50 Cent Weighs in on Kanye West's Fashion Industry Cred

Psst: Young designers looking for funding, it could be "your birthday" soon.
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Psst: Young designers looking for funding, it could be "your birthday" soon.
"Did you purposely leave me off the dress code email?!" Just kidding, guys. Kanye West and 50 Cent presenting at the 2007 VMAs. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

"Did you purposely leave me off the dress code email?!" Just kidding, guys. Kanye West and 50 Cent presenting at the 2007 VMAs. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

It sometimes takes a worthy cause to bring two unexpected people together, like, say, former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, who bonded during relief efforts for the Asian Tsunami or the eclectic medley of musical artists who came together to feed Africa on "We Are the World." So in those terms, it totally makes sense that Century 21 co-owner and part-time rocker Eddie Gindi — along with his band, Men in My Head —  and rapper/actor/business tycoon 50 Cent collaborated together to record a song. Profits from CD sales and downloads will benefit Tuesday's Children, which supports programs and services for families of 9/11 victims. To celebrate the partnership and release of the song, "Century Love," the band, 50 Cent, and supporters gathered at the Century 21 downtown location, which was damaged during the tragic attack in 2001. 

The group is very proud of the track, which features a "rock 'n' roll, funk, and soul" type of sound. And Fiddy promises that people won't just be supporting a good cause, they'll also "enjoy the song because it’s the right music, like it’s good music." 

50 Cent at Century 21. Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

50 Cent at Century 21. Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

As a member of the Forbes Five (the quintet of the wealthiest hip hop artists in the biz, led by Sean P. Puffy Diddy Combs with a net worth of a cool $700 million), Mr. Cent oversees an empire that includes his mega-bucks earning Vitamin Water investment, technology, and fashion, such as his on-hiatus G-Unit line and a stake in a fancy hi-tech underwear brand called Frigo. Clad in a vibrant blue graphic sweatshirt, cobalt leather kicks, and a matching G-Unit cap, 50 Cent expressed his appreciation of style, explaining that he prefers looks that he just likes, as opposed to name brands, just because. To prove the point, he actually couldn't name any labels from his outfit, but that's because his stylist picked everything. "A lot of times I’m not even dressing myself," he laughed.

Since we were talking fashion and music, I had to bring up his interview with XXL in January when he said that it would be difficult for fellow rapper/entrepreneur Kanye West to enter the fashion design game. “In Kanye’s case, wanting to be a part of high-end fashion, that’s a process,” 50 Cent told XXL. “It’s not something that just happens. It’s like — they’re not gonna allow you to tomorrow wake up, and say ‘This idea, that idea. This idea and I’m in and I’m hot.'"

What 50 was saying is that it's hard to be that person who's completely outside of the business trying to get his or her ideas in the door — not any knock on West's ability. "[The high end fashion designers] have been passionate about [fashion] for a very long time and worked to get to where they are and are not so prone to just letting people come in and just turning into a big deal," he says.

The multi-hyphenate, who made his acting debut in 2005 in the movie, "Get Rich or Die Tryin'"  likens the endeavor to his experience in film. "When you come from a genre of music and into film, you have talent that has been bumped around," he explains. "There are really talented people [already in the business] and it kind of irks them that the person who’s been receiving the opportunity — that they really want and have been working, preparing for it for a long time — just comes out of somewhere else."

But the high fashion world seems to be embracing West and his Kardashian-West entourage (see: APC collaborations and Paris Fashion Week FROW). "Well, I think it’s niche," 50 Cent tells me. And, if  50 decides to expand his already-packed portfolio into the fashion biz again, he'll probably head in the same direction.

"Maybe I’ll go back into something that’s a little more niche and not so mass for the clothing," he explained. "I think it’s interesting when you make wild choices and I have people who are supportive because they are actually into those ideas, instead of with trend cool."

Of course, with an estimated net worth of $140 million, 50 Cent has quite a few options. "I would just work with someone," he said. "I’d get the person who does not have the opportunity or the financial support around at that point and that has been in that [niche] club and consistent [in design] for a long period of time." So young designers, maybe start sending your pitches out right about now.

Download or purchase the "Century Love" CD at Century21.com. Profits will benefit the non-profit organization, Tuesday's Children.