February 21, 2008

50 Cent Takes a Rap

17%

Only 17% of African Americans view gangsta rapper 50 Cent as a “good influence,” by far the lowest approval rating accorded any on a list of black newsmakers in a recent Pew survey.

On a list of 14 African American newsmakers tested in a recent Pew survey of racial attitudes gangsta rapper 50 Cent earned the distinction of being the only newsmaker tested who is identified by a plurality of blacks (42%) as a “bad influence;” unlike his fellow rapper Kanye West, whose more mainstream rap style broadens his appeal, 50 Cent (né Curtis James Jackson III) is rated a good influence by only 17% among the African American community. While those with a high school education or less, or with less than $50,000 in family income, are somewhat more likely to view his influence positively, only 22% and 19% among these groups do so respectively. And, even excluding those who are unable to rate them, while younger African Americans (under age 40) are more likely to give a thumbs up to West, as well as to rap producer Russell Simmons, they are also significantly more likely to deem 50 Cent a bad influence on the black community than are older blacks (48% vs. 37%). Read More