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50 Cent / G-unit live in Cape Town

2008-05-08 10:54
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Fans hippity-hopped their way in the rain to see hip hop superstar 50 Cent perform live at what must be the worst venue in Cape Town, the Bellville Velodrome. Queues were long, but the throng of eager fans kept themselves entertained by dropping lines and beats in their baggy tracksuits and YDE bling. Yes, the Mother City was visibly taking strain to curb their enthusiasm and maintain that hardcore street hip hop demeanour. Lets pretend we didn't just see them spring out of their mom's SUV.

The exclusive VIP lounge was decked in a red and white candy shop theme with no shortage of lollipops. Koldproduk added some welcome African flavour as the opening warm up act. A brave performance as they were not the "people's choice". Turns out Virgin Mobile ran a competition asking fans to choose who they'd like to see perform as the opening act for 50 Cent, and Koldproduk was a substitute for the real winner, HHP who happened to be hanging at the SAMAs! Anyway, minor details aside, Koldproduk proved to be a huge G-Unit fan as he gushed about 50 and crew, took the opportunity to market their CD and MySpace profile and added some reggae into the mix for good measure.

Katie Chonacas - now that’s got to be Fiddy's idea of a joke - was the American opening act touring with G-Unit. A cross-country runner from Detroit, Michigan, she moved to LA to pursue a career in acting, modelling and now it seems Katie’s all about hip hop. Strutting up and down the catwalk…er, I mean stage, Katie belted out her two singles "SO N2 U" and "des ta knee * die na stee". Shockingly, Katie is also a dancer - according to her online resume anyway, which also boasts about her appearance in a Hilary Duff music video and a Jessica Simpson movie. While Katie's booty-brandishing got some testosterone flowing, it wasn't long before the crowd started chanting for 50 Cent.

The anticipation heightened as the Velodrome darkened and Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks entered to a half-filled venue of screaming fans right on time. 50 did his best to ride the bad sound quality that the Velodrome is notorious for. Leading his crew through old and new songs he used all the regular rap gimmicks: pulling people from the audience onto the stage, dropping the lights before asking the audience to light up their cell phones, and even delivering some good old fashioned beef baiting. It worked. He got the crowd roaring when he dissed Snoop's latest track "Sensual Seduction".

Yet while 50 may be polished in studio, the crew doesn't quite have their live performances down. He failed to really engage the crowd - in his defence he was largely inaudible when he rapped. We did love that he kept changing T-shirts and throwing them into the crowd, but it would've been better if they were designer instead of the promo ones with the ThisIs50 website address on the back.

It wasn't the type of concert that left you feeling high for days afterwards, which seasoned artists like Snoop (sorry 50) are capable of. On the other hand, 50 does have that whole street, gangster thing down, and is actually genuinely scary in person. In the end his straight cut street rap without too many frills is way more hip than hype.

- Ashlin Simpson

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5 cent short of a 50, Fiddy takes SA to the candy shop and delivers a bitter-sweet hip hop performance. Watch 50 Cent's live performance:
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