Rapper 50 Cent did nothing to help his reputation of being an insensitive opportunist when he reacted to the news that actor Michael K. Williams died by using his death to help bring attention to the latest episode of one of his TV shows.
The rapper, born Curtis Jackson, decided the best way to commemorate Williams’ life was to post on Instagram about what he described as the apparent similarities between Williams’ death and Sunday’s new episode of “Kanan Rising,” a spinoff of the popular “Power” cable TV series. 50 Cent is the executive producer behind both shows.
After it was reported that Williams’ suspected cause of death was a drug overdose, 50 Cent posted a photo of the New York Post’s news story reporting the death and offered an unfortunate caption that invited accusations that the rapper was trying to capitalize on the untimely demise of a celebrated actor.
The episode that 50 was referencing includes a storyline about a batch of crack cocaine that killed people who bought and used them because it was apparently spiked with an unspecified deadly ingredient.
It was in that context that 50 logged on to Instagram and had the following to say:
“Damn if you didn’t see Raising Kanan check it out that fentanyl is no joke, killing the clientele.”
50 added, “R.I.P. michael k williams” while adding three hashtags that similarly plugged his business interests, almost making it seem like the rapper prioritized himself over the death.
The backlash was swift, propelling “50 Cent” to become a top trending topic for all the wrong reasons.
The cause of Williams’ death was not immediately confirmed, but the New York Post — which broke the story — reported, citing unnamed sources, that “Williams was found dead of a suspected heroin overdose” when he was found “with what appeared to be heroin on the kitchen table.”
That prompted “fentanyl” to also become a top trending topic on Twitter even though there was no immediate confirmation of a drug overdose let alone what kind of drug was allegedly involved.
To be sure, 50 has long been one of the most notorious trolls on Al Gore’s internet.
It was only last year when 50 revealed the “strategy” of a public, albeit contrived, public dispute with Oprah Winfrey.
According to an excerpt from a book written 50 Cent, he employed that “strategy” specifically to receive media, which is exactly what he was enjoying on Monday despite the reason for that attention being the death of a fellow Black man. He said last year that his “beef” with Oprah after her best friend Gayle King reportedly confronted him and criticized him for the violence and misogyny in his rap music.
But it was just a publicity stunt, similar to what’s happening with his commentary of Williams’ death.
“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 wrote. “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.”