50 Cent Billboards Causing Controversy

    You are driving down the freeway and up ahead on a billboard you see rapper 50 cent holding a microphone in one hand and a gun in the other or the rapper holding a baby with a gun neatly tucked in the back of his pants.

    These are descriptions of two billboards posted to promote rapper 50 Cent’s, Curtis Jackson, new movie, “Get Rich or Die Tryin.” Some activists in southern Los Angeles and Philadelphia think the billboards promote gun violence and rallied to have them removed.

    The Associated Press explains that these billboards were poster near a charter school and a nursery school in southern Los Angeles. Both neighborhoods have a history of gun violence and criminal activity.

    Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich wrote a letter to Paramount Pictures, who are releasing the movie, saying that the billboards encouraged gang violence and criminal behavior. In response to the rallies and the letter, Paramount Pictures decided to remove some billboards in areas heavily populated by children and schools.

    Get Rich or Die Tryin” is loosely based off of 50 Cent’s life in which he overcomes a life of drugs, incarceration, and violence by finding his true passion-music. The movie directed by Jim Sheridan is in theatres now and it shares the same name as the rapper’s first CD, which sold millions in 2002.