Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rapper 50 Cent brags about money, but just declared bankruptcy

The rapper 50 Cent is often held to the public as a beacon of hope and financial success, at least on the surface.   But some say that things may not be all that their cracked up to be.
This week, the rapper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protction in US Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Connecticut. The alleged mogul reportedly has a the kind of debt that would make the rest of us squeamish, according to The Business Insider.
“In court papers filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hartford, Conn., Mr. Jackson reported assets and debts each in the range of $10 million to $50 million,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
This bankruptcy filing occurred right after the rapper was ordered to pay $5 million dollars to a woman who sued him for revealing a sex tape online to millions of people. The woman was the mother of the child conceived with a rival rapper, Rick Ross. Lastonia Leviston says that the release of the tape led to humiliation and mental anguish, which a jury found to be worth millions.
“On top of that,” according to TMZ, “50 lost a court case in which a jury socked him with a $17.2 million judgment over ripping off a headphones design [in 2014]. It’s a breathtaking fall.”
So, it appears that the rapper has been hit with some serious financial haymakers that may end up leaving him in a tough financial situation. According to Forbes, the rapper’s net worth is estimated at $155 million, which leaves some people confused about why he would have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But often, these protections are afforded to businesses that are seeking to restructure their finances without having to liquidate important assets.
The rapper earned the lion’s share of his wealth back in 2007 when he won $60 to $100 million from a smart business deal with a Vitamin Water company. The company was sold to Coca Cola from Glaceau, and was reportedly worth $4.1 billion dollars. After this, 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) eventually let go of his equity stake in the company, but continued to work as a spokesperson for the brand.
Give us your thoughts. Do you think this is the end of 50 Cent’s reign as one of the wealthiest entertainers in the world?
Financial Juneteenth lessons from this story, courtesy of Dr Boyce Watkins:
1) Bankruptcy is not the same as economic death.   Some companies declare bankruptcy to get protection from creditors during short-term liquidity problems.  This can allow them to protect valuable assets and keep creditors at bay while they work through a temporary financial problem.  The magnitude of these lawsuits might seem like nothing for a man worth over $100 million dollars, but that’s a lot of cash to come up with all at once.
2) Rappers are known for bragging about how much money they waste, and this isn’t cool.  This kind of buffoonery (throwing money in the air or using it for toilet paper) makes entertainers look silly when they go broke.   It might be better for rappers to brag about money that they invest or use to support important initiatives in the African American community.  When millions of black people are struggling, unemployed and homeless, the last thing they need to see are people they admire throwing money down the toilet.
3) The more wealth you have, the more others are going to try and get it.  So, getting caught up in silly games on the Internet, like revealing sex tapes, can easily cost a wealthy entertainer everything.  50 Cent is a grown man with a lot to lose, so he should be careful about getting wrapped up in petty situations.  Use the Twitter and Instagram to do business, not act like a little kid, you’re better and smarter than that.
You can learn more about Dr Watkins’ online financial classes at

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