Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is, of course, one of the most famous hip-hop artists of modern times. But his success seems to have come at a cost. A bitter family rift between him and his eldest son Marquise Jackson has played out in full view of the media for several years. In fact, the two men regularly blast each other on social media. And the true extent of their feud may shock you.
Alas, it wasn’t always this way. While promoting his debut movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in 2005, Curtis said that Marquise changed everything when he was born. He told Kam Williams, “When my son came into my life, my priorities changed, because I wanted to have the relationship with him that I didn’t have with my father.” Yes, as you might imagine, their relationship was strong during Marquise’s early years.
Curtis had Marquise’s name tattooed on his right bicep – along with an axe. He told Blender that year, “The axe is because I’m a warrior. I don’t want him to be one, though.” Throughout his early childhood, Marquise would model for his father’s G-Unit clothing line. He even appeared on the runway with Curtis as a father-and-son modeling duo.
Sadly, by the time Marquise was 16, his father had told him “I don’t have a son anymore” by text, according to Radar Online. And Curtis reportedly even ordered him to delete his phone number. The news website published a series of texts allegedly exchanged by Curtis and Marquise. And they revealed that the vicious fight had begun when the latter hadn’t answered the door to his father.
“Good luck with your life, man,” Curtis supposedly texted. “I tried to come talk to you. You didn’t have to have me come all the way out there if you don’t want to see me, you little a**hole.” Marquise allegedly responded by accusing his father of not contacting him on Christmas or his birthday. But how did their relationship deteriorate so badly?
Flash back to 2003 and Curtis shot to fame with the release of his debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin.’ It was the number-one record of that year in the U.S. and sold an enormous 12 million copies worldwide, according to The Guardian. The album contained the hit singles “In Da Club,” “21 Questions” and “P.I.M.P.” And the authenticity of Curtis’ streetwise – yet damaged – persona appealed to the masses.
The lyrics of Get Rich or Die Tryin’ were largely autobiographical and dealt with Curtis’ troubled upbringing. His life story quickly became public knowledge and fodder for interviewers – adding to his mystique as a real-life “gangsta rapper.” The world was told about Curtis’ mother being murdered when he was only eight, his drug-selling debut at age 12 and his first purchase of a gun when he was 15.
In a true rags-to-riches story, Curtis became an extremely wealthy man. Before the album hit, he was struggling to pay the rent on the apartment he lived in with his then-girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins and son Marquise. But then the rapper went on tour in support of the album and made $38 million, he told The Guardian. As a result, Curtis quickly bought a mansion previously owned by the boxer Mike Tyson.
Unfortunately, all the money in the world couldn’t stop Curtis’ relationship with Shaniqua from turning sour. The couple dated in the 1990s, but they eventually broke up and engaged in a protracted custody battle over Marquise. The legal issue wasn’t officially settled until 2008, by which time the young boy was 11.
During that period, Curtis was unable to see his son regularly and it weighed heavily on him. He told MTV in 2008, “I’d like to be able to just see my baby,” before adding, “In the summertime, for the first two years I was successful, my son has traveled with us on those tours. This summer, when he’s free, it’s, like, no communication. It’s tough.”
Curtis explained, “My relationship with my son is changing because me and his mom aren’t friends anymore. There’s different channels I have to go through. He has lawyers appointed to him through the court. So, I have to talk to him through his lawyer to get things situated for me to actually get to him.”
But there was a reason that Curtis wasn’t allowed to see his son at that time. The Long Island home where Marquise and Shaniqua lived had burned down in a suspicious manner and the latter had accused Curtis of being behind the arson. She was granted a temporary order of protection that kept the star away. Though he categorically denied any involvement and subsequently filed a $20 million defamation lawsuit against her.
Yet by 2014 things had gone from bad to worse. An interview on the Philly Morning Show with Shamara and Laiya became a forum for Curtis to vent his frustrations with Shaniqua’s influence on Marquise. The rapper believed that she had purposely poisoned his son against him. Curtis claimed, “He’s completely embraced his mom’s perspective on me. It’s a part of that entitlement that you said, it builds.”
