The unlikely presidential candidate and the rap star share eerie similarities
Originally posted on Rolling Stone
Bill Maher recently described Donald Trump as “the white Kanye.” But Maher, who’s not known for his in-depth hip-hop knowledge, is a little off with that comparison. If anything, Trump is more like Kanye West’s sometime frenemy 50 Cent. The overlap between the two larger-than-life figures is so far-reaching that it’s a little eerie. Come to think of it, have you ever actually seen 50 Cent and Trump in the same place at the same time? The Nightly Show‘s Mike Yard called Trump “the 50 Cent of the Republican Party” this week. We’ll go even farther: We propose that the Donald and 50 are actually the same person. Here’s our airtight case:
1. They both represent Queens.
Not only did Trump and 50 grow up in the same New York borough – they’re both from Jamaica, Queens. To be fair, the two men are products of very different parts of the neighborhood. Trump was raised in the bucolic Jamaica Estates, a moneyed community founded at the turn of the century, while 50 Cent grew up in working-class South Jamaica.
2. They’re both renaissance men of business.
Trump followed in his wealthy father’s footsteps, working for his old man’s real estate firm, which he eventually took over and expanded. In addition to owning worldwide residential real estate, hotels, resorts and, of course, golf courses, the Donald has developed products and ventures including Trump Restaurants (located in Trump Tower and consisting of Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar), GoTrump (an online travel website), Donald J. Trump Signature Collection (menswear, men’s accessories and watches), Donald Trump the Fragrance, Trump magazine, Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump home (home furnishings), Trump Productions (a television production company), Trump Institute, Trump the Game (a 1989 board game), Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon (a business simulation game), Trump Books, Trump Model Management, Trump Shuttle (an airline), Trump Ice (bottled water), Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks. And, until recently, The Apprentice on NBC!
50 Cent, meanwhile, followed his late mother into the drug trade around age 12. Beyond his own lucrative rap career, he’s founded G-Unit Records and G-Unit Clothing. Like Trump, he dipped into the beverage business, releasing an enhanced drink called Formula 50 with Vitamin Water. On the olfactory front, he joined forces with Right Guard deodorant to put his name on Pure 50 RGX body spray. He tried, and failed, to penetrate the prophylactic market with Magic Stick Condoms. And he had his own Apprentice-esque show called 50 Cent: The Money and The Power on MTV.
3. They’re both bestselling authors.
Donald Trump has written over a dozen books, including the bestseller Trump: The Art of the Deal. Less well-known but equally transformative titles include Think BIG and Kick Ass in Business and Life, Trump: How to Get Rich and Trump: The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received.
50 Cent launched his own publishing imprint, G-Unit Books, and is the author of successful volumes like The Fiftieth Law, Formula 50: A 6-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life, and 50 X 50: 50 Cent in His Own Words. Unlike Trump, however, 50 has also branched out into fiction, writing novels like Death Before Dishonor and Harlem Heat.
4. They both love to brag about how rich they are.
It would take all year to compile all of Trump’s boasts, so let’s focus on four gems – all taken from his presidential announcement speech last month. “I’m really rich, I’m really rich,” he observed at one point. “I’ll show you in a second. I’m not saying that in a bragging way.” And: “I’m proud of my net worth. I’ve done an amazing job.” And: “I have the best [golf] courses in the world.” Also: “One of the big banks came to me and said, ‘Donald, you don’t have enough borrowings. Could we loan you $4 billion?’ I said, ‘I don’t need it.’ ”
50 Cent is proud of his net worth, too. Since we stuck to four examples for Trump, we’ll do the same here. From “I Get Money”: “Have a baby by me, baby, be a millionaire!/I’ll write the check before the baby comes, who the fuck cares?” From “Piggy Bank”: “Clickity-clank, clickity-clank/The money goes into my piggy bank.” From “Money”: “I’m eating, I get money…I shit money/It smells like Benjamins, it boosts my adrenaline.” From “Straight to the Bank”: “I’m laughing straight to the bank with this…./I keep nothing but hundred dollar bills in the bankroll/I got the kind of money that the bank can’t hold.”
5. They both declared bankruptcy.
What makes all of this bragging kind of awkward is when you have to declare bankruptcy. Donald Trump’s companies did so four times: Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City in 1991, Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City in 1992, Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts in 2004 and Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009. Whoops!
Funnily enough, even though Forbes estimated that 50 Cent had a net worth of $150 million just this May, he had to file for bankruptcy in July. Coincidentally, his financial woes occurred right around the time a jury was determining how much money he would have to pay in damages to a woman whose sex tape he allegedly posted online without her permission. The jury decided on $5 million. In response, 50’s lawyer said his client’s net worth is just 4.4 million! What are the odds? So how could a man worth so relatively little have such a brag-worthy lifestyle? The rapper testified that he borrowed his cars and jewelry. They were lies! All lies!
6. They both have lots of beefs with other famous people.
The lawsuit above was the end result of an old feud between 50 and Rick Ross: The only reason 50 leaked the sex tape at all is because it allegedly featured Ross’ ex. 50 Cent has also had public beefs with rappers from Ja Rule to Fat Joe to Jadakiss to Cam’Ron to Lil Wayne to his own former protégés the Game and Young Buck …and many more.
We’ll never know exactly how many people Trump has picked fights with, but a few of his targets include President Obama, Rosie O’Donnell, Russell Brand, Jay Leno, Cher, Neil Patrick Harris, Lawrence O’Donnell, Arianna Huffington, Jon Stewart – and most recently, John McCain. Last weekend, Trump went after the Arizona Senator for having been a prisoner of war (classy!): “He’s not a war hero… I like people who weren’t captured.” On Tuesday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham responded by calling Trump a jackass. Hours later, Trump gave out Graham’s private phone number during a speech.
Trump is also in a public spat with the entire country of Mexico after his tasteless anti-Latino comments. So, there’s that.
7. They’re both Republicans . . . sort of.
Donald Trump is currently seeking the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination. During a speech delivered from the border at Laredo, Texas, on Thursday, Trump said, “Look, I’m a Republican . . . I’m a conservative. I’m running. I’m in first place by a lot, it seems, according to all the polls. I want to run as a Republican. I think I’ll get the nomination.” But loyalty is a two-way street, as Trump made clear in an interview with The Hill on Wednesday: “The RNC has not been supportive. They were always supportive when I was a contributor. I was their fair-haired boy. The RNC has been, I think, very foolish.” A third-party run is a possibility if he fails to secure the GOP nomination.
50 is also a man of political contradictions, and is probably the only rumored Republican to make a PSA in support of Occupy Wall Street. He also espoused some Jerry Falwell-esque views on Hurricane Katrina in 2005, saying, “The New Orleans disaster was meant to happen. It was an act of God.” But that’s nothing compared to the praise 50 heaped on George W. Bush the same year, calling Bush “incredible . . . a gangsta. I wanna meet George Bush, just shake his hand and tell him how much of me I see in him.”