Click here to view pictures from 50 Cent's
Click here to watch a trailer from Bulletproof, 50 Cent's video game,
the extremely violent, M-rated game he wants parents to buy for their kids
to read letter to Councillor Joe Pantalone re use of taxpayer owned Ricoh
Coliseum for 50 Cent concert
to read letter from Dianne Young, CEO of Exhibition Place re use of taxpayer owned Ricoh
Coliseum for 50 Cent concert
Click here to read letter to The
Hon. Joseph Volpe, Minister of Immigration re 50 Cent permit to enter
to read letter to The Hon. Monte Kwinter re tax credits for Get Rich or
Die Tryin' filmed in Toronto
to read letter to the editor re Premier Dalton McGuinty's uninformed
comments on rap not influencing violence
to read a press release from MP Michael Bryant, currently the Attorney
General of Ontario, re his attempt to ban another violent rapper, Eminem,
from Canada in 2000
canadian concert dates for 50 cent 2005
Vancouver, December 3 -
Halifax, December 14 - Halifax Metro Centre
St. John, December 15 - Harbour Station
Quebec City, December 18 - Colisee Pepsi Arena
Montreal, December 19 - Bell Centre
Toronto, December 20 - Ricoh Coliseum,
Ottawa, December 21 - Corel Centre
LIVE: 50 Cent Leaves Toronto Short-Changed
December 20, 2020
By Brian Wong
For all the brouhaha leading up to Tuesday
night's 50 Cent show at Ricoh Coliseum, the event was everything we
expected it to be: tame.
Though Toronto Liberal MP Dan McTeague
failed to ban the Queens, N.Y. rapper from entering the country —
McTeague believed Fiddy's arms-obsessed music would continue to glorify
violence in a city that saw a rise in gun-related deaths this year —
authorities did everything they could to ensure order. That meant a series
of RCMP officers surrounding the venue, as well as a ridiculous 30-minute
line-up in sub-zero temperatures for a thorough pat-down and metal
detector check that was also videotaped. If you hadn't thought about
shooting anyone before arriving, you probably changed your mind while in
Only a fifth of the audience could make it
in time for Rihanna's brief set. All hair and hips, the Barbados-born
teenager put on a good display of island-inflected R&B. She closed
with her hit, "Pon De Replay," a rumbling collision of swing
rhythms and dancehall. Then T.O. homeboy Kardinal Offishall proved to be
as fiery and glorious as promised, spewing rhymes that could run circles
around Twista. The king of Bakardi Slang also had some choice words for
"Fuck the politicians and anyone who
wants to stop hip-hop in the T-dot," Kardinal declared, coaxing a sea
of middle fingers from the crowd before encouraging them to morph them
into peace signs.
By the time Fiddy and his edited G-Unit
crew showed up (half of them, including Tony Yayo and Olivia couldn't get
the permits to enter the country), the two-thirds-full arena was ready to
shake their asses.
In his usual uniform — oversized white
T-shirt, Yankees cap and a huge, diamond-encrusted cross — the former
Curtis Jackson was all smiles, coming off nothing like the gun-toting thug
he presents himself to be. He might finish every song with sounds of
either gunshots, a cocking trigger or broken glass, but Fiddy seemed more
intent on having a good time, caressing a pink D-cup bra thrown on stage
and tossing dozens of open water bottles into the audience.
The muscle-bound rapper covered tracks from
his sophomore disc, The Massacre, dropping the snap-happy "Candy
Shop" like a gangsta Willy Wonka and similarly club-friendly tracks
like "Disco Inferno." As hooky as the bass thumps are, though,
some of the material relies too much on the same formula of grave beats
and clicking rhythms and hits from his huge-selling debut, Get Rich Or Die
Tryin' — such as "21 Questions" and the ubiquitous "In Da
Club" — unfortunately got two-minute edit treatment.
His pal Lloyd Banks was a welcome
co-vocalist, taking the mic for his hit "On Fire," while Fiddy
attempted to make up for his missing crew members by performing snippets
of their songs, as well as tracks he appears on like The Game's "Hate
It Or Love It" and Lil' Kim's "Magic Stick."
Yet even with a surprise appearance from
Mase, who pulled out "Mo Money Mo Problems" to the crowd's
delight, and bringing Kardinal back out to show off his fancy footwork,
Fiddy's 75-minute set seemed like a career overview, filled with
unnecessarily abbreviated songs.