Curtis’ opinion was that Shaniqua had raised Marquise to accept everything she said about him – without question. He said, “Kids are never equal to parents. So, if your mom conditions the child to feel like you should come to them on their terms and everything else, [then] that has to be done.”
“Everything in his life, I have provided for him regardless of if I’m there or not,” continued Curtis. “She hasn’t worked since 2000, so tell me how you do that as a single mom.” The star believed that he’d provided for Marquise in a different way to Shaniqua and had taken the pressure off her financially. And this meant that she hadn’t needed to be a working mom.
“… But it’s still not quite enough,” claimed a frustrated Curtis. “She still would feel like destroying the actual relationship is her way of getting back.” He then specified the alleged amount that he had been paying Shaniqua to reinforce his point. Curtis claimed, “She was getting half a million dollars a year.”
Shaniqua soon fired back at Curtis on social media and denied his version of events. She alleged, “You don’t have a relationship with my child because you choose not to, you want to bully him, threaten him, and talk about his mother in a disparaging manner. I don’t try to mentally abuse my son like you do! I don’t talk about you. Your actions speak for themselves.”
But what was Marquise’s perspective? Well, in 2017 he was interviewed by Rap-Up as he launched his debut single “Different.” He spoke about his relationship with his father, as the song referenced Curtis in the lyric, “I lost my pops. He’s still alive.” The interviewer then asked him to clarify when the father-son relationship had begun to sour.
Marquise replied, “It completely went south when I was probably like 10 or 11. He wasn’t really around enough. It kind of dwindled down as time went on and certain events happened. For me, I just started feeling differently about him because growing up, my dad was my superhero.” He then elaborated on this poignant remark.
“[Curtis is] on television, he does this, he does [that], he would take me to school,” Marquise explained. “It was like having a father who’s Superman – more or less. But then, as I got older, you start realizing things or you start seeing certain patterns and it takes an effect on your relationship with people.”
Marquise concluded, “That’s what happened with me and my father. He’s still alive but I can’t tell you our last conversation or the last time we even had a dialogue.” Curtis’ son explained that, in his eyes, releasing “Different” was a statement of his identity. He said, “I’m really trying to escape from his shadow. When people see me, they automatically think of my father.” He wanted to change this, stressing, “I’m my own man.”
But in late 2018 a photograph of Marquise posing with the son of Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff was posted on Instagram. According to criminal investigators, the latter had allegedly been involved in a plot to kill Curtis, which culminated in him being shot nine times in 2000. An angry Curtis responded to the photograph on Instagram with, “If both these little n****** got hit by a bus, I wouldn’t have a bad day.”
Curtis then went on to explain himself following an angry backlash from fans. He potentially stoked the fires some more by taking the opportunity to advertise the upcoming new season of his TV show Power at the same time, though. He wrote on Instagram, “Season six on the way. I have zero ill will towards anyone living on this Earth.”
Curtis added, “The people Shaniqua’s son looks up to and associates with is a reflection of the negative energy he embraces towards me. I paid his mother $1,360,000 in support to afford him opportunities I never had.” He then accused his ex and his son of squandering the money that he had paid in child support.
“They just spent it, over the years I [told them to get jobs],” Curtis claimed. “They have to figure it out.” This was followed by an abrupt return to plugging the sixth season of Power on Starz. He wrote, “Oh and Power season six is fire. I directed episode 603.”
Shaniqua then made her opinion on the comment clear when she posted a foul-mouthed retort to Curtis on Instagram. The gist of it was that his status as a rich man didn’t mean anything to her – she still saw him the same way. In her mind, Curtis was no different to McDonald’s corporate icon Ronald McDonald. Why? Because he’s super rich but is still a clown.
Another incident occurred in April 2020, when Curtis was answering fan questions on Instagram Live and was asked if he’d “seen his son yet.” This question wasn’t a reference to Marquise, but rather to rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, who once counted Curtis as his mentor. But the latter seized the chance to voice his displeasure with both Tekashi and Marquise.
