Part 1 :
It's the early '80s, Michael Jordan has yet to enter the NBA. America thinks the kid on the tube who says "Whatchutalkinbout, Willis?" is the most adorable character ever. Rap is just a cool little subgenre of music that the mainstream has barely been introduced to, and 50 Cent is an elementary school student figuring out that his mother might be a lesbian. Her sexual preference doesn't matter to young Curtis, though. In his eyes, she's strong, she's giving and she's proud — too proud to let her son get punked out by a bully. Here Fif tells about learning an early lesson from his mother: fight back with everything you've got. When you have nothing left, pick something up.
I f you were a kid growing up in my neighborhood, it was weird for you to have both parents around. You either got one parent or you got grandparents. I had one parent and two grandparents. From what I could tell, I was actually ahead of the game. And when it came time to bring it — whether "it" was love, money, or authority — my mom would bring it. That's the only thing that mattered to me.
I remember seeing my mom hanging out with women more than she hung out with men. She had this one friend named Tammy who would always be around, so one time I asked my grandmother, "Why does Ma always come around with Tammy?" My grandmother said, "That's something you should ask your mother about." And then I dropped the subject. I was young, but I wasn't stupid. I learned early on that when it came to my mom, there were things you talked about and things that you didn't.
My mom was, in a word, hard. She was real aggressive. As a disciplinarian, she was stern. As a motivator, she was even harsher. She encouraged me to do things that I knew I couldn't do if she didn't have my back. Once, when I was about five years old, I came running into my grandmother's house, crying, because I had been fighting with some kids up the block.
Part 1 :
We had been shooting marbles when this kid missed a really easy shot and I laughed at him. He must've been having a bad day because he got real upset and wanted to fight. Because he was much bigger than me, all the other kids got on his side to beat me up. I was like, You can't be serious. This kid was already bigger than the legal size for five-year-olds. He was so big that, on principle alone, he should have been eight or nine. If we were in a boxing league, he would have been at least three weight classes above me. It's not like he needed the help. So I did the only thing I could: I took my ass-whupping and went home to cry.
When I got home, my mom was pissed. She asked, "What the hell are you crying about?"
I explained it to her. "There was this boy," I told her, "he's as big as a whole block, maybe two. He beat me up and he wasn't quite finished with me when I ran, so if it's all the same to you, I'll be spending the rest of my fifth year in the house."
My mom asked where he was. I said, "He's still outside, blocking out the sun, most likely. You can't fight him, Ma." She looked at me like I had left my common sense on the street. I don't know if she was shocked that I thought she'd fight my battle for me or just disappointed in me for running. She said, "Go back out there and fight him again. If you get your ass beat again, you're gonna take it without crying."
I would have sworn that something was wrong with my ears. Or maybe hers. I said, "Ma, this kid is big. Like, big big."
"I don't care if he's bigger than you," she said. "You pick something up and hit him with it if you have to. But you're not going to come back in here crying."
It wasn't really a hard decision at that point. The worst the kid I was fighting could do was to kill me. But I was more scared of my mom at that moment. I went back out there, picked up a rock that I could barely hold in my hand, and I knocked the f--- out of that kid with it. It was the first time I ever hit someone hard enough to make him go down. He was curled up on the floor bleeding and saying that he was going to tell his mother on me. But I didn't care. His mom could only go and talk to my mom, and I had a strong feeling that any confrontation between our mothers would end up much like the one between him and me did. "So what?" I screamed. "Go tell your mother. She can get hit, too!" All the kids started egging the fight on. "Ooooh! He talked about your momma!" I told them to shut up or they could get hit, too. They shut up. And that kid never came back with his mother. In fact, he never bothered me again.