Robert Greene who has authored a few of my favorite books on seduction, power, and war has a new one with the rapper 50 Cent. I first heard about the two teaming up for a book roughly two years ago and after seeing several false release dates it has finally arrived. I was unsure of what the content of the book would be, but I had expected a layout along the lines of the 48 Laws of Power with Keys to Power, lively historical examples, and the sides of the pages to be filled with quotes and fables to reinforce the subject matter. What I got was a scaled down version of this usually with one or two short quotes per chapter and rather short history telling.
Mr. Greene wanted to find out what it was in 50’s character that made him the successful entertainer and businessman of today coming from a tough background of drug dealing and violence. His thesis is 50 Cent’s fearlessness. He sums it up in the introduction,
“…your fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.”
Each chapter explores a different facet of this central idea. It first provides a background story of how 50 managed to apply each maxim in his street life and career, those short historical examples, keys to fearlessness, and a reversal of perspective. The rules include being realistic, having unshakable self believe, learning to utilize your aggression, taking advantage of opportunities, and working through periods of boredom.
I think that the book does a fine job exploring these ideas and at the end of my reading I did feel a sense of motivation and Hustler’s ambition. The text is simple and straight forward, which is good for quick reviews of the material. However, I was left wanting more. The stories about 50 were great but they seemed to get a bit repetitive as the book went along and the historical examples were rather vague on detail. I wanted this book to be more than it is, but what it is is still good. It had the potential to be great.
I give it a 4/5.