50 Cent visits Edgefield to explore family roots

50 Cent: Rapper was in Edgefield County for the filming of a documentary.

EDGEFIELD, S.C. --- Rapper 50 Cent was in Edgefield County this week for the filming of a documentary exploring his roots.

In an interview on Monday, Mark Anstendig, supervising producer of VH1 who is making the documentary, said 50 Cent's grandparents are from Edgefield and his great-grandfather, Will Jenkins, worked for Maxwell & Halford Drugstore in the 1940s and 1950s.

Tommy Stone, the current owner of Maxwell & Halford, said many people in town remember Jenkins.

"It was common then for drugstores to have a porter who made deliveries on a bicycle," he said. "They say Jenkins worked as a porter here."

The documentary, 50's Roots , will be part of an Emmy-Award winning series on VH1 called Rock Docs , said Anstendig.

Anstendig said it wasn't until recently that 50 Cent's grandmother, Beaulah Jackson, told him about his roots.

"50 Cent has expressed a deep desire to explore his roots in the Edgefield area, which go back several generations," he said. "This documentary serves as a cinematic record of that exploration."

Anstendig said it is his understanding that it is 50 Cent's first return to South Carolina since his childhood.

The rapper, born Curtis James Jackson II, in the South Jamaica section of Queens, has lived in New York City all his life. According to a biography by Rod Reece, he was raised by his grandparents after his father left and his mother was shot when he was 8 years old. Growing up, he originally wanted to be a heavyweight boxer, but eventually fell back on rapping.

His debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin' earned the highest debut ever, with 900,000 copies sold in the first week, according to Reece. He was also No. 8 on VH1's 100 Hottest Hotties.

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