50 Cent's harrowing life is no secret. Just listen to his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', to hear his tales of street life and chaos. Now the 40-year-old rapper is sharing some insight with his fans in a letter to his younger self.

In a personal letter shared with Big Issue, the "In Da Club" MC details his harsh upbringing and the moment he knew he made it in the game.

Jam Master Jay from Run-D.M.C. gave Fif his first rap lessons in 1997. "Jay taught me how to count bars -- and when the chorus should start and stop. And I kept practicing. Sometimes hard work beats talent. I wrote all the time, and so I got better and better," he writes.

And when he got signed to Shady Records by Eminem, he had a front row seat to how the rhymer handled himself. Though they were both talented 50 Cent knew they would follow different paths -- the "Candy Shop" rapper had money on the mind. "The guys who were up against him would think of everything you could say about him, then he’d say those things about himself first. So everything they had against him, he took it away. He was writing all this personal stuff. I was never anything like that. I came into music with songwriting intentions ‘cause that’s where the money was," he shares.

And when the Get Rich or Die Tryin' record sales came out, that's the moment he'd like to go back in time to. "I went to sit at the back of the tour bus and just thought, wow. I couldn’t believe it. When I got those sales I knew that from now on I didn’t have to wait for someone else to say it was okay, I could say it was okay myself. But I also knew that feeling, that confirmation, that finally you have the momentum -- you only feel it once. I knew I would never have that feeling again. ‘Cause everything was about to change."

As for advice to his teenage self, "If I could talk to my teenage self, I’d tell him to focus on music with a stronger intensity. He could still have this career without going through all the things I went through. And thinking about relationships – I think back to when I was with someone and that person could have been the person I was going to be with for the rest of my life but I didn’t have the references yet to know there was something special there. It’s like the clarity I got about my grandmother after she was gone. Some people have been better at that than me. If I look at Jay Z, I’d point out he capitalized on people better than I did."

Read 50 Cent's entire letter here.

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