The surprising answer is “yes.” While not recognized for his parenting skills, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson fathers a teenage son who encounters peer pressure and bullying like an average youth.
Jackson’s book, Playground, discusses the bullying epidemic from the predator’s perspective, and offers a solution to the problem. According to “Fidy,” there would be fewer bullies if children and adults gave more attention to troubled youth. Contrary to some beliefs, Jackson identifies troubled youth as children who are ostracized from the majority. It is these youth who are usually isolated because of their differences, and who in turn bully others after growing tired of constant ridicule. Whereas some teachers and school administrators view bashful children as good students, Jackson sees them as potential bullies.
Although the book presents the mature theory of “bullied turned bully,” Jackson conveys the theme in a manner that is kid friendly. Children are given a storyline that is easy and applicable. In the book, Butterball is the protagonist and bully who is placed in mandatory counseling after attacking a classmate. As the sessions progress, the reader discovers the reason for Butterball’s initial actions and ultimate source of rage. Contrary to some youth, Butterball has encountered much teasing during his lifetime, which has made him bitter towards others. As the protagonist reveals his life struggles, the audience finds that society is to blame for his terror. While all children are not bullies, everyone knows a Butterball or can relate to certain aspects of his life.
While not viewed as an insightful novelist, 50 Cent knocks the ball out of the park with his new young adult book.