Curtis grew up in the Hood (South Queens), and quickly learnt that taking the short term view and trying to avoid the thing you fear, gets you that very thing. As a kid he feared violence, but if you show fear in the Hood you get beat up, so he learnt to confront violence, even to invite it (“the first time someone confronts you with a gun, you are very frightened. The second, you learn to cope. By the third, if you haven’t learned to be bold you’re dead, man”.)
Life expectancy isn’t long for a drugs dealer, and there isn’t much else to do in South Brooklyn. 50c tried to get into the music business but his past caught up with him in the form of a hit man with 9 bullets, and the big record labels dropped him – too hot to handle. It gave 50c a chance to deliver his kind of music, not the sanitised kind of rap that the music companies believed the public wanted.
He joined a small record company (Eminem), but it isn’t his style to work for someone else so he used the opportunity to learn all about the recording business – taking on more responsibility including setting up his own label and paying for music videos out of his own royalties. The record company got a surprise when his contract ran its course and he set up in competition, and the artists in his own label decided to follow.
Do you run a music business? Do you peddle drugs, face hit men with guns and itchy trigger fingers?
What are you complying with because you don’t want to rock the boat? In effect, what are you afraid of that gives you more grief than if you just confronted it?
Robert Greene (of “the 48 Laws of Power” fame) co-authored and peppers the work with examples from history’s greats. Each of them confronted rather than ran away from fear, and succeeded because of it. A simple message, but one so necessary in an environment where we fear the next target