50 Cent says he decided to clean up his life for the sake of his son.
The star - real name Curtis Jackson - used to work as a drug dealer before pursuing a career in music. He grew up in a rough neighbourhood in New York and claims it was difficult to avoid getting involved with a gang. Even though he was shot nine times in 2000, as well as being stabbed on another occasion, 50 has revealed becoming a father was his sole reason for wanting to turn over a new leaf.
"It wasn`t getting shot. It was my son and creating a stable life for him," the rapper told the New York Daily News. "You don`t feel the repercussions because it comes so far after the game. I had no options: it was go on welfare or go in the street."
50, whose son Marquise is now a teenager, has lent his support to a project which aims to help kids stay on track through exercise. The 35-year-old star will be hosting the Forever Young Day in his old neighbourhood in Queens this weekend. He believes young people should channel their energies into playing sports such as basketball or boxing to keep them off the streets.
"I want to be able to go and talk to them and [have] them really feel what my experience has been," 50 explained, before adding he rarely sees kids playing basketball like he used to when he was growing up. "Technology is keeping them still. They do what they`re influenced to do."