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50 Cent at a dollar a minute

Avalon, Boston, May 6, 2003

By Jeffrey B. Remz

BOSTON - Times are good, real good, for 50 Cent. The Queens-born rapper has been riding the top of the sales charts with his major label debut, "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'."

And he has enjoyed several hits as well from the disc.

This summer, he hits the road for a bunch of dates on the Rock the Mic Tour with Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott and Fabolous hitting the outdoor sheds and big crowds. But until then 50 decided generally to hit smaller venues.

A few of the typical aspects that seem to plague rap shows didn't escape 50. The show was supposed to start at 9 p.m. It did, at least for those on Rocky Mountain time. Two hours waiting for a show with a bunch of djs from the local radio station talking about sex and other cheap thrills does not make for an exciting evening.

So finally 50 Cent hit the stage rapping away and doing a good job of it. He wasn't the most charismatic performer, however, with simple, repetitious comments to the crowd along the lines of "How you doin'?"

After a few songs, he shed his shirt, going bare-chested the rest of the way with a baseball hat or white head covering on.

A lot of times, though, the emphasis was not even on 50 Cent.

He had a big backing group of about a dozen G Unit and assorted large body guards dressed in black.

If 50, aka Curtis Jackson, is telling the truth about being shot at nine times, then it was understandable. His backing troupe - the rappers - did a good job in backing him up as did the turntable master, who often ended songs with what sounded like breaking glass. But did 50 need more than a dozen people to help him?

Rap shows, of course, are not known for overstaying their welcome. And 50 Cent was no different. Exactly minutes after he appeared, he was gone. Finito.

Ultimately, this ended up being a case where the rapping was strong enough, though hardly extraordinary and certainly not long enough. At least not when 50 Cent is charging $40.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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