From Pieces to Weight: Once upon a Time in Southside Queens

( 61 )


This violent and introspective memoir reveals not only 50 Cent's story but also the story of a generation of youth faced with hard choices and very few options. It is a tale of sacrifice, transformation, and redemption, but also one of hope, determination, and the power of self. Told in 50's unique voice, the narrative drips with the raw insight, street wisdom, and his struggle to survive at all costs ? and behold the riches of the American Dream.

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From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens

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This violent and introspective memoir reveals not only 50 Cent's story but also the story of a generation of youth faced with hard choices and very few options. It is a tale of sacrifice, transformation, and redemption, but also one of hope, determination, and the power of self. Told in 50's unique voice, the narrative drips with the raw insight, street wisdom, and his struggle to survive at all costs — and behold the riches of the American Dream.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cool, hard, and vivid, a minor classic of a genre you might call gangster rap noir. No fluff here. 50 Cent tells the story of his life...with a novelist's economy."
The New York Times

"50 Cent is unflinchingly this raw, literate memoir.... Opinionated, unrepentant, and unabashedly self-promoting, [From Pieces to Weight] celebrates the rapper's peculiar brand of the American Dream."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A gripping read."
Time Out New York

Publishers Weekly
The rap superstar known as 50 Cent was born Curtis James Jackson III in 1976. His mother, a smalltime drug dealer, was murdered when he was eight, but that didn't stop him from pursuing her profession. 50 Cent is unflinchingly honest about his mother, his drug past and just about everything else in this raw, literate memoir chronicling his rise from Jamaica, Queens, to the top of the Billboard charts. In his neighborhood, recalls 50 Cent, the only people with money were the drug dealers: "They were my role models." By 11, he'd made his first sale. Over the next decade, 50 Cent evolved from a hustler selling capsules of crack cocaine ("pieces") to a kingpin purchasing by the kilo ("weight"). With money came girls, clothes, cars-and trouble. 50 Cent describes spraying bullets at rivals, outrunning police on his motorcycle and waking up to a drug raid on his house. He avoided jail by serving time in a boot camp-style incarceration center, which did nothing but turn him into a "stronger, meaner, and more focused criminal." His big break into music came through a chance meeting with Jam Master Jay (of Run-DMC). Yet even while trying to break into the business, 50 Cent couldn't leave his past behind, wearing bulletproof vests to meetings with record executives and slipping back into the drug trade when his career didn't take off immediately. Fans will discover the origins of 50 Cent's famous feud with Ja Rule; they'll also get more details about the notorious 2000 shooting that left him with nine bullet holes in his body. Opinionated, unrepentant and unabashedly self-promoting, 50 Cent's memoir celebrates the rapper's peculiar brand of the American Dream (and the title of his breakthrough album): Get Rich or Die Tryin'. Agent, Marc Gerald at the Agency Group. First serial to MTV. com. (Aug. 9) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743488044
  • Publisher: MTV Books
  • Publication date: 8/15/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 190,463
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

50 Cent is a record-breaking rap recording artist, entrepreneur, music producer, and actor. His debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', sold more than 12 million units worldwide, is certified eight times platinum, and was the basis for the semi-autobiographical film of the same title, in which he starred. He is the first artist to have four songs in the top ten of Billboard’s Hot 100 since the Beatles in 1964, and in 2012 he released his fifth studio album. He published his memoir, the New York Times bestseller From Pieces to Weight, which was hailed as “cool, hard, and vivid, a minor classic of gangster rap noir” (The New York Times). Under the G-Unit brand, his business empire includes a record label, apparel and footwear ventures, vitamin water, and more. He also created the nonprofit organization The G-Unity Foundation, which aims to better the life of urban youth. Learn more at

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 61 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 61 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    this is the best book that i have read in a long time i really enjoyed it and if you are into great books and interested in peoples lifestyle then this would be a great book for you. 50 cent went through lots of struggles he was one of the kids who had a sort of a bad lifestyle, he was forced to move with his grandmother at a young age which is age 8. his mother was murderd. she was a drug dealer who sold it and smoked it. when 50 mother was alive she abondoned him by leaving him with family members while she go out party and have fun.i knew this book was gonna be good to read but i didnt think it was this good. this is the best book i have read in a long time. as 50cent comes out with different versions to this book i will be picking it up. 50 is also my favorite recording artist. as you get to know 5ocent later on in the book you will learn that he was shot 9 times and still living til this day. he talks with a slur sometimes but its ok because he is still living. so to end this i have to say the book is excellent and i will recommend it to everyone.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013


    <3 <3

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Geood book

    Geto book if you like 50 cent

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    A solidly loud, direct, and powerfully written book in which mad

    A solidly loud, direct, and powerfully written book in which made this enjoyable. Of course it takes a fan to care to read this otherwise someone might not care. The way it was written can be great even if one isn't a fan but purely curious

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Not what i expected...

