Thursday, February 28, 2013
50 Cent talks boxing, music and G-Unit
By Lynn Hoppes
ESPN’s "Friday Night Fights" will feature an IBF title fight between featherweight champion Billy Dib (35-1, 21 KOs) and undefeated challenger Evgeny Gradovich (15-0, 8 KOs) in a 12-round main event at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.
50 Cent, who promotes Dib, was at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., on Thursday afternoon to talk about boxing, his music career and what's ahead. He spent a few minutes with Playbook.
You live just down the road in a mansion in Farmington, Conn., but you've never been to ESPN?
This is my first opportunity to do this. What do you guys call this? A car wash, right?
Let's first talk about that house. You've been trying to sell it for years. It's 48,515 square feet with 19 bedrooms and 19 full bathrooms. And you started out asking $18.5 million. You lowered it to about $10 million. What's the status?
I haven't been to that house much. I travel a lot. I probably should take it off the market. I have family living there. They love riding their three-wheelers up and down the block. You know the street is '50' Poplar Hill Road? Marshall Mathers [Eminem] wrote on the stop sign on the street. I might just modify it and do some different things with it.
You're here promoting boxing, including former Cuban Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa. You were heavily involved with trying to get Manny Pacquiao to fight Floyd Mayweather a few years ago. What happened with that?
Floyd asked me to communicate with Manny's camp. He wanted the fight before getting incarcerated. We kept the communications lines open. I am intelligent. I know to not distance myself from Top Rank Promotions, where Manny is. Floyd didn't really care for them. I thought you have to fight the best out there.
Why do you think the fight never happened?
Floyd's thought process held the actual fight back. He was thinking more about what his opponent would be making. He didn't think this other person deserved to be his opponent. He didn't want to actually help promote that fighter. I think you can't be on top unless you're fighting the top fighters out there.
You've always stayed in shape, and you love promoting fighting. As a kid, you got into boxing. Did you ever want to do it for a career?
I have the drive and the killer instinct, but I don't think I have the discipline to train to get to a certain weight. I made a movie and got down to 167 pounds. I had to really focus. I had to understand that food was only fuel. It takes a certain kind of craziness to do it.
You've been busy lately. This past weekend you were in Daytona for the 500. What was that like?
It was good. I loved the whole festivities. It was my first race. I was aware of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and I had met Jimmie Johnson before. I knew Denny Hamlin. It was cool getting out there to see the guys.
And then you roll into New York to jump on stage and sing with Kendrick Lamar.
Hey, I'm active. I'm moving around. For me, it's all about getting back in motion. I'm getting my feet back into what got me here: music.
How is the latest CD, "Street King Immortal," coming along? I know you're still working on it.
At that show with Kendrick, I performed two songs -- "We Up" and "Major Distribution." "We Up" likely will be on my next CD. I'm going to hit the tour after that. Music is the reason I've been able to be a part of this brand extension. I turned down some film projects to open time to hit the road. It's like hitting the restart button.
What about a reunion of G-Unit?
The original G-Unit, maybe. We might do something. I'll be honest with you. Some of these new artists on the label I don't think are working as hard as they could. I don't know how hard they want to work or how much they want it. I could see the original coming back together though.
You sound pretty content these days.
I'm a lot happier these days. I've matured. I'm doing what I enjoy. I don't think some of these rappers fell in love with music the way I did. How hungry are they? It's easy to put out video clips. But what about writing the music and getting out there and working? You have to focus on what got you there.