The idea of rapper 50 Cent branching out into motivational philosophy writing is silly enough on its own. Given how 50’s music career has been going lately, I’m not sure anybody should be taking advice from him. Still, that’s not what made me laugh when I saw The 50th Law, the upcoming book that 50 co-wrote with The 48 Laws of Power author Robert Greene. (No word on what happened to the 49th law.)
No, the reason I LOL’d was The 50th Law’s completely ridiculous packaging. HarperStudio has spent Lord knows how much money to make The 50th Law look like some kind of kitschy Bible: faux-leather cover, gold-leaf edging on the pages, built-in satiny bookmark. Who are they kidding? As a mass-market paperback — or better yet, a pamphlet — maybe I could take 50’s dispensed wisdom seriously. Presented this way, as some sort of luxury heirloom text, I’m afraid this book is simply a joke.
Then again, this does suggest a possible marketing plan for The 50th Law, out Sept. 8: Perhaps if HarperStudio has copies placed strategically in hotel-room desk drawers across the nation, a few unsuspecting travelers might mistake it for a Gideon’s Bible and read it that way, by accident. But you tell me. Am I judging this book too harshly by its cover?
Yes, Simon, you are. I'm not sure what the politics of 50 Cent's album push-back are, but I think advice from a guy who went from being a bullet-riddled crack dealer to co-owner of VitaminWater, included in the Forbes list and having a net worth of $1 million is not something to be dismissive of.