    Much better than that. I have seen his "behind the music" episode on VH1 but its not as touching and inspiring as his book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa XD

    I llllllllooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 50cent from skile 1+100 my skaile broke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2010

    From Pieces to Weight

    Many people know 50 Cent from his chart chopping songs and number one albums. What people don't know is what 50 Cent has been through to establish himself as one of rap's biggest stars. But behind all the fame and fortune is a determined hustler from South Side Jamaica Queens.
    From Pieces to Weight is auto-biography written by 50 Cent himself. He tells of stories that have shaped him into the person he is today. He speaks of his biggest negatives in life like getting shot and the death of his mother to his biggest positives like the birth of his son and having a number one album in the world. He speaks of short stories that only 50 Cent could illustrate. The book presents the reader with 50 Cent's story from the very begging of childhood, to 2003 when his debut album went platinum.
    From Pieces to Weight is a book that someone could read and immediately be grateful for their life and how it easy it seems in comparison to others. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is misunderstood by his music, but he's just honestly rapping about what he's been through and seen in the first 26 years of his life. He talks about never giving up in life, and living by his own motto, "Get rich, or die trying".
    Since the book was written by 50 Cent, it lacks the professional story telling that a famous writer provides, but what the book lacks in writing skills, it shines in cold truthful tails. However, 50 Cent's songs contain wide vocabulary, heavy metaphors, creative similes and use of unique poetic story telling skills, so it's no surprise that he also uses these writing skills in his novel.
    The book isn't for young kids with all the cursing and drug references, but it's hard to imagine him writing this book without profanity. The profanity helps tell a better story and paint a more graphic picture. The book also isn't for people who aren't into hip-hop or rap culture as they will have a very difficult time relating too many of the stories and struggles told in the story. People that want to know someone who's been through struggle and how they made it out should defiantly read this book.
    Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is not a novelist by any means, but his writing skill defiantly sets himself away from the average Joe. A Recommendation I have to any readers is to listen to 50 Cent's underground music such as The Power of the Dollar. It really showcases his writing skills and hunger he had to make it big in the music industry.
    The book is a good read with a lot of strong messages. 50 Cent wrote this book from the heart and readers can easily tell that he had to make sacrifices and go through struggle to be successful. I thought the book was one of the best books I've ever read.

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  • Posted January 7, 2010

    From peices to Weight - 50 Cent - Patrick P.

    I always knew 50 cent had a troubled life and to me you would think all the rappers would have had at least a kind of hard life. I never knew exactly what 50 cent went through to get to where he is now. This book goes through his life and walks you threw what he went threw when he was growing up. He tells you about his neighborhood called Southside Queens. It tells you all about how he was hustlin' (selling drugs). I found it interesting that 50 cent didn't always aspire to be a rapper, and that he decided he needed to do something other than sell drugs since his girlfriend was pregnant and that he didn't want his son to fall into the path that he went threw. That's when he decided to start rapping. This book also showed how he became a rapper and then near the end was when he started getting big. 50 cent finally became a rap star at the end after surving the his 9 gun shots and all he rest of his life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2009

    from peices.. to WEiGHT

    50 Cent is truly someone who came from the bottom and reached his top, and is not stopping, he writes about his life as a young man, in south side queens being an all time crack hustler to the time who he is today, mainly about his life and his hussel, couldnt put the book down

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  • Posted December 18, 2008

    Book review for From Pieces to Weight

    From Pieces to Weight was a book that i enjoyed reading. As you can tell by the cover it is about Curtis "50 cent" Jackson's life. This book i must say one very good, he had a very rough childhood. He struggled everyday to try and make money by doing the worng thing. He as he said in the book, he knew it was wrong but he did it just because he said it was his up bringing. Throughout his childhood he mostly stayed with his grandparents, because his mother was a drug dealer and she didn't want him around what she did. Until one day when he was spending the night at his grandparents house, when the next morining came they found out that his mother was murdered. So after that he moved in with his grandparents. They already had all of his uncles and aunts in the house to take care of. When he got into dealing drugs it was because his uncle would always send him out and pick up his drugs for him. So one day when he ran out to get the drugs he decide to buy some extra drugs and stash them in his room, so when his uncle would send him out he would go to his room get the drugs and just keep the money from his uncle.<BR/><BR/>This book i would recommend this book to a mature person, because througout this book there is cursing and inapropriate language. I enjoyed this book very much in fact it is one of the few books that i have read start to finish. I would go out and buy this book or go to the local libray and take it out and enjoy this book yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2008

