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'."
"Sometimes, I feel tingles when it's starting to rain. Like my bones, because I broke a lot of bones in my body," he said.
When he goes back to his old neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, he attracts a lot of attention; and not the kind he wants. He visited the park he used to go to when he was a kid, when he was still known as Curtis Jackson, or, to close friends only, as "Boo-Boo."
Multiple police cruisers appeared.
"Wow, the police," he said. "It make me don't even want to be around here."
His time in the streets has left 50 Cent with a robust skepticism about the police.
"Look, all the cops come when I come," he said. "They think I'm a terrorist."
Could it be the police are just worried that he would draw a crowd?
"Not for that, there are detectives in that car," the star said. "They got one, two, three, four ... 12 police officers for me to walk in the park."
His mother was 15 when she gave birth to him. She made a living selling drugs.
"I remember watching my mom, my mom with me and I asked her, there was a guy playing catch with his son right here in the baseball field," 50 Cent said. "She told me, 'That's his father throwing the ball back and forth.' I said, 'Why I don't have a father,' and she said, 'Because you're special,'" he said, laughing.
"'You were born in the immaculate conception like Jesus.'"
He said he has "no interest now in knowing who [his father] is."
"The part that he could've helped me with, the mistakes that I made early on, he could've been there to help create that guidance at that point so I didn't have to go through that," he said. "At this point, what could he ask? You see how I said that? Like what could he ask me for? Because I kind of, I can't think of anything I could want or need from him at this point."
When he was 8, his mother was killed when someone spiked her drink, then turned the gas on in her apartment.
"When I lost my mom, I lost more than a parent. I lost everything that was good in my life," he said.
From those beginnings, Curtis Jackson has come a long, long way. Not only is he a monster rap star, garnering 13 Grammy nominations and winning several other awards along the way, he has also been in nine movies and owns businesses that sell clothing, sneakers and video games.
His reputation as a savvy businessman was cemented when he invested early in Vitamin Water and proceeded to make a reported $100 million when the company was bought by Coca-Cola.
Forbes ranked him as the second-richest black entertainer, after Oprah Winfrey. The magazine reported that he raked in $150 million between June 2007 and June 2008.
"I'd like to say yes," he said, smiling. "I do pretty good, man. I want to be able to do better."
The rapper said that no matter how much he had, he wanted more.
"I'm not sure," he said. "I think ambition is leading me through an endless tunnel. You know, I think there won't be a point that I'm completely satisfied. I meet people that are wealthy while I may be what they consider rich. ... Wealth is a lot more. I think I'm rich because I'm around people that have a few billion dollars. So it sends me back to a space where I'm ready to hustle and get it going and do more."