Rapper 50 Cent sent ripples through the hip-hop community late last week when he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But did the rapper who banked more than $100 million from an investment in Vitamin Water and several million more from his early record sales really lose it all? It’s not completely unbelievable that rappers, who are known for their extravagant lifestyles and spendthrift tendencies, could blow through a fortune (see: Hammer). But the fall of one of rap’s most popular titans is almost inconceivable.
The timing of the filing suggests it’s a direct result of a New York jury awarding Rick Ross’s baby mother $5 million in her invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the MC for posting a sex video of her online at the peak of his beef with Ross. The bankruptcy filing would protect him from having to pay, and her attorneys have already filed a petition to the court.
During an interview with E! News to promote his upcoming film Southpaw, 50 Cent didn’t seem fazed by the situation, even comparing himself to legendary businessmen. “I’m taking precautions that any other good businessperson would take in this situation. You know when you’re successful and stuff, you become a target. I don’t wanna be a bullseye. I don’t want anybody to pick me as the guy that they just come to with astronomical claims and go through all that,” he said.
“Walt Disney has filed bankruptcy. Donald Trump has filed bankruptcy. It means you’re reorganizing your finances, but it does stop things from moving forward that you don’t want moving forward. I got a decent legal team. You don’t have to worry.”
Court documents list his assets and liabilities in the $10-50 million range and cite his debts as “primarily consumer debts.” Filing under Chapter 11 allows him to reorganize his empire. It isn’t quite as harsh as filing Chapter 7, which would require that he sell assets to satisfy his debts.