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 Eminem and 50 Cent: Family Matters

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VioLenCe7
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PostSubject: Eminem and 50 Cent: Family Matters   15/5/2009, 01:15

VIBE MAG
Eminem and 50 Cent: Family Matters
by: Jon Caramanica (He went to the You Dont Know video shoot to talk with them)

If you didnt know them, or know their faces, or know intimate details of their lives already, you might look at them from a distance and think, Nah, couldnt be. What could the beefy black kid with the ruthless streak and the scrawny white kid who seems to be sinking into himself have in common? What are they doing together? And sure, just five years ago, before Marshall “Eminem” Mathers of Detroit, Mich., reached out to Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson III of Queens, N.Y., and offered him a record deal, the two were strangers, familiar to each other only through recorded music. But now theyre thick as thieves—colleagues, who collectively embody hip hops still radical social potential to cross lines of race and class, but also close friends. 50 attended Ems wedding; at birthdays and Christmas, Eminem gives 50 original drawings. Each relies on the other for counsel, both personal and professional. Theyre both fathers with young children (50s son Marquise is 10, as is Ems daughter, Hailie; Em is also guardian of 50s niece Alaina, 13). Both men run mini-empires whose sustenance demands their continuing place atop of popular musics food chain. Album sales have traditionally been the main measure of success for hip hop artists, and multiplatinum albums—millions and millions of albums sold—will be a tall order even for 50 Cent and Eminem, who have sold an astounding total of 87 million solo albums between them since 1999. This doesnt count albums theyve contributed to as MCs, producers, and label owners. This doesnt count the mixtapes theyve appeared on. But these are uncertain times for the record industry. Sentence here about the impact of the Internet. 50s responded, in the new tradition of artist moguls like Sean “Diddy” Combs and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, by diversifying his empire. In addition to G Unit Records, which is home to artists like Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Olivia, Young Buck, and the neophyte Young Hot Rod, sales of G Unit Clothing have topped $200 million over the last four years, and he owns a stake in the Glaceau VitaminWater. 50s moved into acting, also. Aside from appearing as a struggling rapper in the 2005 semibiopic Get Rich or Die Tryin (Paramount), 50 makes a memorable turn as an Iraq war veteran, alongside Samuel L. Jackson in this months Home of the Brave (MGM), and is set to appear with Nicolas Cage in The Dance, a dramatization of the life of boxer/prison coach Billy “the Kid” Roth. Its scheduled for a 2008 release. Em has been having a rougher go of it. His 2005 greatest hits collection, Curtain Call: The Hits, sold over 2 million units, but he hasnt released an album of new material since late 2004. Hes had a tough year, though. Eminem filed for divorce, again, from wife Kimberly Scott, his on-again-off-again partner since his days at Detroit-area Lincoln High School and the subject of many of his angriest songs. In October Eminem was investigated, and cleared, by the Macomb County Sheriffs Office for an incident of alleged domestic violence against his niece. Add to that the still murky murder, on April 11, 2006, of Eminems best friend, rapper DeShaun Dupree “Proof” Holton of the group D12. At the CCC club, an after-hours spot on Detroits 8 Mile Road, Proof suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head after allegedly fatally shooting Keith Bender Jr. Bouncer Mario Etheridge, 28, who is said by Wayne County prosecutors to have shot and killed Proof in self-defense, was convicted on weapons charges in September. Proof had long been a major part of Eminems support system—a diamond and platinum P stays draped around Ems neck even now. But almost six months after Proofs death, Em is on the road to recovery. His label, Shady Records, is releasing its second compilation this month, Eminem Presents: The Re-Up, which features 50, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, Obie Trice, and a host of Shady up-and-comers (see sidebar, page 131). At the buzzing suburban Detroit soundstage where the video for “You Dont Know,” the albums first single, is being shot, Eminem and 50 are every bit the dynamic duo. Theres a knowing symbiosis between them—50s a rock, arresting in his calm, while Em is alternately hyperactive and retiring, content to have someone with whom to share the spotlight. Still, hes positively energized sitting next to 50 while taking a break from the video shoot to speak with VIBE. And even though the scene around them is chaotic—over a hundred people working together for one four-minute clip—Em and 50 seem unhurried. The conversation is relaxed, respectful, and sincere, revealing a shockingly rare example of true friendship. Hip hop, as a genre, often seems powered by friction and beef—its almost transgressive to see two such successful and idiosyncratic MCs getting along so well.

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