JESS BECK | Go Venue Magazine
Wow – what a night to be in St. Paul!
Over 15,000 fans converged to celebrate the ‘Final Lap’ tour, which marks the 20th anniversary of 50 Cent’s 9x certified platinum album ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’’ on Friday, September 15th 2023 at the Xcel Energy Center where for the most part, everyone was…um…HIGHly anticipating his arrival in the stage.
Let’s put it into perspective. 50 Cent – one of our generation’s most iconic performers (and I generally shy away from terms like ‘iconic’ since they’re oft overused, but I think it applies here) hasn’t put out any new music in almost a decade. He’s done a few things here and there musically, but I think it’s generally understood that this might be the proverbial swansong (save the possibility of a Vegas residency, but who knows) of one of hip-hop’s greatest entertainers, so there wasn’t a chance we were going to miss an event like this!
Jeremih entered the stage after a NSFW airplane announcement and did his best to get the crowd engaged from the get go. The issue seemed to be, however, that it was just a bit too early, as there were still a fuck load of humans trying to scramble to their seats. The performance was fine, don’t get me wrong, but with the catwalk not being utilized to the best of its abilities, I’m sure the audience would’ve responded better if they had gotten there a little earlier. The ones who did manage to squiggle into a seat though, were feeling it, especially when he broke out “Birthday Sex” later on in his set.
Busta Rhymes, while being one of the genre’s most explosive lyricists, appeared more content to let his hype man, Spliff Star, handle more of the rapping. Not that he didn’t turn it up during tracks such as “Break Ya Neck” there were frequent pauses for talking that really disjointed the set.
They didn’t disjoint the audience as they brought enough of that, trust me, but I think we could’ve done without the constant reminders that the youngest of his six children, Sicario, lives here in the Twin Cities. He did however make the announcement that he is working on a new album that will be produced by Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, and himself, so I’ll be excited to see what’s on it.
Finally, 50 would come to the stage to all the raw spectacle that you’d imagine.
Or is it Fitty?
Whoever he was, he arrived with all the pomp and clout that you’d imagine.
A giant 4 LED screen illuminated a glass box filled with smoke where 50 stepped out of to some pretty great pyrotechnics that we weren’t allowed to photograph per the terms of being there, but it was a great intro into retirement for the legend.
He played quite a few hits including “What Up Gangsta,” “Hate It or Love It,” “Candy Shop,” and “Disco Inferno,” but the best was probably his mega-popular “In Da Club” that spit enough confetti to make a city parade blush.
So let’s get one thing clear – these antics, while huge in scope and scale, don’t necessarily spell retirement for the entertainer who has been more focused on his other business dealings. However, they were so lavish that it’s hard to not feel like they were the last hurrah of a bygone era of club bangers of the early 2000s.
But whether that’s the case or not, it was quite the event to be a part of. 50’s still got it, we now all know that one of Busta’s kids lives here in town, and Jeremih might be on the verge of a comeback.
What a time to be alive.
As always, a huge thank you to the Xcel Energy Staff for doing your best to create a safe and enjoyable environment for the crowd goers. We couldn’t enjoy these shows without your dedicated crew doing everything from manning concession stands, keeping the bathrooms clean and stocked, helping folks find their seats – your efforts are seen and recognized.
Please keep wearing deodorant, keep being excellent to one another, and we’ll see you at the next show!