“The obstacles you overcome are going to determine how great you are,” 50 Cent once said, and in his case, truer words were never spoken. Curtis James Jackson III was raised in South Jamaica, Queens by his grandmother after his mother was killed dealing drugs. 50, too, sold drugs while writing rhymes. After meeting Run-D.M.C’s Jam Master Jay, he was set to release his first album, Power of the Dollar, when he was shot nine times. His post-recovery mixtape, Guess Who’s Back, caught the attention of Eminem and Dr. Dre, who co-produced 2003’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’. The album went platinum within days of its release, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 and was nominated for five Grammys. 50 went on to establish G Unit Records, create a line of Reebok sneakers, and broker a deal with Vitamin Water that earned him over $100 million. He’s since founded a successful website, written a bestselling memoir, and appeared in several films including the semi-autobiographical Get Rich or Die Tryin’.