With Manhattan sitting stage right, illuminated in the nighttime sky, the ThisIs50 fest proved to be a thoroughly New York affair this past Saturday (October 3) at The Beach on Governor’s Island.
After a lively start from Wale and his go-go stalwarts, the UCB Band, Brooklyn transplant KiD Cudi took the stage to a tepid response, until closing his set out with his show-stealing anthem, “Day ‘n’ Nite.”
An onslaught of New York emcees came on next, including Papoose, who cut his lengthy “Alphabetical Slaughter” at the letter G, Cory Gunz who dropped his “A Millie” verse, and Uncle M (formerly Uncle Murder) who held down “Brooklyn.” Slaughterhouse followed, fueling rumors of a Shady situation in the near future. The group’s lone NY rep, Joell Ortiz, naturally garnered the most love from the crowd, rocking the mic and a bloody chef’s apron to boot.
About two hours in, The Diplomats minus Cam’ron were next up, launching into their Come Home With Me-era hits, such as “Oh Boy” and “Dipset Anthem,”before Juelz debuted new material from his upcoming album, his first solo venture in four years.
Finally, it was time for the night’s headliner, who surprisingly opened with his verse from “Crack A Bottle,” before dropping “I Get Money.” When 50 decided to cut the track less than a verse in to segue into his new single “Baby By Me,” it seemed he had lost the crowd for good, who obviously didn’t come out to see any R&B. “We in New York City and they don’t wanna hear the lovey dovey shit,” Fif observed from the crowd’s lack of life. “You want me to take y’all back?” he asked, before dropping “What Up Gangsta?” and effectively shutting it down.
Fif then walked off so that D-Block could drop a quick set that included “I Get High,” “Fuck You,” “We Gonna Make It,” and “Who’s Real” in closing. The Unit returned to the stage for “Ayo Technology,” after which the likes of Maino and Red Café dropped their trademark singles. The biggest guest of the night was arguably Newark, NJ native Wylcef Jean, who, among others, performed “Sweetest Girl.” That left it for Fif to outshine the bevy of guests, by dropping a complete version of “I Get Money,”the banger still managing to resonate despite the recession. After all, the crowd had much to celebrate, bearing witness to a NY renaissance for just $50.- Devin Chanda