50 Cent is one rapper who likes to play with fire when trolling people online. Sometimes it results in petty beefs that are forgotten after a few days and other times, it results in discord that results in serious repercussions. According to an excerpt from 50 Cent’s forthcoming book obtained by Page Six, all the drama is apart of his “strategy” to receive media attention. The 44-year-old rapper reportedly had to explain this to Gayle King when she confronted him at an event about her friend Oprah Winfrey.
“Gayle is the real deal — a very sophisticated, secure, and smart lady. She’s never afraid of a situation … so she marched right up to me and basically said, ‘Why you talkin’ sh*t about my girl?’” 50 Cent recalls in his book, “Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter”.
Up to that point, Jackson had publicly dissed Oprah, saying things like “Oprah’s audience is my audience’s parents, so I could care less about Oprah or her show.” The rapper and entrepreneur even named his dog Oprah.
50 Cent told King that he assumed Winfrey didn’t approve of him because he’d heard her criticize the violence and misogyny in his rap music. Jackson said he figured he might as well get some press for chastising Oprah publicly. He writes that he often uses faux beefs with celebrities to his advantage as a “strategy” to make folks talk about him. “Listen, I’d love to be Oprah’s friend,” he said he told King. “But if we can’t be friends, could we at least be enemies?”
In his book, which is set to be released April 28 by Amistad Press, Jackson says King arranged for him to appear on Winfrey’s “Oprah’s Next Chapter” in 2012. It was here that they made amends. “Before meeting me, they had bought into the 50 Cent persona … Someone who got into beefs and drama because he just couldn’t help himself,” 50 Cent writes. “But when I said, ‘At least let me be an enemy,’ they understood that when I got into a beef, it was never driven by emotion. Instead, I was moving off of strategy.”
Despite 50 Cent’s “strategy”, it’s gotten him into some pretty serious beefs in the past, such as his notorious strife with rapper Ja Rule. Although their rivalry seems to be tame at this point, with Ja Rule entertaining ideas of battling Jackson song-for-song on social media and 50 Cent responding with petty memes, back in the early 2000s the situation was much more violent. One incident in 2000 involved 50 Cent getting stabbed at the Hit Factory in New York City by Murder Inc. and Ja Rule affiliate Black Child (born Ramel Leroy Gill).
Even 50 Cent’s beef with Oprah and eventually Gayle King seemed to reignite after King received backlash for bringing up the rape allegation against the late Kobe Bryant during a Lisa Leslie interview. The rapper followed in the footsteps of fellow artist Snoop Dogg by claiming King and Oprah are always coming after Black men when it comes to sexual assault allegations and not white men. This theory proved to not be true, but social media exacerbated the sentiment with folks threatening King and starting vicious rumors against Oprah. Jackson was apart of the process by reposting Snoop’s video where he admonished Oprah and King. Jackson captioned his post, “I apologize for his language in advance, to people who get distracted by words and miss the point. @snoopdogg expressing how he feels about Gale & oprah funky Dog Face LOL.”
At one point, Jackson even posted a meme, which was a side-by-side photo of King and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and above it read, “Effective Immediately…We the black delegation Trade Chewbacca AKA Gayle King for Nancy Pelosi.” Jackson caption the post, “Yeah fu** it, get her out of here, at least we still got Whoopi.”
Such posts bring to question whether this was another instance of 50 Cent strategizing for media attention or expressing his true feelings, which helped escalate the outrage against King and Oprah.
Guess we’ll have to wait until King comes face-to-face with 50 at another cocktail party.