50 Cent’s Criminal Activities Nearly Got Him Banned From Canada

A rapper, songwriter, actor, and entrepreneur, 50 Cent is one of the most influential artists in the music business. 50 Cent, also known by his given name of Curtis Jackson, first rose to fame in the early 2000s, and even after several decades of making music, he remains relevant. Jackson has been involved in a number of controversies over the years and has become notorious for his feuds with other artists. In 2005, Jackson made headlines when a certain member of the Canadian government moved to try to ban him from entering the country due to his past actions. 

50 Cent holding his hands together in front of a screen with red lettering
50 Cent | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

How did 50 Cent become famous?

Curtis Jackson was born in 1975 in Queens, New York. He was raised in a tough environment, and after his mother died in a fire when he was eight years old, Jackson turned competitive boxing, according to Biography. Additionally, to try to make ends meet, young Jackson began selling drugs. He continued dealing drugs for years until he was busted by an undercover police officer in 1994. Following his arrest, he began to turn his life around, getting his GED and refocusing his interests on music.

Jackson started rapping, and by 1998, he had begun collaborating with friends and fellow artists. Jackson released the controversial single “How to Rob,” which earned him some early acclaim — however, his career was derailed in 2000 when he was shot and suffered serious injuries. Jackson proved his resiliency by rebounding from the attack, and in 2003, he released his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. 

What is 50 Cent best known for?

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50 Cent’s first studio album was a huge success, with the single “In da Club” becoming one of the most successful tracks of the decade. After the release of his album, there was nowhere to go but up for Curtis Jackson, and he continued writing and releasing songs all throughout the remainder of the early 2000s. In addition to his music career, Jackson has become a very successful entrepreneur, investing in everything from sports drinks to clothing companies.

Jackson has maintained a controversial edge to this day. He has been involved in feuds with everyone from Meek Mill to Kanye West, and he has gotten into legal trouble on multiple occasions. While Jackson’s activities might endear him to his fan base, he has ended up in the headlines many times, including in 2005, when a top Canadian official spoke out with the intent to ban the artist from entering the country. 

Why was 50 Cent banned from Canada?

In advance of 50 Cent’s Canadian tour in 2005, Toronto MP Dan McTeague spoke out, declaring that the rapper should not be allowed to enter the country, and should, in fact, be banned from the country entirely, reports Cosmopolitan. “I don’t think people in Toronto or any urban centre need or want to hear Mr. Jackson’s message right now,” McTeague stated. “We need to do a better job at protecting Canadians from people whose message runs counter to all of our efforts of trying to curb gun violence.” According to CBC, due to his criminal record, Jackson would have needed a special permit to even enter the country, although those permits are said to be issued fairly regularly.

In spite of McTeague’s objections, 50 Cent was eventually allowed to enter the country and was granted a temporary resident’s permit, according to a 2005 report from CBC, in order for him to complete the Canadian leg of his tour successfully. These days, Jackson continues to tour around the world, although he tends to focus more of his time on various film and television projects rather than on filling concert stadiums.