In a historic celebration on the eve of hip-hop‘s 50th anniversary, legendary rappers 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes joined forces to bridge the gap between generations and pay homage to the genre’s roots while showcasing its future.
On Thursday night at New York’s Barclays Center, 50 Cent’s “The Final Lap Tour,” commemorating the 20th anniversary of “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” turned into a remarkable tribute to hip-hop’s evolution. Busta Rhymes, a Brooklyn native, delivered an emotional message to the roaring crowd, emphasizing the significance of hip-hop reaching its 50-year milestone.
“Can you believe this? 50 years old. At midnight,” Busta Rhymes exclaimed, standing before a New York-branded apparel-clad audience that celebrated the anniversary near the very birthplace of hip-hop.
50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, seized the moment to evoke nostalgia among the crowd. His performance took the audience through his debut album’s iconic tracks, including “In Da Club,” “21 Questions,” “P.I.M.P.,” “What Up Gangsta,” and “Many Men (Wish Death).” The stage was set ablaze with smoke, fire, and sparks, encapsulating the raw energy of his music.
The concert was not only a tribute but also a testament to the longevity of hip-hop artists. Despite being 48 years old, 50 Cent displayed the same vigor and charisma he had in his twenties during the release of “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.”
From his neighborhood in Queens, New York, 50 Cent’s performance was a true embodiment of his roots, paying tribute to his upbringing with visuals of brownstone buildings, subway stops, and bodegas projected onto the stage.
As the night unfolded, 50 Cent deviated from his debut album to perform hits like “Hate It or Love It,” “Candy Shop,” and “This Is How We Do.” He was joined by guest performers such as Uncle Murda, Tony Yayo, Fat Joe, Young M.A, Bobby Shmurda, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, PHresher, and Jeremih, offering a dynamic and star-studded experience.
Busta Rhymes, 51, took the stage with an explosive set that included some of his greatest hits like “Touch It,” “Pass the Courvoisier, Part II,” and “I Know What You Want.” Collaborating with his longtime partner Spliff Star, Busta Rhymes captivated the audience’s attention with his electrifying performance and infectious energy.
But the celebration wasn’t limited to just the past. The birthplace of hip-hop was honored through the inclusion of younger talents. Lola Brooke from Brooklyn, Scar Lip from Harlem, and Remy Ma from the Bronx brought the essence of their respective neighborhoods to the stage, showcasing the ongoing legacy of hip-hop.
As the final act concluded, the celebration of hip-hop’s rich history and promising future left an indelible mark on the audience. The unity between these iconic rappers, transcending generations, demonstrated that hip-hop’s impact and influence continue to evolve and thrive, even after five decades.