In an interview on hip-hop radio station Hot 97 (search) Monday night, 50 announced that he was kicking The Game out of his G-Unit clique because of disloyalty — for refusing to take 50's side in his latest battles with high-profile rappers. Then a shooting occurred outside the radio station, wounding one man, police said.
Investigators, still trying to sort out the chaotic scene, suspected the comments were heard on the radio by associates of The Game, including the shooting victim. The associates allegedly went to the radio station, where they were met outside by members of 50 Cent's entourage and the violence erupted, police said.
At the time, 50 Cent was inside; he was not harmed. It was unclear whether The Game was directly involved, police said.
No arrests have been made. An unidentified, 24-year-old Los Angeles man was in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the upper thigh.
Representatives for 50 and Hot 97 (WQHT-FM in New York) had no comment when contacted by The Associated Press on Tuesday.
All this comes as 50 prepares to release the album "The Massacre" Thursday. It's the follow-up to 2003's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," which not only made the bullet-scarred, brash rapper an international superstar, but an empire. The rapper's debut sold more than 8 million copies, and his G-Unit umbrella has launched the careers of three top-selling rappers — The Game, Young Buck and Lloyd Banks. In addition, there's a G-Unit fashion line and other enterprises.
"The Massacre" was scheduled for release March 8 but was moved up to Thursday because it's so hotly anticipated. The first single from the album, "Candy Shop," is already No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
50 Cent built much of his stature on feuds — his battle with Ja Rule helped demolish Ja Rule's star power. As his new album approached, he's also picked feuds with Fat Joe, Nas and Jadakiss.
The Los Angeles-based rapper The Game seemed to be following in 50's footsteps. Like 50, he was a former drug dealer, had been shot several times and used rap as his way out of a life of crime. And like 50, who was introduced under the wings of Eminem, The Game rode 50's coattails into the rap world.
The Game's album "The Documentary" debuted at No. 1 when it was released in January and features 50 on several songs, including the album's hit "How We Do."
The Game apparently drew 50 Cent's ire after an interview appearance on Hot 97 Saturday night, in which he supported 50's enemies.
"I ain't gonna turn on my friends and Nas is one of my friends, and Jada's really a homie ... 50's beef is 50's beef and I really don't know where all this stems from."
On Monday's show, 50 said The Game was no longer part of G-Unit and claimed responsibility for his success.
"Every record he's selling is based on me being on his record with him," he said.