50 Cent wasn't in the club, but the grocery store in Phoenix last night, as he partied not with Bacardi but with vodka — Effen Vodka, the brand the rapper invested in last year.
The rapper, with the help of the Phoenix Suns dancers, helped sell $10,000 in vodka at Fry's at 2250 East Baseline. A Fry's employee estimated that at one point, 200 people were waiting in line to get a picture taken with the rapper. And those $10,000 in sales? That amounts to 500 bottles. Not bad for two hours of work from Fiddy.
"It was awesome," said Fry's customer service rep Dottie Padilla. "The crowd was awesome, phenomenal. Everything went super smooth."
She noted that security was extremely tight (the rapper has already been shot nine times, after all), but that the event went down as smooth as the rapper's vodka.
Effen Vodka is steadily building a presence in Phoenix; the Phoenix Suns recently toasted the opening of the Effen Vodka Lounge at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
It's been a rough year for the rapper. He's been on a whirlwind promotional tour as of late, signing bottles at grocery stores across the country. At the same time, he's dealing with the after-effects of a $7 million decision against him in a gross case of revenge porn. He also filed for bankruptcy last year, meaning that "Get Rich Or Die Trying" quickly morphed into "Get Rich Then Get Broke."
The bankruptcy is ongoing. The judge presiding over the case recently called 50 Cent into court to explain some Instagram photos that showed the rapper posing next to fat stacks of cash. Sadly, the rapper stated the cash was fake and that maintaining the illusion of wealth to his social media followers was key to his brand.
Billboard reported one of Fiddy's lawyers as saying, "The cash depicted in the social media postings is not real. The postings, which among other things, make use of stage or prop money, are part of the Debtor's routine social media marketing activities and relate directly to the Debtor's various business interests. Prop money is routinely used in the entertainment industry, including in movies, television shows, videos, and social media postings."
Bankruptcy is tough on rappers. The man who in 2005 made chart history by having three songs in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 chart is now hawking vodka in grocery stores and posing next to prop money on Instagram.
But his lawyers are right, aren't they? And 50 Cent's posing next to cash isn't too different from your typical #humblebrag. Social media is where we curate the best moments of our lives for the world to see. Isn't the point of posting a vacation photo or picture of a $50 meal at a restaurant to boost your social standing?
As Zak Cheney-Rice wrote on Mic, "In a way, we are all 50 Cent. And 50 Cent is all of us."
Were you at the bottle signing last night? Send your pictures to [email protected].