    Good book- as short and simple as that

    Good book. Entertaining. Why do other reviewers write such a long review? It's pointless, because nobody reads them. Keep it short and simple. Also be mindful that some people didn't read the book yet!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    This book was exciting

    In the book ¿From Pieces to Weight¿ by 50 Cent, he talks about his life growing up in South Side Jamaica Queens. He grew up in his grandmother¿s house with eight other kids and his mom was a drug dealer. After his mother dies, he becomes a drug dealer, has many problems with the police and finally becomes a rapper after having almost died. Curtis ¿50 Cent¿ Jackson is the main character in the book. He grew up in a tough neighborhood, so he had to grow up to be tough. He was a drug dealer and got in trouble with the law. He was training for boxing, so when he would fight in the street he was ready. After he was shot, he worked hard to make music and become a rapper. His grandmother took care of him even when his mother was alive. She was more like a mother than hi mom was because she was out selling drugs. His grandfather stood up for him when something went wrong with the law or when someone picked on him. ¿Get rich or die tryin¿. When I say that everyone focuses on the negative aspects: death, desperation, depression. But you know what? Everybody, from the guy who gets up to punch a clock everyday to the kid standing on the corner, is trying to get rich before they die.¿ This quote tells about the people from his hood to other people¿s hood who struggle to get out. The only way to get out for some people is to sell drugs. 50 Cent thought that selling drugs would get him out, but it didn¿t. It got him arrested and shot. What did get him out was working hard and getting discovered as a rapper. I liked the book because 50 is my favorite rapper. The book had excitement, I wanted to keep reading and not put it down. It was better than other books I read because he wrote it in his own way and didn¿t let other people tell him how to write it. I wouldn¿t recommend this book to children, but I would to more mature people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    One of the greatest books you might read.

    FROM PIECES TO WEIGHT From Pieces to Weight is a book on the life of the famous rapper Curtis 50 Cent Jackson. 50 cent grew up on the streets of Southside Queens dealing with selling drugs, bad neighborhood, and his tuff child hood being by himself with not parents. He started selling drugs after his mother died. He later got interested in rap music that caused 50 to put a side the drug dealing, and focus on his rap career. By Getting Rich Or Dye Tryin. 50 Cent grew up with his mother Sabrina being his only parent, and his grandparents and siblings. Sabrina was a drug dealer she got 50 what ever he wanted, and that meant expensive shoes. When Sabrina would go out and sell drugs 50 would go to his grandparent¿s house were 8 of his aunts and uncles lived not including him would stay at. 50 didn¿t have a father figure growing up when he would ask his mother who his father was, shed say I¿m your mother, and father. It really confused him a lot, and made him think. One day when 50 went inside to his grandparent¿s house he was waiting for his mom to come, and his grandmother told him that his mom would not be coming back. 50 knew that something had happen, and he over heard people talk about his mother dying by someone putting something in her drink and leaving a oven stove on while she was on the ground past out. 50 was mad that his mother had died he would have to stay with his grandparents, uncles and aunts, and couldn¿t get what he wanted anymore which were shoes, and clothes. So he started selling crack cocaine to get what he wanted which were shoes, and expensive items. From that point he would be up all day on the weekends and selling crack on the block, all day after school on weekdays selling crack. 50 didn¿t feel as if he should go out and get a real job and work he saw that he could get more money by selling drugs than working for people. In about 3 months he bought himself a motorcycle, which he got from the money he had saved from the drug selling. In 50¿s hood there was a lot of controversy going on and he got into a lot of fights and won, that set a reputation on the block that he shouldn¿t be mess with. He started taking boxing classes to get good Tec nicks. One day when was on the block he got arrested for being part of a drug traffic plan. One day he wasn¿t thinking straight when he brought drugs to school and had to go to boot camp for 7 months. He didn¿t stay long enough because he faked being rehabilitated to a changed man. A few months later he got house arrest, and got sent to boot camp. When he came out of boot camp he still ménage to sell drugs. Later the bigger drugs dealers came on the block and toke over, and that started some drama, which made him start carrying a gun around for protection. 50 really didn¿t care because when he got out of boot camp he started thinking big by having his on drug dealing business, and ended up walking to a car dealer ship and buying himself a brand new land cruiser by walking up to the sells man and showing him a bag full of money, the guy though he was crazy. 50 met this girl after dating his ex girlfriend, and he tried to get with her and she kept on saying no but that didn¿t stop him from getting her. She was the type of girl that said: if you don¿t respect me than I am not going to respect you. 50 knew in order to get the girl he really liked he would have to change his ways. 50 got her number and a lot more, they would always be arguing about random stuff. Later on she ended up being pregnant with 50¿s son. She was having a hard time with his lifestyle, she was fine with it when they were boyfriend, and girlfriend but now he had a kid raise and had to think about what he was doing, and think about his son¿s life. One day when 50 was getting inside a car the driver looked at him and saw he was wearing nice jewelry but wasn¿t wearing the matching piece of jewelry with it so he went back inside to his grandmothers house and gets the matchin

