FARMINGTON, Conn. – There she was, ready to schmooze with 50 Cent (search) and his celebrity friends, and Robin Condon was beyond embarrassed.
Just as she was taking in the half-dressed dancers, wall-to-wall Gucci leather room and in-house casino, Condon saw her friend's father picking up his pant leg to show off tall, white socks. "I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'You are standing next to Slick Rick, for God's sake. Stop it!'"
Condon, 33, was among the lucky few who received a personal invite to a 50 Cent party in this upscale town, population 24,000, which is home to an all-girls' boarding school, private 18-hole golf course and country club ... and 50 Cent's mansion.
Even in the hardcore rap genre he's among the hardest, a former drug dealer whose posse traded gunfire recently with another artist from his own record label.
But in Farmington (search), 50 Cent is all good.
"We want to have prom at his house," said a beaming Liza Dionne, an 18-year-old student at Farmington High School. "We left a letter in his mailbox, but haven't heard back yet."
The rapper's chef is also a regular at the fancy Santilli's Epicure Market (search), where she comes in every Friday to pick up filet mignon, fresh tuna and swordfish, and "lots and lots" of spring water.
"It's only the best for him," said Remo Santilli, the market's 57-year-old owner.
50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, bought his mansion in September 2003 for $4.1 million. The sprawling estate has been owned by both Mike Tyson and Colonial Realty founder Benjamin Sisti, who served time in prison for bankruptcy fraud and other crimes.
The rapper has boasted that his 48,500-square-foot mansion includes 18 bedrooms, 37 bathrooms and five whirlpool baths. Town records show a man-made pond, boathouse and separate servants' quarters. Two samurai warriors (supposedly left by Tyson) stand guard at the entrance.
Last month 50 hosted a bash that was filmed by MTV for an hour-long program to promote the rapper's chart-topping sophomore CD, "The Massacre."
"You know how we do it: Real big," 50 said on the program.
So big that he was not available to comment for this story. So big, in fact, that a liquor store needed a cargo van to deliver his order of Bacardi for his party. And it would have to be Bacardi, as you might know from his hit song "Da Club": "We gon' sip Bacardi like it's your birthday."
50 says he's home a lot, and neighbors have caught him jogging and riding his all-terrain vehicle. Still, some Farmington residents say they rarely see him.
"I've been looking," said college student Nicole D'Amico, 19.
That doesn't stop fans from driving up and down his street, hoping to catch a glimpse of the rapper. Maybe they should look up: He often travelsbya helicopter from New York City. A guard sits in front of the gated yellow house, shooing away people who stay for too long and even threatening to call the police.
So how did Condon get inside those gates? She'd been visiting a friend who lives on the same street when 50's manager knocked on the door, carrying a huge glossy invitation and a magnum of champagne.
That night, Condon and her crew rubbed elbows with the likes of rappers Busta Rhymes and Foxy Brown, model Tyson Beckford, and of course 50 Cent's G-Unit clique.
Although the neighbors admit sticking out among the Hollywood-types, the 28-year-old rapper gave them all VIP access.
"There were definitely a few people there who you wouldn't normally see at a 50 Cent party," said local radio DJ Buck. "But I guess he just wanted to prove to them that 'I can have a good time and there won't be any trouble.'"