MONTCLAIR, NJ - A line of dozens of fans stretched up Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair on Sunday afternoon toward North Fullerton Ave., as people flocked to Montclair Wine Cellar to get a glimpse of rapper 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson.
Located at 440 Bloomfield Avenue, fans were allowed to take a picture with 50 Cent after purchasing a bottle of Effen Vodka for $30. Some fans were also able to get his autograph on the label of the bottle, while others brought along their children for a photo op.
According to published reports, the name 'Effen' means smooth in Dutch. Effen Vodka is produced in Holland and comes in a variety of flavors,including black cherry, apple and cucumber.
In 2014, Jackson became a minority shareholder in Effen Vodka, after investing an undisclosed amount in the company. He endorses the product during his live performances, social media and making store appearances.
The Queens-born rapper rose to fame after being mentored by fellow Queens rapper/DJ Jam Master Jay, Jackson then went on to sign with Columbia records and was set to release his debut album in 2000, when he was shot 5 times. When record executives heard that he had been shot 5 times, he was dropped from the label before the album-release. This did not stop bootleggers from getting the album out to the public as an underground release.
After recovering, Jackson went on to connect with rapper Eminem and Dr. Dre, signing with Aftermath Records. He released his second album 'Get Rich or Die Trying' on Aftermath in 2003.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 872,000 copies in its first week, generated four singles, and selling 8.4 million copies in the United States.
'Get Rich or Die Tryin' is certified 6× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 46th Grammy Awards. It also ranked number 37 on Rolling Stone's list of best albums of the 2000s.
Montclair Wine Cellar co-owners Nicky Sila and Dardan Mati were on hand to assist in managing the crowd, as were several Montclair Police Officers, as well. The duo say that they have been in business for approximately five years and want to continue to do positive promotions to help the community.
Mati said, "We wanted to bring him here because we saw that Effen Vodka was really taking a step forward in the right direction and also because everyone loves him and his music."
He continued, "We wanted to do something positive for the town to bring people out and enjoy the day."
Mati concluded saying that he was pleased with the turnout and is planning other unnamed promotions in the future.