The 50 best 50 Cent quotes

During the commute to work, I find myself returning to the audiobook of 50 Cent’s Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. While he’s best known for his music and TV productions, 50 Cent’s quotes, opinions, and ideas have resonated with me more than I’d expected (like here and here). In this post, I’ve put together a list of the best quotes from 50 Cent about hustle, money, life, and loyalty.

Before we jump in, I’ll share a disclaimer that I’d guess 50 Cent would want you to know—which is that he’s not an expert on life. He writes, “I just didn’t like the idea of presenting myself as an expert on life.” 

Like all advice, these quotes are better taken as starting points—opinions, experiences, and ideas—for you to think critically about and decide how to apply to your life.

50 Cent quotes about hustle

1. “You’re going to have to project the confidence that you belong, that you’ve got the answers, even if the people you’re talking to aren’t giving you the credit. All your hard work isn’t going to be worth shit if you’re not ready—no, determined—to share it with the world.” [1]

2. “True ownership can come only from within. It comes from a disdain for anything or anybody that impinges upon your mobility, from a confidence in your own decisions, and from the use of your time in constant pursuit of education and improvement.” [2]

3. “Your time is never wasted when you’re gathering information. This is why I’ll always prioritize information over a check. Recently, I got a very nice check to play a show in Israel. I didn’t have to show up until the day of the show, but I told my people to book me to arrive a day early. ‘You want to see the sights?’ they asked. ‘That’s not it,’ I explained. ‘I need to meet the [person] who can write a check like that!’ I didn’t know what this guy did, but I knew I could learn something from him.” [1]

4. “You spend years working for others—they own you during that period. You get needlessly caught up in people’s games and battles, wasting energy and time that you will never get back. You come to respect your own ideas less and less, listening to experts, conforming to conventional opinions. Without realizing it you squander your independence, everything that makes you a creative individual.” [2]

5. “The easiest deposit you can make at work, but one that will pay off in the long run, is to just show up on time. You have no idea how aggravating it is for a boss when employees just roll in whenever. It might be tempting to think, “Well, if it were my company, I’d get there early, but why should I rush over there to make these guys money?” If that’s your attitude, you’re never going to get your own company.” [1]

6. “Plenty of people might be willing to outrap, outperform, or even outsmart me, but no one—and I mean no one—is ever going to out-work me.” [1]

7. “You might see a picture of my new car or a view from my apartment on IG with the hashtag #workhardplayharder. The cars and the view are real, but the hashtag is fake. The truth is that I work much harder than I play. That’s because I enjoy the work more. My attitude toward my career is “whistle while you work.” Every eighteen-hour day on the set is fun for me. Every all-nighter in the studio is a joy. Every 4:30 a.m. wake-up call is a blessing, the signal that I’m getting another chance to do something I love.” [1]

8. “My strategy was pretty straightforward: I’d always prefer to be friends with someone, but if they’re not interested, then I consider being enemies the next best option. Why? Because if you hate me, you’re more likely to talk about me.” [1]

9. “During a commercial for my Adidas sneakers that showed me working out in a boxing gym, we snuck in a shot of me taking a sip of Vitamin Water. It was barely half a second, but it was enough. A friend of Chris’s who worked at Glacéau saw the spot and reached out to see if I’d be interested in an endorsement deal.” [1]

10. “One thing I always try to assess in new business partners is what I call their ‘passion stance.’ Just how passionate are they about making this thing happen? Someone with a weak passion stance will probably get knocked over the first time they meet a little resistance. I’m not interested in being around that sort of energy. [1]

More on the passion stance here and here.

11. “One of the most important realizations I came to early in my business career is that I’m running through an endless tunnel. What I mean by that is I came to understand that there’s no “happily ever after.” No matter how many records I sell, cases of liquor I move, and hit TV shows I create and executive-produce, there’s never going to be a moment where I say, “Okay, this is the end of the road. I’ve finally made it,” and then take my foot off the pedal.” [1] 

Artist Yayoi Kusama and psychologist Phil Stutz say something similar.

12. “People will stop me on the street, or even approach me on TV and video shoots. They think they’re putting in work, or taking advantage of an opportunity, by stepping up to me and asking me to ‘put a brother on.’ But the second I hear those sorts of vague asks, I know I’m dealing with someone who isn’t worth any investment. If you can’t even articulate to me what you’re trying to do, why would I try to help you?” [1]

13. “I certainly keep a mental book on the individuals I consider my competition. I follow all of the moves they make carefully. If someone does something I consider smart, I make note of it and try to think of ways I could do something similar. If I see my competition do something I consider foolish, I make note of that, too. And then I look for a way to leverage that vulnerability against them down the road.” [1]

14. “If you’re going to compete, do it against the best. And there was no one better on premium cable at the time than HBO’s Game of Thrones. So I made it a point to come for GOT time and time again.” [1]

15. “Rappers would feel that they had arrived, and unconsciously they wouldn’t work as hard and would spend less time learning their craft. That sudden influx of money would go to their heads; they would imagine they had the golden touch and could keep it coming. One hit song or record would make this even worse. Not building something slowly—a career, a future—it would all fall apart within a few years, as younger and more eager rappers would take their place. Their life would be all the more miserable for having once tasted some glory.” [2]

