For someone who aims to live as unapologetically as possible, 50 Cent sure spends a lot of his time apologizing.
Like, there was that infamous time when he publicly mocked a boy with autism. The kid was a janitor working at the Cincinnati airport, doing a job he was proud to have earned. When he encountered 50 Cent, the notorious online bully teased him and posted videos of him mocking the kid on social media. The result was predictable. Fans and others mocked 50 Cent for being an insensitive asshole. He eventually apologized.
Then there was that time he celebrated on Instagram that he no longer has to pay child support for his eldest son, Marquise. That also went over poorly because, one, it’s a terrible thing to brag about, and two, don’t popularize that as an attitude for other men to emulate. He apologized for that one, too.
And how about the time he asked a judge to lower the amount a jury awarded a woman from $7 million to $1.3 million. Why did a court order 50 Cent to pay the woman so much money? Well, he’d illegally uploaded her sex tape online. As punishment, the jury awarded her $7 mill, but Fifty only wanted to pay $1.3 million in damages. So he took it to the judge.
But wait, how can we forget the time 50 Cent had to apologize for his tweets about a Japanese tsunami? Who TF has to apologize for tweeting about a natural disaster? Fifty did.
So what exactly did 50 Cent do this week? Who was his next target to beef with after a tsunami and an autistic janitor?
Would you believe 50 Cent really tried to go after Terry Crews for being a victim of sexual assault?
You may be thinking, okay, so he posted-and-deleted a stupid meme on Instagram, like, how bad could it have been?
That’s 4Chan bad.
Guess the funny part of the rape joke is supposed to be that Terry Crews is such a massively muscular black man that means he shouldn’t get raped, ever, and if he did, then it’s on him. And that’s “some gay shit.” Or something like that.
The thing to focus on here is, we should never blame victims, and rape jokes aren’t funny. That’s why Crews wasn’t having it. When TMZ caught up to him, Crews had nothing to say about Fifty. Instead, in the brief interview, he mentioned how he listens to Fifty when he works out. Basically, Crews took the high road. The TMZ paparazzo asked a follow-up question, and that’s when Crews paused for a moment. He stopped walking, because he wanted to elaborate on what he felt was an important point in the conversation about sex crimes, “I prove that size doesn’t matter when it comes to sexual assault.”
When Crews was stopped for that impromptu interview with TMZ to talk about 50 Cent having his little fun posting homophobic memes, he was in Washington D.C. to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the crisis of sexual violence in America. Or you know: He was busy trying to make the world a better place for everyone.
And then, there’s 50 Cent.
At this point, to refer to him as a rapper, especially in this context, seems unfair to other rappers. It needlessly slanders a whole industry. When certain people read “rapper 50 Cent posted homophobic meme,” the front-loaded adjective “rapper” changes how those folks read the words that follow 50 Cent. Some people expect rappers to be foul. They expect the same of the young black men who look up to them as well. And look, young black men don’t need that sort of negative association or stereotype.
That said, if we’re being real about it, these days, Curtis Jackson is really more of an actor and rich businessman. So let’s consider 50 Cent’s homophobic meme-posting in its proper context of cultural power. He’s way less hip-hop and way more of a Hollywood power player now. One who spends his valuable time online dismissing a victim of sexual assault and bullying him for not defending himself, ya know, like a real man would.
Mostly, these days when he’s on social media, 50 Cent acts like a very rich version of “your Facebook cousin,” the kind of bully who stays mad online, and expresses it through a mixture of violence and laughter. Like, if you see a WorldStar fight video between a bum and a blind man, you know he posted that shit on the timeline. That’s 50 Cent. He’s now everyone’s bigoted Facebook cousin. He’s that misogynist macho man who talks loud about how a “real man” would throw them hands — if just to protect his tissue-thin sense of his masculinity.
Guess 50 Cent is unaware of the fact a “real man” doesn’t really exist. What we’re talking about when we talk about a “real man” is authenticity. Real is debatable. Authentic is not.
Terry Crews is an authentic man. He’s a successful self-made man. By his own hand and hard work, he’s become a great American success story. He’s also self-aware as a black man in America and as a man with privileges, who stays on the frontlines as an advocate for women and men to be safe from sexual assault.
When Crews was on Capitol Hill to testify before the Senate, he offered the Judiciary Committee an example of the often unseen collateral damage a sexual assault victim can experience after they come forward. Crews cited an example from his career. Which means in the official Senate transcripts, the written document of our nation’s history as an ongoing experiment to form a more perfect union, it’s now recorded that Terry Crews doesn’t plan to star in the next installment of Sylvester Stallone’s wildly popular Expendables franchise. Why not? Because of threats he received from one of the film’s producers for coming forward about his sexual assault.
If for some reason you’re unfamiliar with The Expendables action films, the series of movies each has the same general plot: Stallone gathers a supergroup of aging action stars to battle against something or someone, and they blow lots of shit up in the meantime. It’s like a last ride for a certain brand of masculinity. Even though he’s perfect in the films, it’s also equally perfect symbolism that Crews is stepping away from the macho franchise. One thing Terry Crews is not is a coward. Another thing he is not is someone who wants to aid and abet the crimes that get swept under Hollywood’s rugs. He’ll leave The Expendables because Crews is no longer willing to remain comfortably ensconced inside the old-fashioned boys club of masculinity, nor will he bear its code of silence, or defend its rationalizations for its abuses.
Conversely, did all those Vitamin Water millions leave 50 Cent ignorant of the vital fact that when police in America shoot and kill a black man, it’s easily justified as a reasonable use of deadly force? He knows this, right? And he knows that a lot of his fans are young black men, right? Encouraging them to knuckle-up can be the sort of advice that gets the cops called. Does 50 Cent forget that in America, from sea-to-shining-sea, the police are prolific killers of young black men whenever, to their fearful eyes, they exhibit even the mere threat of violence?
But let’s set aside, for a moment, police violence, let’s focus on the general fear of black men that motivates it. Some people fear a man the size of Terry Crews. Especially a big-ass black man like him. And yet, still he was sexually assaulted. This is indisputable evidence of the need to address the crisis of sexual violence in our country.
Which Terry Crews is doing. But instead of fighting one abuser physically, as 50 Cent suggests one should, Crews is fighting against all abusers at once, by getting lawmakers to take action.
Meanwhile, what’s 50 Cent doing?
Homie likes to talk big game. He likes to play the boss. On television. On social media. Where he deletes a lot of what he posts. Because he needs to. He stays apologizing because he has to. Either way, that asshole isn’t what anyone should describe as someone to strive to be more like. If anything, he’s now a helpful anti-role model.
Don’t believe me?
Just listen to the next thing that comes out of his mouth.