March 21, 2003
50 Cent : New York Uniondale Nassau Coliseum
Meet the future of hip-hop.
Just over a fortnight ago, 50 Cent was slogging around the states playing 2,500 capacity clubs. In the intervening two weeks, however, the Queens native has released his first proper album, sold one and a half million records in the US alone and - practically overnight - became one of the biggest-selling hip-hop stars in history. Now he's co-headling this cavernous Long Island stadium with DMX, a man five years and three albums 50's senior.
Not that all the fame and wealth has altered 50 Cent's behaviour at all. In the past the former Curtis Jackson's big mouth has seen him beaten up, stabbed and shot numerous times and tonight he doesn't look likely to shut up soon. As befits a man who once punched arch foe Ja Rule in the face, 50 spends much of his set dissing his many foes. "I smell pussy" he bawls before the Murder Inc.-bashing 'Back Down', "is that you, Ja? Is that you, Irv?"
Still, there's more to 50 than just thuggery: whether stripping off his bulletproof vest, white T-shirt and New York Yankees cap for a slinky 'Wanksta' or heading out into the crowd during 'G-Unit Anthem', 50 Cents is a riveting presence, his lazy drawl smeared all over DJ Whoo Kid's rumbling beats. He leaves the stage a hero.
What happens next is pure farce: obviously oblivious to the fact that DMX is still to perform, the management switch on the house lights and the confused audience start to leave. DMX doesn't even bother to come onstage. It matters little: he's just been comprehensively upstaged, anyway. Meet the future of hip-hop.
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