(news.yahoo.com) - From rapper to clothing designer and author, U.S. hip-hop artist 50 Cent is adding a new branch to his business empire -- a book imprint of novellas set on the drug-ridden streets he grew up on.
The bullet-scarred, tattooed rapper, whose given name is Curtis Jackson, launched G-Unit Books on Tuesday in a joint venture with Simon and Schuster's MTV/Pocket Books.
50 Cent, who took the name of a fabled New York thief, said the hip-hop novellas would feature gritty and true-to-life stories about sex, guns, cash -- and the brutal short lives of players on the street.
"These ... are the kinds of dramas me and my crew have been dealing with our whole lives: death, deceit, double-crosses, ultimate loyalty, and total betrayal," the New York-born rapper, know as "Fiddy" to fans, said in a statement.
"It's about our life on the street and no one knows it better than us."
In 2000, 50 Cent was shot nine times in a drive-by near his grandmother's house where he was raised. He has also had numerous run-ins with the police, most recently in New York last September when he was arrested for traffic offenses while driving a silver, open-topped Lamborghini.
50 Cent will collaborate with several writers to produce the books including Nikki Turner, who has carved out a reputation as a street fiction writer, Noire, known for black urban erotica fiction, and street chronicler K. Elliot.
The series kicks off with three titles -- "Death Before Dishonor," "Baby Brother," and "The Ski Mask Way" -- with the aim to release six to eight novellas a year
50 Cent is already planning to make the books into films in which he may also appear.
In 2005, the 30-year-old rapper starred in a movie based on his life, "Get Rich or Die Trying"' and last year acted alongside Samuel L. Jackson in "Home of The Brave," a war drama set in Iraq.
Since his debut album was released in 2003, 50 Cent has sold over 20 million records worldwide and used his fame to build a multi-platformed business with a record label, G-Unit Records, G-Unit clothing and footwear, ringtones, and video games.