His air of sinister nonchalance a magnet to mini-skirted fans
December 22, 2020
By Lynn Saxberg
Controversial U.S. rapper 50 Cent concluded
a short, but highly scrutinized, Canadian tour at the Corel Centre last
night in front of a pumped-up crowd of close to 6,500 fans who preferred
gangsta rap over more festive pursuits such as wrapping presents or baking
But the former Curtis Jackson was missing
more than half of his G-Unit backing crew -- held up at the border --
including the unit's only female member, Olivia, most famous for her
sultry performance in Candy Shop, the song and the video. "What the
f--k did they think Olivia was going to do," 50 said, sharing his
outrage with the crowd.
To make up for the absentees, there were
guest appearances by the opening acts -- teen beauty queen Rhianna and
Toronto rapper Kardinall Offishall -- early in the set, but it didn't take
long for Fiddy and his lone G-Unit border survivor, Lloyd Banks, to settle
into the groove of a duo performance. Banks, who made a point of being
confrontational with an audience at the Capital Music Hall last year, made
the most of the opportunity.
Banks turned in a terrific performance, but
it was clearly his boss in charge. At one point, his main responsibility
seemed to be dumping all available bottles of water on fans, security and
Anyway, despite the sexism, violence and
greed depicted in Fiddy's lyrics, it turned out he just wanted to party.
With fewer recorded gunshots than during his last appearance in Ottawa,
and a deeper dancehall vibe, fans were on their feet, moving their hips
the whole time to songs like Candy Shop, Just a Lil Bit, Window Shopper,
Get In My Car and In Da Club.
Although 50 toasted the wedding of Elton
John, as if to disprove accusations of homophobia, his disrespectful
attitude toward women was a turnoff. It didn't seem right to be having so
much fun with a character like that.
A trailer for the new movie Get Rich or Die
Tryin' kicked off 50's performance, followed by exploding flashpots as the
marble-mouthed superstar, in a black G-Unit sweatshirt over a red shirt
over a white T-shirt, greeted the crowd with What Up Gangsta. He was down
to the white shirt by the start of the next song. With a middle-finger
salute to the police, 50 went into his bass-heavy shtick, drawling about
revenge, money and guns in Gunz Come Out and Die Tonight.
The going was slow heading out to the Corel
Centre and it didn't get any faster in the lineup, as almost every person
with a ticket was subjected to a sweep with a hand-held metal detector and
patted down for contraband.
Police officers on all-terrain vehicles
patrolled the parking lots; even more officers in bulletproof vests kept a
watchful eye on concertgoers buying drinks (which they were not allowed to
take to their seats) and merchandise.
Most of the audience had not made it to
their seats by 8 p.m., when beauty queen Rhianna opened the show with a
energetic performance that featured two backup dancers and a DJ,
highlighted by a lively version of her hit song, Pon de Replay.
Toronto's Kardinal Offishall represented
the Canadian hip-hop scene with a set that involved much arm- and
hat-waving, and an attempt to encourage bra-waving, without much success.
Between sets, a chant of 50-50-50 rose from
the crowd to welcome their hip-hop anti-hero.
Curtis Jackson's journey has taken him from
Halifax to Ottawa in the past week, with a kick-off date in Vancouver on
Dec. 3. His concert was a fairly expensive outing in a month already
brimming with Christmas gatherings and overspending opportunities.
That -- and his glaring lack of Christmas
spirit -- is probably the reason the numbers this tour were smaller than
the last time 50 mounted a Canadian tour (about a year-and-a-half ago).
It's not that he's less popular than he was in 2004 -- if anything, he's
This year, the artist they call Fiddy put
out a best-selling disc, The Massacre, as well as a semi-autobiographical
movie, an ultra-violent video game and a book. But in recent weeks, most
of his publicity has been generated by the Canadian government.
Last month, Toronto Liberal MP Dan McTeague
asked Immigration Minister Joe Volpe to deny the rapper the ministerial
permit he needed to cross the border on the grounds that his concerts
promote gun violence. The ensuing debate veered into censorship.
50 got his permit and crossed the border,
but several other members of G-Unit, his backing crew, didn't get through
customs, leaving Fiddy and Lloyd Banks to carry the show.
50 Cent pokes fun at Canadian officials
December 21, 2020
Toronto Star (Canadian Press)
Rapper 50 Cent ignored the concerns of
politicians who tried to prevent him from entering Canada due to fears of
gun violence, delivering a concert for thousands of Toronto fans Tuesday
night in a city stigmatized by a record number of firearm-related murders
While performing hits like What Up Gangsta,
Gunz Come Out and I'm Supposed to Die Tonight, 50 Cent mocked Canadian
officials who refused to allow several members of G-Unit, his musical
entourage, to enter the country due to various legal problems.
