From platinum hits to power drinks to Playground, rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson has a trifecta of accomplishments under his belt, the latest one being a partially autobiographical novel for teens. The book follows a troubled 13-year-old named Butterball, whose character mimics a young Jackson and his experience as a bully.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Jackson wrote in the introduction, below, that one of the purposes of this book is to "show a kid who has become a bully — how and why that happened, and whether or not he can move past it.”
I’ll be the first to admit that not everything I’ve done in my life has been role-model material. I’ve been on the wrong side of the law. I’ve been in violent situations. I’ve also been a bully. I know how a person gets to be like that. That’s why I wanted to tell this story: to show a kid who has become a bully—how and why that happened, and whether or not he can move past it. Writing Playground was a personal journey for me. There’s a lot of me in Butterball. I drew on events that happened in my childhood and adolescence as well as things I saw around me. I also tapped into some of the feelings I remember having at that age—feelings about my family, feelings about my future, feelings about other kids on the playground. Living life on the edge has taught me a lot, like the fact that being mentally strong will get you ahead in life. But being a bully won’t get you anywhere. Some kids don’t figure that out until it’s too late. Does Butterball? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson III
New York, New York
Check out the first three chapters of the book at Entertainment Weekly.
Few other rappers have made the foray into the world of children's book writing: