"The 50th Law" by 50 Cent and Robert Greene

TITLE: The 50th Law

AUTHOR: 50 Cent and Robert Greene

PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Publisher

PUBLISHED DATE: September 8, 2009

ISBN: 978-0061774607

PAGES: 304

A coworker of mine put me onto The 48 Laws of Power and the Art of Seduction by Robert Greene. These are classic books that have become prerequisite reading on the syllabus at the School of the Hard Knocks. I have read and reread the Art of Seduction many times - the audiobook is the stuff of legend. I'd hard that rapper 50 Cent and Robert Greene had collaborated on this book, and I put off reading it because I thought it would be some gimmicky mess.

I was wrong.

Just as good as Greene's previous books, "The 50th Law" is a street book for everyone from 50's fans, to the philosopher, to the hardened street soldier. It wasn't perfect, but it had enough to simmer on, so I enjoyed it for what it was.


Mogul, 50 Cent and author Robert Greene have collaborated to create a book that's very much in the tradition of Greene's popular works, The 48 Laws of Power and the Art of Seduction. Greene's style is to pull examples from the titans of history to explain principles that he calls laws - that direct society and human behavior. True to his style, Greene continues to use the format, but includes 50's lived lessons as examples of how 50 Cent was able to turn his life of poverty into a financial success beyond his wildest dreams. The two include stories about Frederick Douglass and Jack Johnson - among others, to drive home the message. Some of my key take-aways from this book:

  • 50 Cent's biggest advantage is fearlessness. Because he came from such a disadvantaged background and was shot in the face and lived, he has a heightened survival mode that made him able to take risks that most are afraid to do.

  • Don't be afraid to change. 50 Cent recognized rather quickly that as a performer in the music industry, he was a pawn. Instead of relying on the record labels and executives, he decided to diversify his income revenues. As technology changed the landscape of the music industry, 50 was able to be flexible with the change in tides, while many of his former bosses were not, and took down a lot of people who'd depended on them.

  • Don't take things too personally. The world is harsh and is indifferent to your needs and pain. Don't waste your energy on trying avenge every slight. Handle life's situations from a position of strength and don't get stuck taking every slight or injustice personally.

  • Work for yourself. Working for others and having to constantly ask for permission is demeaning. There are greater rewards and a better sense of pride in yourself and your work, when you work for yourself.

  • Be self reliant. People find crutches in family, friendships, rela