"We went on tour everywhere else, but
they stopped us from bringing them into Canada," he said, eliciting a
round of boos from about 5,000 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.
It was the only moment during the concert
when the hip-hop artist commented on accusations by police and federal
politicians that his immensely popular style of gangsta rap promotes gun
The issue took on extra significance in
Toronto, where 50 people have been killed by gunfire this year.
Concert organizers, well aware that flying
bullets have marred 50 Cent shows in the past, beefed up security with
uniformed and plainclothes officers both inside and outside the show.
But fans - mostly 20-something men and
women - waiting to enter the arena slammed the officials who tried to play
"I listen to that stuff and I'm not
going around killing people," scoffed Andre Malais, a 23-year-old
York University business graduate. "It's entertainment - enjoy it for
what it is."
Before entering the arena, fans were patted
down, required to go through a metal detector and videotaped as dozens of
police officers and security guards kept watch.
"It's a little much," said
18-year-old Ashlee Goheen of Wasaga Beach, Ont.
Toronto police Staff Sgt. Frank Besenthal
said concertgoers were co-operative, and he denied the extra measures were
prompted by past incidents at 50 Cent shows.
During a 50 Cent concert in Toronto on
Canada Day in 2003, a 24-year-old Hamilton man was fatally gunned down at
In April 2004, a man in his 20s was shot
after the rapper performed at Montreal's Bell Centre. The victim, who was
wearing a bulletproof vest, survived.
Last month near Pittsburgh, a 30-year-old
man was shot to death outside a theatre screening 50 Cent's movie
biography, Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
The New York City rapper's visit to Canada
has generated a storm of controversy since Liberal MP Dan McTeague asked
Immigration Minister Joe Volpe to bar 50 Cent from crossing the border,
alleging his music glorifies a life of crime.
But 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, was
granted a temporary resident's permit, allowing him to perform here. He
needed the permit because of his criminal record.
Despite the tight security, the night was
not without moments of levity.
In between energizing the audience with hit
singles Just a Lil Bit, 21 Questions and In Da Club, 50 Cent flirted with
a young woman in the front row.
"You like me? You just met me!"
he said, grinning.
Throughout the evening, he doused the crowd
with water, occasionally stopping to pick up several thongs, bras and a
wig tossed his way.
"What was this, your ponytail?"
Toronto rapper Kardinal Offishall, one of
the concert's opening acts, implored the audience to raise their middle
fingers to the politicians who tried to prevent 50 Cent from performing in
"I heard they was asking if you were
scared to come to the show," he shouted to the crowd, prompting a
chorus of boos.
The surging popularity of 50 Cent is
largely based on a thug image that reflects his gritty past.
In song, he plays up his reputation with
lyrics such as, "I'll have your mama picking out your casket,
He travels in a bulletproof SUV, wears a
bulletproof vest and was shot at nine times in a gang-related incident in
The 30-year-old rapper, who is also riding
high from the recent release of the hot-selling video game 50 Cent:
Bulletproof, ends his tour Wednesday in Ottawa.
Live Review: 50 Cent in T.O.
50 Cent shortchanges
December 21, 2020
By Sherri Wood
TORONTO -- For our cave-dwelling readers:
Please be advised that hardcore gangsta rapper 50 Cent was in town for an
uber-hyped show at the Ricoh Coliseum last night.
Despite Liberal MP Dan McTeague's
much-publicized efforts to have the former crack dealer banned from
entering Canada, 50 Cent, a.k.a. "Fiddy," successfully made it
to the Toronto stage - but much of his G-Unit crew were notably absent.
"They didn't want us in Canada - we've
been on tour everywhere else, worldwide, but they didn't want us
here," 50 Cent lamented.
"I would have brought Mobb Deep, M.O.P.
and Tony Yayo but they wouldn't let them come. Yayo's on parole and can
travel, too. They didn't even let me bring Olivia - what the f--k did they
think Olivia was gonna do?"
Apparently he was allowed to bring Lloyd
Banks, who was first to hit the stage to introduce Fiddy to the crowd -
but only after a screening of the trailer for his semi-autobiographical
Hollywood flick Get Rich Or Die Tryin' and a subsequent video montage that
included press footage, music video clips, celebrity accolades and flashes
of various magazine covers - all 50 Cent related, of course.
