If I Were 50 Cent, I’d Be Tired of Using (Ayo) Technology [1]

March 14, 2016

As much as I love social media, I’ve been Patiently Waiting [2] for a recent example of a cautionary tale when it comes to social media use. Hate It or Love It [3], Rapper 50 Cent’s recent Instagram posts are “Exhibit A” as to why it’s important to consider refraining from posting on social media during an active (or pending) court case.

The whole issue may have been avoided had 50 Cent followed his own advice from his lyrics in the classic track “What Up Gangsta” from his 2003 debut studio album “Get Rich or Die Tryin’”:

They say I walk around like got an “S” on my chest
Naw, that’s a semi-auto, and a vest on my chest
I try not to say nothing, the DA might want to play in court [4]

Except in this case, “trying not to say nothing” meant “posting stacks of money on Instagram” and it wasn’t the DA, it was a federal bankruptcy judge. 50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson III, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year and the case is ongoing.

Last month, he posted various photos and videos on his Instagram account, which included Mr. Jackson cuddling stacks of $100 bills. In response to the posts, the bankruptcy judge in Mr. Jackson’s case demanded an explanation, citing that the posts raise questions as to the truthfulness of Mr. Jackson’s financial condition. For Just A Lil Bit [5] more background information about the case and the posts, check out this article from The Wall Street Journal’s Bankruptcy Beat: Judge Orders 50 Cent to Bankruptcy Court Over Instagram Photos

Let’s just say Mr. Jackson would’ve again benefitted from following his own statements from “Candy Shop”:

Girl what we do (what we do)
And where we do (and where we do)
The things we do (things we do)
Are just between me and you (oh yeah) [6]

If I were given the opportunity to interview Mr. Jackson, I’d have at least 21 Questions [7] as to what he was thinking when he posted those photos and videos. Yesterday, Mr. Jackson answered one of those questions by filing court documents stating that the money used in the posts was fake. The filing further stated that the social media posts were intended to preserve his personal brand and that his statements made to the court regarding his assets are truthful.

Moral of the story: be careful what you post on social media during an active or pending court case. As in the above example, they can be used against you by unnecessarily complicating or compromising your case.

[1] 50 Cent – Ayo Technology ft. Justin Timberlake
[2] 50 Cent – Patiently Waiting
[3] The Game – Hate It or Love It ft. 50 Cent
[4] 50 Cent – What Up Gangsta
[5] 50 Cent – Just A Lil Bit
[6] 50 Cent – Candy Shop ft. Olivia
[7] 50 Cent – 21 Questions ft. Nate Dogg
[8] The Game – How We Do ft. 50 Cent

Matt Landis is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from Widener University and works regularly with business owners and entrepreneurs. He enjoys a wide variety of music and appreciates the irony of a successful rapper named 50 Cent who files for bankruptcy and gets into hot water by posting a picture of himself with piles of cash spelling B-R-O-K-E.