When 50 Cent dropped "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" in 2005, New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell was just a 13-year old kid looking to save up enough money to buy the CD.
Nowadays, Bell is among the NFL's highest-paid running backs and still chasing his dreams of becoming a superstar rapper, just like 50. In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Bell described how Get Rich or Die Tryin' inspired him to be a rapper.
“That’s when I really realized I loved music,” Bell told The Associated Press at the New York Jets’ facility. “I remember 50 Cent, he had dropped the album ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’, and I saved up my own money to go to Walmart and I bought the CD. I listened to the CD and I just remember thinking, ‘Man, 50 Cent is so cool. I want to be like 50 Cent,’ you know?”
In regards to his talents off the field, Bell says his goal is to make a No. 1 song. He tells the AP:
“For real, I want to be No. 1. I want to hit the No. 1 song, the No. 1 Billboard (song), that’s what I want to do. I want to eventually get better and get to those music shows, making songs with the great ones and things like that.”
“I’ve been showing everybody I’ve been able to do it, I’ve been proud of it. I’ve been striving for it and I want to be the best at it. Just kind of how I take football, because I love it.”
Bell has received plenty of criticism for the amount of time he spends promoting his music, which includes the recently released music video for "Slide," but he doesn't seem to have missed a beat out on the field. Despite missing all of last year, the 27-year old Pro Bowler has promised to return to form as one of the league's elite backs this season.
Bell and the New York Jets kick off the 2019 regular season at home against the division rival Buffalo Bills, followed by a Monday Night showdown against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium in Week 2.