The self-absorbed show starter effectively
set the tone for the rest of the concert, which certainly didn't lack any
of the token gangsta rap ego or mock gunshots, which hung over the set
like a big-top circus tent.
Through the course of the evening,
concert-goers were barraged with a whack of thinly veiled sales pitches,
with all lines leading to Fiddy, whose real name is Curtis Jackson. In
case we forgot, we were reminded of his empire, one that includes a
multi-million-dollar deal with Reebok (G-Unit sneakers), bottled vitamin
water, a video game (50 Cent: Bulletproof), a G-Unit clothing line,
upcoming G-Unit CD releases and, of course, the signature feuds with other
"If y'all like the album The
Documentary, make some noise," 50 Cent prompted, referring to the
album by The Game, a former G-Unit member, rumoured to have been booted
out of the crew by its leader for alleged disloyalty. The crowd cheered,
to which the MC replied: "Thank you. I wrote it."
He later said he also wrote Lil' Kim's
Magic Stick and then criticized her for getting breast implants and other
plastic surgery (which evidently wasn't an issue moments later when the
crowd was treated to video flashes of naked, breast-implanted women being
doused in champagne by the rapper).
Highlights of the show included an
appearance by fellow G-Unit member Mase (decked out in a rather dashing
fur coat) and show opener and Toronto's own Kardinal Offishall, who got
props from 50 Cent for his slick dance moves.
Much of the set included tracks off 2005's
The Massacre, including Disco Inferno, Candy Shop and Piggy Bank and a few
from the rapper's most recent album, the Get Rich Or Die Tryin'
soundtrack, including the chart-active Window Shopper. Past hits In Da
Club, P.I.M.P. and Wanksta were also touched on, although the latter was
cut short after a ratty hair piece was thrown at the rapper.
"Which one of you b--ches lost your
hair?" he shouted, after stopping the song. "I've seen a lot of
s--t, but damn! I'm gonna keep this s--t, so now I got a ponytail to
It wasn't the first of the gifts offered to
the Grammy-nominated MC over the course of the night. He also received
thong underwear and a bra - both of which he stuffed in his pocket.
Even though 50 Cent rarely finished a song
(the frustrating stop-go set was mostly made up of song snippets), the
young crowd of approximately 5,000 never tired of the rapper's antics or
the numerous simulated gun shots.
Hands in the air, shouting every word along
with him, they seemed to be having just as much fun as the hustler
"I'm having so much fun," 50 Cent
mused. "I can't believe they pay me to do this s--t."
December 20, 2020
Pulse 24 - City TV
It’s the reason 50 Cent is so associated
with violence in Toronto.
While the rap star himself has never fired
a shot in anger in this city, many worry his concerts stir up the kind of
aggressive feelings that lead others to pick up a gun.
That may be what happened on July 2, 2003,
as thousands streamed out of the musician’s show at the Toronto
No one knows why 24-year-old Msemaji
Granger was targeted by his killers that night. But they know the victim
was the last person anyone expected to be gunned down in cold blood.
Granger was a student at McMaster
University, the grandson of a United Nations official and the son of a
prominent New York university professor.
He had hopes for a hip hop career, but it
was cut tragically short by his killing.
“It would appear from the evidence at the
scene that this person was targeted,” outlined Det. Sgt. Cory Bockus.
“The shots were fired at close range at this victim.”
Cops were left with so many unanswered
questions – how did the two men accused of shooting Granger in the head
and back know where to find him in the thousands of people leaving the
Why didn’t any of his friends come
forward and talk to police?
And what happened during the show that
sparked such a violent vendetta?
They believe witnesses may have mistaken
the shots for fireworks, which were being launched as part of Canada Day
weekend celebrations at the time the concert let out.
Both his family and police admit they had
“He was playful, jovial, warm, the word
sweet comes to mind,” lamented his uncle Gerard Byam. “His death has
created a vast and a gigantic hole in our lives and without him we are
completely out of balance.”
Despite a long and rigorous investigation,
the killers have never been caught.
The rap star himself has been involved in
the odd shoot-out but it’s his reputation and the violence that
surrounds him that worries so many. Here’s a look at just some of the
incidents involving 50 Cent.
* November 9, 2020 A shooting outside 50
Cent’s autobiographical movie “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” in
Pittsburgh is reportedly linked to an old prison dispute between the
victim and his alleged assailant.
* October 10, 2021 A Pennsylvania theatre
stops showing "Get Rich or Die Tryin' after a man is fatally shot
following a screening of the film. Other theatre chains follow suit
after similar violent outbursts are reported.
