It might’ve been August 31st, but it was far from the end of summer as hip hop lovers of all ages entered the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, CA. Little did we know the heat from the day was nothing to what was coming next.
Rumored that this could be 50 Cent’s last tour, this show was not to be missed.
As the sun began to set, opener Jeremih took concert-goers back to the recent past with songs like “Don’t Tell Em” and “Birthday Sex”. Of course, Jeremih took advantage of performing “Down On Me” — his collab with 50 Cent.
By the time the sun had fully set, the stands were packed. It was hard to traverse the arena to find your seat or get a beer, there were so many people! After a brief set change, Busta Rhymes came out to uproarious applause, seated atop a neon throne (as well he should, being amongst the top of hip hop royalty). Blending old with new, Busta and his crew went through the hits: “Touch It”, “Break Ya Neck”, and, for the ladies, “I Know What You Want”. Busta’s impeccable speed and precision has only gotten better and more impressive with age… although you couldn’t tell he’s aged at all from looking at him. What a king. Playing with the crowd, he told everyone to raise their hands and get out their seat. Addressing a woman in the front rows remaining in her seat, he asked if she had a medical condition that blocked her from standing; she did. Busta then, smiling and as charming as can be, told her to keep doing what she’s doing queen. At least she was there, even with ailments!
Now, Busta is by far a sight to see… but when he started a medley of Dre songs alongside surprise guest Xzibit, it was like witnessing a piece of HISTORY. Xzibit stayed onstage for the full medley, doing his full verse off the 2001 banger “What’s The Difference” and blowing the crowd’s to bits.
By the time Busta’s set wound to a close, no one wanted him to leave the stage. He had made it clap. He threw out his newest single “BEACH BALL”, featuring BIA. All that was left to do is “Pass The Courvoisier”, the song he concluded with as he sprayed the crowd with booze. Legend.
After another short set change, it was time for the real deal — the “P.I.M.P” amongst “Many Men”.
With elaborate stage production of lights and smoke and moving pillars, boxes, and platforms, 50 Cent emerged out of a rotating enclosure. The crowd lost it. The place was electrified — quite literally, with lightning bolts snaking across four big screens — as 50 Cent jumped right into his discography. By the next song, the stage resembled the streets of Brooklyn, complete with bodegas! 50 was fully in the zone, performing hits like “What Up Gangsta”, “Hate It or Love It”, and “Magic Stick”. To be honest, it’s easy to forget just how many hits this man has had, piling so many into one short performance. From “21 Questions” to “Candy Shop” to “If I Can’t” to “Disco Inferno”, 50 Cent had everyone in the place singing. Naturally, “In Da Club” was reserved for the end. From pyrotechnics to his live band performing on top of buildings, this is one tour you do not want to miss.
Photography by Kristy Rose