In his first autobiography, From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens, which was released in 2005, Fif documented his early years as he came of age in his Southside neighborhood. 50 x 50: 50 Cent in His Own Words, co-authored by Complex magazine's editor- in-chief, Noah Callahan-Bever, reads more like a scrapbook, littered with old photos chronicling Fif's rise from a Queens street kid to the successful hip-hop mogul he is today, reports New York's Daily News.
In 50 x 50, he is candid about his mother's murder when he was just eight years old, being on the brink of death after suffering gunshot wounds and his drug dealing days.
"I was just utilizing the things that were right in front of me," Fif told the News. "If you're a kid having a hard time in school and they tell you, well you can do this for 12 years and then get a college degree, a kid with curiosity is able to find someone who acquired the finances to get the things that he wanted in six months. It seemed like the only option at that point."
After being caught with cocaine in his gym shoes at school, and forced into rehab as a result of a second bust, Fif was still undeterred. The one thing that did change his life from one of crime to music was the birth of his son, Marquise Jackson.
"When my son was on the way, I changed direction to write music," he says, "because I knew if I physically wasn't available to take care of him, no one else was."
When the rapper's mother died after "someone knocked her out in her apartment and let the gas run," Fif was sent to live with his grandparents.
"My mom didn't see welfare or [a job at] Burger King as an option, so she went in the wrong direction, hustling, but she acquired the finances that provided for me," he says. "Then the things that come with that lifestyle – like getting killed or going to jail – ended up coming."
In the book, 50 marks this realization and the desire to raise his son as the turning point in his life.
50 will be signing copies of his new book today at Barnes & Noble, at 4 Astor Place in Manhattan at 5 p.m.
50 x 50: 50 Cent in His Own Words is in stores now.