(Photo: Reuters / Alberto Lowe)
Jackson, better known by his stage name 50 Cent speaks at a news conference before his concert in Panama City
Millionaire rapper Curtis Jackson, a.k.a 50 Cent, is ten steps ahead of everyone else.
Sometime he does things that are so creative and new that people can't even think of these ideas, let alone execute and make money from them.
Over the weekend of January 8th, 50 Cent tweeted that "HNHI is the stock symbol for TVG there [they're] launching 15 different products. They are no joke get in now."
After this comment and others, blasted to 50 Cent's 3.8 million followers on Twitter, HNHI (H & H Imports, Inc) shares soared 290 percent by Monday's closing on relatively heavy volume.
50 Cent owns a significant minority stake in HNHI, so his net worth shot up by millions as a result.*
Related to his multi million-dollar tweets of HNHI was his appearance at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, during which he introduced his Sleek by 50 Cent headphones.
Of course, he tweeted about Sleek all weekend long. These headphones, incidentally, will be marketed by TVG, which is owned by HNHI .
50 Cent's biggest score to date is his early investment in (and marketing partnership with) vitamin water maker Glaceau, which reportedly netted him $100 million.
He also co-wrote a book, made a video game, got involved with movies, and launched his own brand of shoes with Reebok.
In short, the man is a marketing (and deal-making) machine who is constantly pushing the boundaries of what a hip-hop artist can do.
During a TV interview on CNBC (to promote his book The 50th Law), 50 Cent explained that record sales, which used to generate most of the money for the music industry, no longer works because of the advances in information technology.
Some people in the industry just whined and complained about this changing reality. Others refused to adapt (and will probably go bankrupt, if they haven't already). Indeed, there was an industry mentality that branding deals were "taboo" and considered "selling out", said 50 Cent.
He, on the other hand, successfully embraced this change.
Take his attitude towards the piracy of his music, which prompted some industry executives to foolishly wage legal wars on loyal (but Kazaa-wielding) fans and some artists to fruitlessly speak out against it.
50 Cent said the people who pirated his music will end up paying to attend his concerts.
"I see it as a part of the marketing," he said.
In addition to attending the concerts, they will probably follow him on Twitter, hear about the products he tweets all day long, and buy things like the Sleek by 50 Cent headphones.
Of course, it would be more profitable for 50 Cent if customers consumed his music by purchasing them rather than pirating them. So what's 50's attitude on this?
"We can't stop it. If the major record companies could, they would."
So he accepted this fact. No anger. No complaining. No alienating fans by condemning their acts of piracy. He just adapted to the new realities and continued to make money.
In this environment where financial success in the music industry means monetizing one's fame and fan loyalty through brand extensions, 50 Cent ranks as one of the most successful and trailblazing practitioners.
His book The 50th Law gives the reader a glimpse of 50's hustling, entrepreneurial, and innovative mindset.
Chapter one is titled 'See Things For What They Are', chapter four is titled 'Keep Moving,' and chapter nine is titled 'Push Beyond Your Limits'.
Email Hao Li at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Since then, the "HNHI is the stock symbol for TVG" tweet has been deleted and 50 hedged by later tweeting "I own HNHI stock thoughts on it are my opinion. Talk to financial advisor about it," likely in an effort to avoid breaking U.S. securities laws regarding giving financial advice to the public.
This article is copyrighted by International Business Times, the business news leader