RACINE — It ain’t a club and there probably won’t be any bub, but rap star 50 Cent will be chilling at a Racine grocery store Thursday afternoon.

The internationally known singer, actor, entrepreneur, investor, record, film, and television producer will be signing bottles of Effen Vodka from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at Twins Food Mart, 1812 16th St.

Fans can buy bottles before his appearance and guarantee a spot to meet the artist and get the bottle signed by him. Bottles are $20 each. Buying a case of six bottles for $120 gets fans into a VIP Line.

“We sell his product and we do a good business with it,” said Bashar Qedan, one of the store owners. “When you do the numbers like we do, you get a chance to have him come out and do a meet-and-greet.”

The store is preparing for about 500 fans to show up Thursday, Qedan said. But safety shouldn’t be an issue, he said.

“One of the first things we do is talk to the Police Department, plus we have our own security staff,” he said.

In August 2010, the store hosted an appearance by rapper Ludacris, who signed bottles of Conjure, a brand of cognac that he co-owns.

“We didn’t have any problem at all then,” Qedan said. “The events we host have gone smoothly.”

About 50 Cent

Born Curtis James Jackson III, 50 Cent grew up in the South Jamaica neighborhood of the borough of Queens, New York. He sold drugs at age 12 during the 1980s crack epidemic, according to media reports.

He left drug dealing to pursue a musical career and released an independent album “Guess Who’s Back?” in 2002. He then was discovered by rap artist Eminem and signed by Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records.

With the aid of Eminem and rap artist Dr. Dre, 50 Cent released his first major-label album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” in 2003. The record, which included his mega-hit single “In Da Club,” sold 8.4 million copies in the U.S. 50 Cent became one of the world’s best-selling rappers and rose to prominence with East Coast hip hop group G-Unit.

Since then, 50 Cent has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and won several awards, including a Grammy Award, 13 Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and four BET Awards.

He also dabbled in films — acting in them, producing them and providing soundtracks. He branched out into other business ventures, and is a minority stakeholder in Effen Vodka.

But a high-flying lifestyle — he owns a half dozen Rolls Royce cars — led 50 Cent to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2015. At the time, he claimed debts of $32.5 million and a net worth of $4.4 million, according to legal documents.

Prolonged legal action — against business partners, music companies, even his own attorneys at one point — also drained his fortune.

Shortly after filing for Chapter 11 last July, 50 Cent appeared at the Woodman’s grocery store in Oak Creek, signing bottles of Effen.

“I think people still want to see him,” Qedan said. “I think he’s still a name.”


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