* March 1, 2021 A man is shot in the leg
after 50 Cent appears at a local New York City radio station for an
interview. The 24-year-old victim is identified as a member of the rap
star’s entourage. The shooting comes shortly after the musician
confirms he’s dropping The Game as his protégé.
* April 24, 2021 A man is shot following a
50 Cent concert at Montreal’s Bell Centre. In a move that speaks
volumes about how people attend his shows, the would-be victim wasn’t
seriously hurt – he was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time.
* September 9, 2021 Someone takes a shot
at the rap star as he tries to check into a hotel in Jersey City, New
Jersey. The bullet misses its target and the singer and his entourage
dive into some waiting SUVs and peel off out of the parking lot.
A security guard who worked for the musician is later arrested,
although the reason why he allegedly fired the gun isn’t clear.
* July 2, 2021 A 24-year-old McMaster
student is hunted down and killed as he emerges from a 50 Cent show
near Ontario Place. The motive remains a mystery.
December 19, 2020
Pulse24 - City TV
He comes loaded with talent. His audience
may come loaded with bullets.
That’s the fear that surrounds rapper 50
Cent’s Toronto show on Tuesday. The musician is set to perform at the
Ricoh Coliseum, just months after the city experienced the summer of the
At least two people have been shot at the
rap star’s previous Canadian performances. In 2003, a man was gunned
down outside the Molson Amphitheatre downtown. It happened again in
Montreal the following year.
Toronto Police are worried that with the
current tensions in the city, we could see history repeat itself here.
That’s why music lovers won’t be the only ones attending the show.
Cops will be there, too.
“Any type of venue like this, it
heightens up our awareness and so we just want to make sure that there are
enough people there so that the people who do attend, they feel
comfortable and safe,” explains Sgt. Frank Besenthal.
But some fans don’t know what all the
fuss and controversy is about.
“I'm personally going to go to the
show," insists a local entrepreneur known as 'Apple'. “I'm not a
violent person. I'm a businessman, you know what I'm saying? I think
people that don't understand the music, you know, they put their opinions
on the music and they label it wrong.”
People like MP Dan McTeague, who tried to
stop the musician from getting into Canada a few months ago, citing his
criminal past. It didn’t work.
Anti-violence activist Valerie Smith agrees
with McTeague's efforts.
“He totally promotes gun violence,” she
argues. “And I really resent the fact that he was allowed to come here
and do more of that when we're just reeling from shooting to shooting.”
But Apple doesn’t buy it. “I think it
may be putting too much negative energy on trying to prevent this man from
coming, and at the end of the day he wins because he still comes.”
Not all of 50 Cent’s violent rep has been
directed at his fans. The singer, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, was
himself the target of gunfire several times. His mother was murdered in a
drug deal and he was shot five years ago. Fifty Cent was hit by three of
nine bullets fired at him as he sat in a car with a friend.
Cops to keep tabs on 50 Cent crowd - Two shot after previous shows
December 18, 2020
By Tom Godfrey
Toronto Police say there have been two
shootings after gangsta rapper 50 Cent's shows in Canada and they aren't
taking any chances for his gig here on Tuesday.
One man was killed in Toronto and another
shot in Montreal following 50 Cent concerts, police said.
"Violent incidents have been known to
occur at his shows," said Det.-Sgt. Doug Quan, of the gun and gangs
task force. "There will be a contingent of plainclothes officers in
SHOT NINE TIMES
The rapper, who has been shot nine times,
has been on a Canadian tour that will bring him to the CNE's Ricoh
Coliseum in two days.
"We are there to monitor things and
make sure no crimes occur," Quan said.
A Canada Customs rap unit also has flagged
bandmembers and supporters with criminal records who may try to sneak into
the country for the shows, police said.
The rapper, whose real name is Curtis
Jackson, was a crack and heroin dealer.
Known for his rapid-fire delivery, 50 Cent
spits out rap interlaced with sounds of gunshots. His hits include Whattup
Gangsta, Wanksta and P.I.M.P.
In 2003, Msemji Granger, 24, of Hamilton,
was killed leaving the Molson Amphitheatre after a 50 Cent show. The
gunmen fled in crowds attending fireworks at Ontario Place to celebrate
And in April last year, a man wearing a
bulletproof vest was shot at a Montreal show.
The rapper, who was in Toronto last summer
filming Get Rich Or Die Tryin', made front page news when Liberal MP Dan
McTeague tried to have him barred from Canada because of his criminal
"I am really concerned and hope that
no more blood is shed," McTeague said last week. "We want to
ensure the safety of the community."
