50 Cent took the stage at Houston’s Arena Theater on Saturday night (June 12), and it was easily apparent that his fan base has started to wane. The venue was only filled to 50 percent capacity, but like a pro, the G-Unit general saw the glass as half full and focused on captivating the crowd on hand with his signature laugh and charismatic smile.
Tony Yayo served as hype man throughout the show, urging the audience to get out their seats before Fif opened with “The Days Went By” and “So Disrespectful” from Before I Self Destruct. The sounds of gunfire punctuated the breaks in the action as a medley of the artists’ videos peppered the screens above the stage.
Now noticeably gaunt after the shocking weight loss for the upcoming film, Things Fall Apart, the Queens-native moved about the stage with less energy than previous performances, but Yayo easily compensated with his lively presence. The crowd volleyed its own rising levels of vigor back to Curtis while he performed his street anthems, “Wanksta,” “I Get Money” and “Crime Wave.” Jackson then engaged the ladies in the crowd with “Baby By Me,” “Ayo Technology” and “Follow My Lead.”
Yayo got some shine of his own, offering up his biggest hit, “So Seductive.” Fellow G-Unit soldier, Lloyd Banks, was not in the building, but his recent banger, “Beamer, Benz or Bentley” blasted from the speakers in his absence.
The crowd, which seemed to balloon to about 65 percent full by the 45-minute mark of the set, went nuts at the sound of the steel drums on “P.I.M.P.” and kept it going on “Many Men” and “In Da Club,” the biggest hit on 50’s groundbreaking debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
Before being ushered off the stage for going over his allotted time, 50 thanked all of his fans for coming out and offered up “Window Shopper” from the soundtrack of his first feature film, Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
50’s next stop on his Invitation Tour will be at The Fillmore in Miami Beach, FL on Tuesday, June 16. Fans can purchase tickets for the show here. —Maurice Bobb