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What the Hell Happened: 50 Cent Endorses Trump

50 Cent recently took to social media to endorse President Donald J. Trump.
50 Cent recently took to social media to endorse President Donald J. Trump. By Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
By Isabella B. Cho, Contributing Writer

From the POTUS and FLOTUS testing positive for COVID-19 to a fly landing on Vice President Mike Pence’s head during the Oct. 7 debate, the 2020 presidential race has been full of surprises. As with every election year, celebrities have injected themselves into the socio-political conversation, urging Americans to vote for their candidate of choice. The most recent development, however, has shocked the nation: Curtis James Jackson III, better known by his stage name 50 Cent, recently took to social media to endorse President Donald J. Trump.

On Oct. 19 the Queens native posted a photo of an infographic titled “Top Tax Rates By State Under Biden Tax Plan” to his 26.2 million Instagram followers. The visual contained statistics from California, New Jersey, New York State, and New York City at rates of 62.6%, 60%, 58%, and 62%, respectively.

The enraged “Before I Self Destruct” rapper exclaimed in a caption accompanying the photo, “WHAT THE F***! (VOTE ForTRUMP) IM OUT.” He continued, “F*** NEW YORK The KNICKS never win anyway.” He concluded his tirade with a fuming emoji. (50 Cent currently resides in New York City.)

The post, which has racked up over 464,000 likes and 66,800 comments, was met with mixed reactions. One user exclaimed, “Damn 62.5%!!!” Another commented, “#trump2020.” A disappointed supporter wrote, “You just lost a fan. Sorry.,” while a similarly miffed user fumed, “if you make over 400k a year YES be taxed!”

Other celebrities have challenged 50 Cent’s controversial endorsement. Radio presenter and author Charlamagne Tha God expressed his mixed reactions to the rapper’s social media outburst.

“Unlike 50 Cent, I can’t pick racism and bigotry and fascism,” he said in a virtual conversation with political commentator Lisa Kennedy Montgomery. “I can’t choose that over my finances.”

50 Cent’s ex Chelsea Handler took to Twitter to allege that she would help pay his taxes if he reversed his endorsement.

“You used to be my favorite ex-boyfriend,” she wrote in a tweet on Oct. 20 that has since received over 11,500 likes and 460 comments.

50 Cent’s emphatic endorsement of the current president marks a sharp departure from his previous comments on the businessman-turned-politician. In a tweet from September 2016, before Trump’s election to the presidency, the rapper implored, “Let us pray, lord please don’t let Trump into office. We will spin out of control” with an accompanying image of praying hands holding a rosary haloed in light.

In February 2019, 50 Cent appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” alongside Senator Elizabeth Warren, revealing that Trump offered him $500,000 to simply show up at his 2017 inauguration. In response to Corden’s question of whether he accepted, 50 Cent replied, “All money’s not good money,” expressing his reservations about the political implications of attending. “Don’t bring me to fix the African American vote,” he said during the show. “Bring somebody else, I’ll see you later.” His words were punctuated by thunderous applause.

When Corden asked how Warren could attract young voters, 50 Cent advised her to stay connected to hip-hop culture, even going as far as to tell Warren to hang out with him when she became president.

It turns out, however, that 50 Cent’s anxieties about the financial burden of the Biden team’s tax strategy may not impact him to the extent he anticipates. A recent CNBC article breaking down Biden’s tax plan explained that taxpayers rarely pay full statutory rates, citing deductions, credits, loopholes, and “other sources of income” as ways individuals lower their effective tax rates.

Despite the intense backlash, 50 Cent will likely stand by his decision. On Oct. 20, following his initial Instagram post, he tweeted, “yeah, i don’t want to be 20cent.” To many, the artist’s choice to champion the POTUS marks a selfish gesture at the expense of the public good; to others, it demonstrates an understandable impulse to protect his finances. Amidst the chaos that has followed the rapper’s social media tirade, one thing remains clear: The towering music icon’s endorsement has only served to further polarize fans and Americans at large ahead of the momentous election to come.

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