Tekashi – whose real name is Daniel Hernandez – had recently been released from prison after cutting a deal to testify against members of the Nine Trey Gang. Tekashi is allegedly a member of the group, which is accused of being a violent sect operating within the Bloods street gang. And Curtis made his position clear – indicating that he wouldn’t associate with someone who would snitch on his crew.
“Nah, I ain’t heard from Tekashi,” Curtis answered on Instagram Live in April 2020. “He’s his mother’s child. He told on everybody.” Out of the blue, Curtis then blasted Marquise again, saying, “[He’s] better than Marquise, though. I’ll take him before my actual [son].” This unprompted jab prompted a response from Marquise on Instagram, who filmed himself watching his father making the comments.
After viewing the video, Marquise laughed and said, “Did he just say he would claim a rat?” Ironically, this indicated that he felt the same way as his father on the issue of Tekashi’s deal. He continued, “Aw nah, I don’t want no parts of that cheese y’all eating over there, big fella. I don’t know what y’all got going on.”
The three-way feud would continue when Curtis commented on Tekashi during an April 2020 appearance on Los Angeles’ Real 92.3 radio show with Big Boy. The rapper said that he would never consider collaborating with Tekashi on a track because of what he did. Curtis stated, “I wouldn’t work with him. [It is] what it is, it’s just against the way I grew up.”
Celebrity and entertainment site The Shade Room posted about Curtis’ new comments on its Instagram page, and this prompted Takeshi to reply in a pointed manner. He wrote, “Won’t be the first time 50 abandons his son. Lemme just mind my business.” This would surely have gone over poorly with Curtis – although Marquise may have enjoyed reading it.
Then, in May 2020 Curtis spoke to podcaster Van Lathan on Instagram Live and revealed the current status of his relationship with Marquise. He lamented, “When you pray for success, you don’t necessarily pray for the things that come with it. It’s no such thing as success without jealousy, without envy or entitlement.”
Curtis then addressed Shaniqua, saying, “His mom developed an entitlement that cannot be met – filtering that energy through his actual personal interests…” He brought up a situation in which Tompkins had bought Marquise a pair of shoes that he’d asked for with Curtis’ money. But that wasn’t enough for her, according to the star, as she felt Marquise “should have more.”
To Curtis, this was an example of a mindset demonstrated by Shaniqua and Marquise that he has a problem with. After all, he had grown up living a much less comfortable life than his son. The rapper explained, “So, while being a privileged child, he feels deprived. You had everything I didn’t have.”
Van Lathan then asked whether Curtis still loved his son. And he answered the emotionally charged question with, “I used to. A complicated question would say how long can you love someone who doesn’t love you back?” He revealed that, while most of his bad feeling was once directed at Shaniqua, that is not the case anymore.
“I used to blame his mom, but it’s him,” admitted Curtis. “I’ve gone places where he was at and he left.” He then once again spoke of money and fame being a double-edged sword. The rapper said, “I didn’t think that success would cost me my firstborn, but it’s the situation it is.”
Curtis then finished with some homespun Jackson family wisdom. He said, “My grandfather used to say, ‘If it rattles like a snake and slithers like a snake, is it a snake or do you need to be bit?’ What he’s saying is, every time you see the boy, he shows up with somebody you got a problem with. What does that tell you?”
Curtis reiterated his stance on Marquise in a May 2020 interview with The Guardian. Writer Simon Hattenstone noted how Curtis was unforgiving and asked if he ever thought a reconciliation with his son was possible. The latter said he believed it was too late for that, adding, “I’ve already tried [for] so long with him.”
“That sense of entitlement is scariest when it’s someone you love,” Curtis concluded. “He still manages to feel deprived when he’s had everything. You love the person, he’s your child, and he looks at you as if you’re the enemy. And, after a while, you go: this is not a kid, it’s a grown man we’re talking about.” Sadly, any kind of reunion looks pretty unlikely for Curtis and Marquise for the timebeing.