NEW YORK, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hip hop legend, actor, and business mogul 50 Cent travels to the tiny town of Edgefield, SC, in search of his family's past and comes face to face with the brutality of slavery in the original VH1 Rock Doc "50 Cent: The Origin of Me," premiering Monday, May 23 at 9PM* on VH1. During an empowering and emotional voyage, 50 Cent crosses state lines to tell a story of pain, bloodshed, and survival.
Born in Queens and schooled on the street, 50 Cent's incredible death-defying story of survival and success does not just begin with him. Like all African Americans, he is the product of a greater journey, one that began thousands of miles away and hundreds of years ago – in slavery.
The birthplace of noted segregationist Strom Thurmond, "Bloody Edgefield," as the town was known, bears the scars of a violent and racist past. This is the town where 50 Cent – born Curtis Jackson III – sets out to track his roots. With help from local genealogists and census data, 50 manages to find his great-great-great grandmother Jane Jenkins, who lived and worked as a slave in the mid-1800's.
Along the way, 50 also learns that in the years following the Civil War, his ancestors faced the infamous 'REDSHIRTS', the precursors to the KKK, giving him a new perspective on the violence he encountered as a young man in Queens. As America commemorates the 150th anniversary of that war this spring, the film provides a moving testament to the lines that still divide us.
"50 Cent: The Origin of Me" is the newest film in the Emmy Award winning VH1 Rock Doc franchise. VH1 Rock Docs are feature-length documentaries that tell unique stories of artists and music from a wide range of genres, styles and musical perspectives.
"50 Cent: The Origin of Me" is a production of VH1, in association with Roadside Entertainment. Brad Abramson, Shelly Tatro and Jeff Olde were executive producers for VH1. Mark Anstendig was a supervising producer for VH1. Ron Yassen directed and executive produced for Roadside Entertainment. Sacha Jenkins executive produced for Roadside Entertainment. David Kamp is a writer and consulting producer on the documentary.
"50 Cent: The Origin of Me," will be available online following the on-air premiere on May 23. For more information on VH1 Rock Docs go to RockDocs.VH1.com.
VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with TV series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 98 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1Classic, VH1 Soul, VH1.com and VH1 Mobile. Connect with VH1 at VH1.com.
*All times ET/PT