an astute businessman with excellent entrepreneurial instincts. That very well may still be the case, but these aren’t the types of headlines rich guys like to see splashed across theWall Street Journal with their name attached.

UPDATED: An attorney representing 50 issued a statement to Billboard about the filing.

“The filing allows Mr. Jackson to reorganize his financial affairs, as he addresses various professional liabilities and takes steps to position the future of his various business interests”