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2008

    Inside View Of Curtis Jackson

    This book gives great insights into his life lived in South Side Jamaica Queens. It tells some of the struggles he facexd in the cruel and money hungry society. Learn stories about his lifestyle before the millions he owns today. Learn how he lives after being shot nine times!The book tells about all the wrong things he did and how he made them right. It also focuses on the rap game.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2007

    pieces to weight is a good book

    A gangster rapper from the Queens tells his life story through a book. He tells us his struggle growing up, losing his mom at a young age having to live with his grandparents. They didn¿t have much so he had to turn to the streets to get what he wants and gets caught up in the drug game. He lives his life in and out of jail until he turns to music. I thought the book was good. He tells us his struggle and doesn¿t leave anything out the book was long but for the great detail it goes into its worth reading. If you don¿t like a book with profanity then this is not the book you need to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2007

    get rich or die trying

    Curtis Jackson III, From Pieces to Weight. Biography Get rich or die trying. The main character is Curtis Jackson. Curtis was born when his mother of fifteen years old gave birth to him. Curtis was raised by his grandparents, aunts, uncles and local drug dealers because just about of his friends and family had gotten addicted to crack a cheap illegal drug to make. This character is complex because you don¿t know if he¿s going to do right or wrong. This person is a real person like you and me. The writer develops the character through his actions like when he sells drugs. This setting is significant because he grew up in Jamaica queens, N.Y. and that was no fun at all. Curtis earliest memories were of his mother trying to getting everything she could for him ever if it was illegally. He will remember always the phone call explaining that a drug dealer killed his mother. So what do you learn die or survive? This is what was going though his mind, his body filled wit nine bullets has he thought of the good and bad choices in his life. The writer uses a lot of heavily used flashbacks to bring you up to date with the plot. This story hit you hard in the chest especially if you have friends or family who are going though this on daily basis. After being shot nine times his motto was right away ¿I know I could do this¿ Because he did that I feel without god you are powerless. But it being written in the first person it makes me feel the brokenness and excitement he must have been felling maybe he have been he felt hopeless. Then again Curtis also made you feel hopeful. What got to me was there were no positive mentors in his life. Even though he was raised in church and had male figures none was positive except low lives. He chooses a different lifestyle. My final recommendation is for any person, color, or religion to read this book. It could you choose the right choices in not matter what.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2007

    i loved it

    I love music thats why i decided to read this book about Curtis Jackson better known as 50 cent. I definitely love to read biographies. This book inspired me in alot of diffrent ways that another book could have not.Now i know why he talks the way he talks. Its because of the experinces he had growing up with losing his mother and not feeling wanted by anyone else. I believe anyone who is a big fan of 50 cent should read this book so they could see whats on the inside of Curtis Jackson. This book tells you how he was an part time hustler and a full time, independant father. He talks about his good and bad times growing up in Southside Queens. I now understand why he talks about being shot 9 times so much, because he wants to let the public know the truth about what went on in his life. 50 cent was hustling by selling drugs. Before his mom died, she was doing the same, so he moved with grandparents after her death. I loved the way the book expresses the excitement that went on in his adventerous life. From being a young drug dealer to being the number one selling rap artist in the country. 50also went through alot of feuds with his family, friends and music. Hes been in beef with another top artist, Ja Rule. Irecommend this book to the struggle who wants to make it and find a better transition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2007

    i love this book

    i loved this book because im a 50 cent fan and also it tells u how his life was from a little kid to well known also talks about the hard life he had and the beef he has with Ja Rule .this is one of my altime favriote book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2007

    My Review On This Book......

    From Pieces To Weight, this 50 Cent book was outstanding & great to read. Anyone who listens to 50 Cent, should read this book. The book explains how Curtis James Jackson lll become 50 Cent. Also how he was growing up in Southside Queens & how he hustle his way into the rap game. It's a great book. if you like 50 Cent, Then You're like this book. It Also explain 50 Cent in a whole different way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2007

    THE BOOK WAS...........

    This book..... Was off the chain, i really felt like i was in 50 cent's life feeling the vibe! i was just listen to it while i wasa home with my boo!

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