As the economic crisis worsens, even celebrities like rap mogul 50 Cent are feeling the effects. The performer and producer, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, is one of the high-profile victims of the current housing and stock market crises.
“I sit with my investors and business managers and accountants looking at the numbers, and I’m like, ‘Yo, the values of stocks in different areas that I invested in are decreasing!’ So I take the loss like everybody else,” said the rapper in a recent interview with the Canadian Press, admitting that he’s already lost “a couple million dollars.”
Jackson’s tumble on the stock market might be one motivating factor behind the decreased asking price on his more than 50,000-square foot, 17.6 acre property in Farmington, CT. The performer put the mansion on the market in 2007 with an asking price of $18.5 million. Now more than a year later, realtors at The HomeVision Group have reduced the list price to sell at $14.5 million.
“I’m waking up in a room that was previously Mike Tyson’s bedroom, a fighter who earned over $500 million in his actual career, and when I purchased his house from him he was in bankruptcy,” Jackson explained. “If that’s not a strong enough reminder for you, I don’t know what’s going to remind you to be aware of where you are financially and make conscious decisions.”
Jackson bought the mansion for a reported $4.1 million in 2003, after which an additional $3.5 million was spent on renovations, according to a feature in New York magazine. Tyson, the former heavyweight boxing champion, bought the property in 1996 for $2.7 million
However, the housing and stock markets could be the least of Jackson’s worries. The rapper might also have to battle a lukewarm critical and commercial atmosphere when he releases his newest studio effort next year. The release of his fourth solo album, “Before I Self Destruct,” was pushed back more than a year, along with any tour that might have supported it, to its current February 3 slot.
“Pushing it back was to position myself a little better,” Jackson reasoned. “I want to make sure (buyers) hear some things before I actually get my CD physically on sale.”
However, September 2007’s “Curtis” received widely mixed reviews with most critics noting, like AllHipHop.com‘s reviewers, that the record was “a step backward” for Jackson. Even the album’s commercial success was soured by Jackson’s earlier claims that he would retire if Kanye West‘s same-day release “Graduation” outsold him. In the end, Jackson sold approximately 691,000 albums to West’s staggering 957,000, according to Billboard.
Despite these financial difficulties, Jackson still has a hefty income from commercial endorsements, including a five-year deal with Reebok, and at least five upcoming film projects in various states of production. He earned approximately $150 million last year alone, according to published reports.