16. “I decided the best way for Effen to increase its market share was for me to be literally within reach of my fans. The way I would do it was by hosting as many promotional events as possible.” [1]

17. “All sorts of people have ideas. Some people even have scripts. But very few people have proved that they actually know how to make something. To build it from scratch. That’s actually the most important thing to a studio. They want to know that if they sign you to a deal, you’re not going to waste their money and never deliver anything. Sure, they’d prefer it not suck, but the most important thing to them is that it actually gets made. Do you ever wonder why in Hollywood some directors keep getting rehired even though they haven’t had a hit in years? Because at least the studio knows they’re going to deliver.” [1] 

More on completion discipline here.

18. “I believe a true star must possess four fundamental abilities: create great material, be a high-energy live performer, have a unique appearance, and possess a strong personality.” [1]

19. “Professionally, you can always contribute to morale no matter what position you’re in. If you’re part of a team, it doesn’t cost a cent to be the one with a positive attitude. That doesn’t mean you have to kiss your boss’s ass or be fake. You just have to stay upbeat about things. Be the person who doesn’t [complain] or moan when you get a tough job or assignment. Be the person who is smiling and open to interacting with co-workers instead of putting on headphones and hiding behind a computer screen. Be diplomatic, and try to identify a resolution when your co-workers aren’t getting along.” [1]

20. “If you’ve put in the work, and know your shit, raise your damn hand! Every single time. There’s nothing worse than being someone who’s spent hours—even when you’re off the clock at home—studying your company’s reports, but when your boss asks for that information, you always let someone else provide it first.” [1]

50 Cent quotes about money

21. “You should always fight for your worth, but never take offense that you have to fight in the first place. When you do that, you’re moving off of emotion. It might not be fair, but to get what you want, you can only move off of strategy. Anything less will leave you hustling backward.”[1]

22. “One of the best deals I ever negotiated was with Starz for my TV show Power. It was also, at least initially, one of my least lucrative deals. But that didn’t faze me at all. My strategy when I started talking with Starz was not to get the biggest check possible—it was to create the biggest opportunity possible.” [1]

23. “Despite my success in music and movies, my track record in television wasn’t as strong. My only other foray into TV, an Apprentice-esque reality show for MTV called The Money and the Power, had been canceled after one season. I had to accept that I didn’t have the leverage to demand a superstar-size check. Yes, Starz believed in my vision, but they weren’t ready to break open the bank. The budget they were offering was limited. If I wanted the show to be a hit, I’d have to spread that money around.” [1]

24. “Please understand this: negotiations are not personal. Again, I don’t care if you’re dealing with a longtime business partner, a friend, or a family member: the other person is never going to start at a number you think is fair. It’s just not how the process works. They’re always going to start at a lower number and then come up if you push back. Just how high they come up depends on how good a negotiator you are. But they’re never going to start at that number.” [1]

25. “I knew whatever number we agreed on would ultimately be irrelevant compared to what I would earn long term with the proper plan in place. My signing bonus with Shady Records was ‘only’ one million dollars. But I ended up earning so much money off that deal, the signing bonus is almost irrelevant.” [1]

26. “I might not have gotten what I wanted for the property, but in the end I didn’t care about losing money (and I ended up giving my proceeds to charity anyway). I had won by moving on with my life. I’d cleared my plate and refocused on the future, instead of being held down by a relic of the past.” [1]

27. “I wasn’t aware at first that that’s how it worked—I thought once I’d signed to JMJ, I’d officially ‘made it.’ I won’t ever claim to be the smartest guy in the room, but I do catch on to things pretty quickly. Once I realized JMJ wasn’t going to put my records out directly, I said, ‘Nah, this ain’t it,’ and asked for an exit. Jay didn’t want to let me go scot-free, and in the end I had to pay him $50,000 to get out of my contract. [1]

28. “Those lines simply created a perception. The reality is that Curtis Jackson is not reckless with his money at all.” [1]

29. “Do not ever give the impression that you ‘need’ that job or that you are ‘dying for it’—even if that’s exactly what you’re feeling.”

30. “An internship is an open door. Once you’re in, you must take it upon yourself to check out every room in the house.” [1]

31. “They weren’t paying me to come in every morning, but the information I absorbed was invaluable. Having a realistic understanding of what a record company wasn’t going to do for me probably saved my career.” [1]

50 Cent quotes about life

32. “When you force yourself to articulate your vision in words, you set a powerful energy in motion.” [1]

33. “Unlike most of my peers, I largely abstain from alcohol. I will have a rare drink from time to time, but that’s it. I have never missed a session at the gym, a meeting, or an early morning flight because I had too much to drink the night before.” [1]

34. “There is a lot of evidence out there that alcoholism is hereditary. If it seems to run in your family, sticking with ginger ale might not just be about getting a competitive edge—it might be about keeping yourself out of a lifelong state of dysfunction and addiction.” [1]

