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50 Cent - A Brief Biography

50 Cent (aka Curtis James Jackson) has been an explosive figure in the hip hop industry since his major label debut in 2003. Despite a hard childhood and youth, he has managed to pull himself out of the streets with unique rhymes and an ear for finding other rap talents.

50 Cent became rap's golden boy when he was signed for a reported one million with Eminem's Shady/Aftermath label. Emininem and rap superstar Dr. Dre built upon 50's already present talent to create the monster single "In Da Club." This 50 Cent song was featured on his first major label album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" which was released in 2003. The 50 Cent video for the song included appearances by both Eminem and Dr. Dre, which catapulted his success.

After the success of the album, Interscope records granted 50 cent with his own record label G-Unit Records. He immediately signed Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, childhood friends, for the label. He joined these artists in a group called G-Unit, which released "Beg for Mercy" in 2003. Later additions the label included Young Buck, Olivia, Mob Deep and Young Hot Rod. 2008 saw a second album from the G-Unit group called "T.O.S: Terminate on Sight".

At the same time, he began work on his second studio release entitled "The Massacre." The album sold 1.14 million copies in the first four days. The 50 Cent videos for "Candy Shop," "Disco Inferno" and "How We Do" helped place those three songs within the top five Billboard singles in the same week.

50 Cent's success is driven by his desire to overcome his rough childhood and the shooting in May 2000 that put his rap career on hold. He was born in the South Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, New York to a teenage mother. He was raised by his grandparents after his mother's murder when he was 8. By 12, 50 Cent was selling crack on the streets and taking guns to school. After several arrests during his late teens, he started to become interested in music.

During the late 1990s, he appeared on several records by other artists and was signed to Columbia records in 1999. He recorded thirty-six songs in two weeks and was prepared to release "Power of the Dollar" when he was shot. 50 Cent was attacked outside of his grandparent's home and was shot nine times. His shooter was never officially charged but was killed in the streets three weeks later. In 50 Cent pictures before and after the shooting, one can see the slight damage to his left cheek from the shooting.

Columbia records dropped the artist immediately, considering him too risky. However, this didn't stop his desire to become a rap star. While 50 Cent was recovering, he recorded thirty songs for rap mix tapes, which helped him build his reputation. It was on one of these mix tapes where Eminem first heard his music.

In addition to his wide discography, 50 Cent teamed with Reebok in 2003 to distribute G-Unit Sneakers. He also has a G-Unit Clothing company. He made his way into the video game world with the 2005 release of 50 Cent: BulletProof. A follow up to the game, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, was released in early 2009. He has also appeared in the films "Get Rich or Die Tryin'", "Home of the Brave" and "Righteous Kill".

50 cent's third album Curtis was released in September of 2007 and sold 691,000 copies in the first week. His fourth album, Before I Self Destruct is anticipated for a spring 2009 release.


The Story Behind Linkin Park

Linkin Park is a popular band, and hundreds, if not thousands, download music videos from the group every day. If you are one who loves to watch music videos of this group, take some time to learn a little more in-depth information about the group and its members.

History of Linkin Park

The band started with Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, and Rob Bourdon, three high school friends from California who enjoyed playing together. After graduation, they decided to see how far they could take their group, and then recruited three new members: Joe Han, Dave Ferrell, and Mark Wakefield. The new group gave themselves the name "Zero" and began to record and produce their own songs. The original songs were produced in Mike's bedroom studio, but they were struggling to land a record deal.

As with many similar bands, the lack of success led to tension. This caused two of the members to leave. First to leave was Wakefield, who was Xero's vocalist, followed by Farrell, who went on to tour with other groups.

The group had to recruit a new vocalist, and they turned to Chester Bennington. His unique singing style landed him a spot, and the new group changed its name to Hybrid Theory. As the band came back to life, it changed its name again to Linkin Park.

Still, the band continued to struggle. They turned to Jeff Blue, vice president of Warner Bros. Records, who had referred Chester Bennington to them in the past. With his help, they signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records in 1999, and their first successful album Hybrid Theory, was released in 2000.

The first album contained much of the work from the group over the last ten years. Music fans enjoyed it, and it sold over 4.8 million records its first year. Singles from the album were popping up all over the place, including several hit movies. The album was nominated for three Grammies, winning the Grammy for the best hard rock performance, which solidified the band's popularity.

Over time, bassist Dave Farrell rejoined the group, and they published the remix album Reanimation, which earned second spot on the Billboard 200. This opened the band to touring, and in 2002 the band released its third album, Meteora, which featured a variety of styles.

Between 2004 and 2006, the band rested from recording for a while, allowing its members to work on side project while the group did some tours. Linkin Park came back together in 2006 to record Minutes to Midnight, which was not released until November of 2008 due to the band's busy tour schedule.

Trivia About Linkin Park

- The band is named after Lincoln Park in Santa Monica
- The Linkin Park song Leave out All the Rest was played in the movie Twilight
- Shadow of the Day is the first music video produced by Linkin Park that did not feature the entire band
- The first show the band performed was at The Whisky
- The What I've Done video is the most popular among YouTube users who download music videos online
- The band owns its own record company, which is called "Machine Shop Records"
- The band's most popular song is "In the End" from Hybrid Theory
- The album cover for Hybrid Theory was designed by Mike
- The band's music is considered Nu-Metal and Rapcore
- Meteora's name came from a set of monasteries in Greece

By knowing a little more about the group, downloading music videos of Linkin Park will be much more enjoyable. The group continues to make new music, so new music videos will continue to be produced for avid fans to enjoy.


Good Running Songs

There are many people that say you should not run with music. But, I feel it's safe as long as you have the volume at a decent level. You don't have to listen to it at the level of being in person at a rock concert! When I listen to music, I can hear cars and sounds around me.

So, now that we've established that it's alright to run with music - we need to talk about what music is good to run to. There are some great running songs out there and here are some of my favorites. These songs can get me going when the going may get tough.

1. Theme From Rocky. All runners should have this on their playlist. I can't tell you how many times I've been at a tough time in a longer run - or during a hill workout, when the Theme From Rocky suddenly starts playing. By the way, I do believe my iPod is psychic. It seems to know when I need to hear something motivating. Anyway, this song just pumps me up and gets me going strong again.

2. Eye Of The Tiger. Same thing. The beat and the message just gets you going.

3. The Champion In Me. I really like this song. I feel that all of us that are out there on the roads everyday are champions. So, how appropriate is this song?

4. Going The Distance. Also, a Rocky song. This is from one of the later movies - but I really like this song and it helps me along.

5. Nothin' But A Good Time. Not really sure why this song gets me going but it does. Love the beat and I guess I'm just having a good time when I'm running!

6. I'm So Excited. Nothing like a good beat by the Pointer Sisters to get the blood pumping.

7. Perfect Day. This song just makes me feel good. Like when I'm running it's got to be a perfect day!

8. Walking On The Sunshine. Once again - another song that just makes me feel good all over.

9. Living On A Prayer. Love Bon Jovi - and love this song.

10. Anything by KISS, REO Speedwagon or Journey. Love my thumping 70′s arena rock. And, the beat does keep you moving.

And, now I'll admit to music that I love to listen to on the run - OK, anytime. Disco music. Now, once you stop laughing - read on. Disco music has a great beat which helps on your runs. Also, it will help you with your moods when you're not on the run. You can be having a bad day, a disco song starts playing and you instantly start feeling better and getting out of your funk. It does work. Continue your laughing now!

Well, that's some of my favorite songs that gets and keeps me moving while on the run.


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