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50 Cent recalls Def Jam turning down his music on Omari Hardwick's podcast

The rap veteran waxes nostalgic about early JAY-Z comparisons.

50 Cent // Artist Instagram

Considering 50 Cent expert social media trolling, it feels like an increasingly rare opportunity to get the rap veteran and entertainment mogul in a space where he is open to recounting his storied history in a serious manner.

However, as exemplified by the latest installment of Omari Hardwick's "Poetics" podcast, all it takes is for Fif to be in the right mood to dive deep into his vault of unparalleled industry stories.

In the episode, which was released on Thursday (June 6), 50 Cent opens up about the early days of his career, taking listeners back to the late '90s when he was still an aspiring rapper navigating the streets of New York.

He recalls what it was like when he was trying to land a record deal and Irv Gotti, who was an A&R at Def Jam at the time, passed on his music. Fif also clarifies that this incident in particular was in 1997, years prior to his beef with Ja Rule, Irv and Murder Inc.

"By the time I was done my first body of work, it was 97. It was eleven songs, and Jay had took five or six of the eleven songs and played it for Def Jam," 50 explained. "He played the records for people at Def Jam, because he had a record company name, JMJ Records, but it was functioning as a production company. He'd produce the music and then go get the record deal from Def Jam. So, I didn't even understand the music business enough to know it wasn't a record company. When he went to play the music for Def Jam, they was like 'ahhh, you know..."

As 50 Cent recalled, he explained how Irv decided to pass on signing him because of his sounding similar to JAY-Z.

"One of the records was a record that had Jam Master Jay cutting," 50 Cent continues, noting that the track contained a sample of Nas' "Represent."

"It was a song on JAY-Z's next album that had the direct comparisons of 'somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game.' It was the same concept. Same song," 50 said. "Now I'm going, 'Yo Jay, did you play it for that n---a?' He was like, 'Nah, no. [JAY-Z] wasn't there.'"

50 Cent then chalks it all up to a compliment, finding solace in the reality that while a situation with Def Jam wasn't in the cards at the time, he was headed on the right path.

Elsewhere throughout the conversation, 50 Cent chops it up with his "Power" co-star about his other career moves and life in general.

"There is nothing more poetic than being able to sit down with a boss, a colleague, a teammate, friend, and brother... and be able to go even deeper than we have all these years together. A ton of fun equally," Hardwick said of the opportunity to interview 50 Cent.

Take a look at the clip of 50 Cent recalling his demo being turned down below and check out the full podcast episode here.

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