SXSW Live Shot: 50 Cent

Another rapper shut-out

SXSW Live Shot: 50 Cent
by Gary Miller

Two cops, nine volunteers, two crew chiefs, and 50 Cent. The mathematics on this Tuesday night performance meant that nobody outside was getting in. Count this writer among the excised. Pull whichever string I might, “That lady says you ain’t getting in.”

This logjam came from poor planning; those presiding over 50 Cent’s showcase at Fair Market – formerly 1100 Warehouse – allowed 1,400 into a venue reported to hold a few hundred less than that. “Tons” of people would have to leave the Eastside warehouse before anybody else obtained access, relayed yellow shirts down the stairway. Inside the venue, the bouncing bass of 50’s Cam’ron diss, “Funeral Music,” had already begun to rattle.

Those working Fair Market did a good job at keeping outsiders tranquil. “This is half the show,” one offered, referring to the way 50’s soon-to-be-released Animal Ambition transcended the venue’s steel and plywood shell. “It’s just the bright lights you’re missing.” 2007’s “I Get Money” echoed inside. “Just a peek?” I asked. “You’ve got 10 minutes."

Inside, the New York rapper strolled insolently from one side of the stage to the other as a backing band – two keyboardists, a drummer, bassist, and guitarist – worked to keep pace with “P.I.M.P.,” a staple from 2003 debut Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Turns out the venue was only three-quarters full and most of those stared absently ahead or texted furiously on their iPhones. I cruised from left to right, then elbowed towards one front. Mixtape tracks like “I Just Wanna” and 2009’s “Baby By Me” rang out like the gunshots pacing 2003’s “Heat.” Nobody around the periphery seemed to take much notice.

Back outside, a girl in blue booty shorts, a brown hat, white blouse, and brown boots tweaked around three friends who were dancing on the sidewalk. She didn’t seem to care much about her status on the outside. In fact, chances are, she was having more fun than the ones who made it in.

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