35. “Think of it this way: dependency is a habit that is so easy to acquire. We live in a culture that offers you all kinds of crutches—experts to turn to, drugs to cure any psychological unease, mild pleasures to help pass or kill time, jobs to keep you just above water. It is hard to resist. But once you give in, it is like a prison you enter that you cannot ever leave.” [2]

36. “You must find people who are going to inject new energy into your life. Because if you keep having the same conversations with the same people year after year, your energy is going to stagnate. Your ideas are going to get stale. Your momentum is going to get stuck.” [1]

37. “When I was growing up in Queens, if you had told me I’d end up being friends with a white dude who was a history buff and an Indian dude who was into meditation, I would have laughed at you. I simply didn’t associate with anyone who seemed “different” from me. Today, I can’t imagine a world where I don’t have friendships with people like Robert [Greene] and Deepak [Chopra]. They’ve both, in different ways, fundamentally helped reshape how I see and interact with the world.” [1]

38. “It’s not only a professional priority. I love talking to anyone who can provide me with new information that can change my perspective. There could be a subject that I feel like I’m rock-solid on, that there’s no way anyone could change my mind on it. Then a smart person hits me with a new perspective on it—an insight I hadn’t considered before—and everything changes.” [1]

39. “Whenever I’m about to hit the studio, I try to think about all the great musical moments I’ve experienced from different artists. I say “great moments” because I don’t necessarily have a favorite artist. But I do have favorite moments. Usually it’s a song that jumps out to me and captures a feeling I find inspiring.” [1]

40. “Passion is what allowed me to lose more than fifty pounds to play a football player dying of cancer in the movie All Things Fall Apart. In nine weeks, I went from 214 to 160 pounds by going on a liquid diet and running on a treadmill for three hours a day…. I didn’t win an Oscar—or any award—for All Things Fall Apart. I also didn’t care. I’d proved to myself that I was passionate enough about acting to do whatever it took for the role. I saw some folks try to clown me—“Clown thinks he’s De Niro or something…”—because I’d put in so much work for a movie that ended up going straight to video. Those jokes don’t slow me down for a second. I know damn well I’m not De Niro. I’m still going to work to get to that level. And even if I never win an Oscar, my movies have made over $500 million at the box office. Fair to say that’s a number a lot of other actors would dream about putting alongside their names.” [1]

41. “The difference is that I haven’t patterned my career after KRS-One and Kool G Rap. What would be the point of that? They were both incredible in their moment, but I’ve always been more concerned about creating my own moments rather than copying theirs.” [1]

42. “I felt Prodigy should have embraced his background more. It’s what made him special and would have allowed him to create more significant art. Instead, he felt pressured by Jay and others to live up to the persona he had cultivated in his music.” [1]

43. “There’s no time for a defeatist, woe-is-me mentality on the streets. Your daily mind-set has to be “I’ll get it back on the next one,” or you’ll wind up one of three ways: broke, dead, or locked up. [1]

44. “Coming from where I’ve been, I would never let a defeat or setback have that sort of effect on me. And if you come from a similar background, you shouldn’t either. If I somehow lost it all tomorrow, I promise I would not be fazed.” [1]

45. “You cannot, under any circumstances, compromise when it’s your vision on the line. You have to be prepared to go against popular opinion and turn down money—even if it jeopardizes your relationships—until you’re confident you’ve found the right opportunity.” [1]

46. “The actual system wasn’t prepared for me. I thought I was ready in ’97. I didn’t have a major record company marketing and promoting my project until 2003. For that time period, I had to run on my own energy. I had to convince myself that I’m going to make it, regardless of how people felt at that time. It made me feel like there are going to be points that people mistake my confidence for arrogance, because they don’t understand the process of it and how much I had to believe myself in order to make these things happen. I feel like you can will yourself into a good space.”

47. Don’t let the thought of starting all over again make you depressed. Understand that most successful people end up chasing the same dream multiple times before it ever comes to fruition. Accept that what seemed like a disaster was really just a temporary hardship that every hustler goes through. You’re no better or worse than any of them.

50 Cent quotes about loyalty

48. “For the first several years of my career as a rapper, everywhere I went, the Southside came with me. Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks of G-Unit weren’t guys I met at some industry conference—they grew up around the block from me. You saw the neighborhood in my videos and during my live shows, and most important, you heard it in my music. I wanted that energy near me at all times. Today, I call that energy ‘the homeboy complex’: when you feel the need to keep your homies as close to you as possible.” [1]

49. “Because I find betrayal so painful, I put incredible thought and consideration into the people who surround me. As I detail in this chapter, when I was first coming up, I made the mistake of confusing loyalty and location. It’s a miscalculation a lot of people make—wanting to believe that just because someone is from the same streets as you that they’re going to have your back forever. I learned the hard way that that’s not the case. Sure, when you share a common experience with someone, there’s a greater chance for loyalty and understanding, but it’s far from guaranteed.” [1]

50. “I think friendship is the strongest form of relationship. Don’t ever forget to be friends. And you be conscious. Because there’s a point that your friendship would develop that it has so much value that it would become priceless. And at that point, you should consider marriage.” [4]


[1] 50 Cent. Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. HarperCollins.

[2] 50 Cent. The 50th Law. HarperCollins.




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