On the one hand, there's the mystique of 50 Cent: the "gangsta" rap, the rap sheet, the being shot nine times, the songs about partying and pimping and pushing drugs. His concerts are punctuated with gunshot sound effects and boisterous stage banter.
On the other hand, as we found out over two days in his world -- which includes the isolated, 50,000-square-foot Connecticut mansion where he lives alone -- there's the surprisingly subdued reality of 50 Cent.
His home has 18 bedrooms and special features such as walls by Gucci.
"That's when you get restless and you ain't got much to do," he said. "And, you say, I'm going to buy a Gucci wall."
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Despite the space, he doesn't have a big life outside his various businesses, he said.
"I really don't have very much" of a personal life, said 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III. "I really don't utilize this home. You got 18 bedrooms, you still sleep on one bed."
His millions of fans might be surprised to learn that the man behind global party anthems like "In Da Club" almost never goes to clubs himself. He doesn't even drink. Instead, when he's not making music -- his latest album, "Before I Self Destruct," comes out Nov. 16 -- he works out. His home is equipped with a giant weight room that he uses every morning that he's not on the road.
He spends a lot of time with his trainer. But he said, he spends even more time with his driver.
It's a two-hour commute from suburban Connecticut to his office in New York City. He works on a giant computer screen, tending to his growing empire of investments.
He appears to be a deliberately solitary superstar.
"I mean, and I got trust issues," 50 Cent said. "I don't really trust people. In general. I kind of got to be around them long enough. I like to think I'm a good judge of character but I make mistakes.
"So I got to be around them long enough to kind of figure out who each individual is and then I develop a comfort being around them. I don't know what these people intentions are.
"I don't know if it was growing up or I don't know where, but I always had [trust issues]. In the lifestyle, when you're in the streets, you got to watch everybody too. So it's just, I guess it's a habit."
But that doesn't appear to put a crimp in his personal fulfillment.
"Well, my sex life is great," he said, laughing. "I don't have a problem with that area."
Indeed, he has stripper poles in his basement, although they're not many parties at 50 Cent's house. He said he doesn't have a girlfriend at the moment.
As for his friendships, 50 Cent said, "They're pretty good, before they reach the point where people start to have the ...." the rapper said, trailing off. "I don't know how to explain this to you -- this is -- I've never been in this area -- we're in uncharted territory right now ... as far as the interview."
If 50 Cent developed trust problems growing up in the streets, it's perhaps understandable.
He said he was 12 or so when he started selling cocaine.
"Yeah, because when you don't got even enough money to keep decent shoes on, and everybody that you can make reference to that has the lifestyle that you actually aspire to, it's hustling," he said.
His criminal career came to a violent climax when a Brooklyn stick-up artist shot him nine times, as dramatized in the hit movie he made about his own life called "Get Rich or Die Tryin'."