A 50 Cent show is more than just a rapper at a concert - it’s an all-out multimedia art extravaganza beaming out into the cosmos.
Boasting an impressive 20 years in the biz since his debut album Get Rich Or Die Tryin saw multi-accolade artist Curtis Jackson, more famously known as 50 Cent, achieving just that over the years. The result is a one-and-a-half-hour Final Lap of the most extreme and daring proportions.
DJ Kayotik opened proceedings with a hearty serving of classic dancefloor-ready hits to get the crowd pumping and bumping before handing over to support act and R&B aficionado, Jeremih. A private jet blips onto the screen just as an air hostess shuffles out to give a brief directory of flying regulations in order to achieve “maximum climax” before Jeremih bursts into Planez, a bubbly R&B hit from 2015’s Late Nights: The Album, stationed around a plethora of flying metaphors. “Do you want the new hits or old-school”? He asks the crowd of over 15,000 punters. “Old school”, a booming echo resonates back. This sets into motion an enjoyable half-hour of classic and current hits from the Don’t Tell ‘Em singer before he fades into the black.
Moments later, a buzzing is heard as things flicker to life. The crowd goes absolutely ballistic, phone-equipped arms shooting into the sky set to record the entrance of the Grammy-winning artist. A silhouette appears on a screen before filling up with smoke. Then, it does the same on another screen, and another screen as a mysterious box is wheeled out onto centre stage. Suddenly, the box fills with smoke, and with a loud bang, 50 Cent shoots up to a glorious display of fireworks in a deep blue letterman jacket, immediately pouncing into I’m On Some Shit.
The visuals here are something that can’t go unstated, with the 3D multi-layered screens giving life to every song with state-of-the-art backdrops. Whether it’s the neon liquor store in What Up Gangsta through the brick house display of Hate It Or Love It, 50’s collaborative track with The Game, they manage to make every song feel fresh and exciting, really giving the show that larger-than-life feeling and somewhat eclipsing everything else with their extravagance.
The temperature builds to intense levels of heat, sweat, and exhilaration halfway into the set. “Shake that ass!” 50 commands on Disco Inferno, and everyone on stage and in the crowd does as they’re told. Everything feels pumped up to 11 or rather 50, as the rap king flows so effortlessly through each song, not even stopping for breath guided by the effervescent visuals. The vocals and melodies are so refined on the highlight 21 Questions as the rap god croons to his female companion, holding onto his every word just like us, except unlike us, she’s also grinding on him. Lights then go dark as 50 disappears behind a revolving mirror as a seductively strong belly dancer steps out to a transcendental melody, hypnotising the crowd with her inexplainable movement (four backflips into the splits is no easy feat).
50 returns through the mirror with Just A Lil Bit, seemingly in another room dripping with lavish golden visuals. His black jacket is ripped away in the blink of an eye, revealing an all-white outfit from head to toe and the biggest golden cross known to man. Everything on display tonight is expensive and enormous. It’s a farewell tour for the ages, from the numerous luxury costume changes to the shimmering stage design and pyrotechnics right through to the stellar visuals.
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50 lights one up, metaphorically speaking, on Big Rich Town as the stage rains down a waterfall of sparks. Next up on the agenda is a commentary on the future as a spectrum of technological wonders beam up with lasers stabbing out into the crowd on Ayo Technology. It’s such a stunning display of visuals paired with fireworks and dancers wearing hats with LED strips draped right down to the floor like cyborgs. Every song just makes you giddy, wondering what’s coming next. It’s more than just a rapper at a concert - it’s an all-out multimedia art extravaganza beaming out into the cosmos.
Guitars cut through the chaos, absolutely shredding the arena into ribbons as Jeremih returns to the stage to perform Down On Me, where the two masterfully duck and dive through the verses symbiotically in perfect harmony. You can’t help but throw your hand up in the air and sway. 50 then leaves us with a bedazzled Jeremih, tickling the ivories on a seemingly expensive grand piano. The familiar notes of Birthday Sex bounce along as a dancer mounts the piano.
50 is back to take us to church with the holy teachings of Many Men (Wish Death), robed in a VSL jersey and raising his finger in affirmation. “Let’s get those lights up”, he cries after the sound of gunshots and his jersey being ripped off yet again, revealing his own two guns decked out in massive gold bracelets. He flexes through Baby By Me, and I’m The Man, which sees him trapped in a laser beam prism as confetti fills the arena before popping off In Da Club. A certified noughties banger met with uncontrollable screams, and gold streamers shot out into the crowd as glitter rains down, paired deliciously with a helping of fireworks.
“I’ve been doing this 20 years and still rapping in this motherfucker; I gotta turn this up a notch!” Announces 50, closing the show with a now ravaged cityscape and flames engulfing the arena as he sends us off to bed with a final warning in I’ll Whip Ya Head Boy, an explosive gun’s blazing end to a spectacular night of fanfare, thrills and a hint of seduction.