“Evolve or die” is one of the mottos in 50 Cent’s Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. He discusses his own adherence to the principle:
- When he put out new music in 2009, it still topped the charts, but he noticed the crowds at live shows weren’t responding to it as they used to. He observed that his new work was being met with resistance, and decided to diversify out of his career as a recording artist, eventually seeing new momentum with his career in acting and television production.
- He’d been critical of Instagram in 2014, though he kept his mind open. As he experimented with it, he realized it could be a good channel to connect with his fans. He now has over 28 million followers at IG. (The news cycle now picks up his posts there.)
- As the music industry was disrupted, 50 saw that the leaders at his record label Interscope were shifting focus to a new business—headphones and music software. 50 not only started his own rival headphone business, he also completed his contract and became an independent artist. He was able to do this because he deliberately tried not to rely on his label; he spent years running his own record label, and even fronted his own money to make sure he could learn as much as he could.
Evolution never feels smooth. Most times, you know what you need to do to evolve, or at least to survive; it’s accepting that you need to do it that’s the hard point.