Promoters spending lots of $ for 50 Cent concert security
December 13, 2020
The Chronicle Herald
By Bill Power
Security will be tight when rap star 50
Cent and G-Unit take to the stage at the Halifax Metro Centre on
A representative for House of Blues
Concerts Canada in Montreal would not discuss numbers but said security
for the event will be adequate to ensure a safe concert experience for
Similar comments came from Metro Centre
"I don't think anybody is worried
about 50 Cent," said Const. Mark Hobeck of Halifax Regional Police.
"It is the fans that are the concern at any big event."
Hip-hop icon 50 Cent is on a Canadian tour
to promote his records Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003) and The Massacre
(2005). The current tour is billed as The Massacre.
He also has a new movie out called Get Rich
or Die Tryin'. The film was directed by Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan, who
also directed My Left Foot and In America.
Although 50 Cent has had a notorious ride
to fame, and some Canadian officials wanted to ban his national tour, the
entertainer, born Curtis Jackson in 1976, is said to be a focused,
"He is known for his clean-living
dedication to his craft," Const. Hobeck said.
There were rumours Monday that a Halifax
security firm is providing more than 100 guards for the Wednesday concert.
About 18 regional police officers are also rumoured to be working the
"This is not something we would
discuss," Const. Hobeck said.
An official with House of Blues, who did
not want to provide her name, said security is always a sensitive issue
for major entertainment events in big urban centres.
"You don't want to give the potential
troublemakers any encouragement," she said. "Promoters as a rule
will not discuss security arrangements."
Ontario Liberal MP Dan McTeague wanted to
keep 50 Cent from visiting Toronto and called on immigration officials to
refuse him a visitors permit because he has a criminal record.
50 Cent was raised by his grandparents in
New York City after his drug-dealing mother died when he was eight. He
later became a crack dealer himself before turning his life around. In May
2000, he was shot several times while sitting in a car in New York.
50 Cent makes you want to buy in
Without full G-Unit, MC puts on concert, marketing clinic
December 4, 2020
By Stuart Derdeyn
Mark my words. Someday in the future,
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is going to be a sessional instructor
at one of the Big 10 business schools. The guy is a marketing genius.
Regardless of how last night's show went
down, it marked the birth of in-concert advertising.
After a trailer for his new movie Get Rich
Or Die Tryin' -- "Coming This Fall" -- we were treated to an
assembled news reel that gave us the rapper's mythologized life with
plenty of reminders of his records sales, clothing line, video game and on
If you're buyin' in, and so many are, it
only got better.
"Somebody got shot the other day and
they said it was my fault and didn't want to let me in the country,"
said Fifty. "I was in immigration for about two hours today and I
thought about turning back. Young Buck got turned back. And Tony Yayo,
Mobb Deep and M.O.P."
"But I stuck it out . . . F--k the
Not one person in the ramped venue beefed
that the stage was six singers emptier than what they'd paid for. The man
who mattered was there and he was rubbing "The Man's" face in
it, too. Image upon image of guns and bullet holes marched across the
video screens while shots consistently rang out of the sound system.
Celebrate the bullet indeed. Firearms manufacturers should be underwriting
this tour and using tracks like "Piggy Bank" for ad campaigns.
Later, he led his troops, er, audience, in
a rallying cry in honour of all the dead rappers before introducing Ma$e
(was that a chronic cold affecting his voice?) and his non-PETA-pal fur
hoodie. No comments on the culture of macho-man-killing that lead to
Biggie, Tupac and others winding up dead required. Leave the sermonizing
to Kanye West.
This was Mr. Tha Cent's house -- a
sanctuary of very elementary messages and killer hooks.
Truth be told, the minute the canned
pre-show tunage turned to classics from Dr. Dre and Snoop's back
catalogue, the place went off. Warmup music typically means nothing more
than that. But with a truly dancefloor-based musical style, even the
dismal confines of a former hockey arena can change to feel like it's
pumpin' "In Da Club."
After Lloyd Banks' "On Fire" and
the addictive soundtrack ditty "Window Shopper" (which featured
the voice and stomach of Olivia -- presumably Olivia, because the new
G-Unit-eer didn't merit a cheering intro from the boss), there was no
"I'm always learning my trade,"
says Jackson. "That's how you stay on top of your game."
Compared to his last show in town, when
David Banner took home top honours, this time Fifty came ready to kill
He certainly has enough of his brand of
bravado to carry a concert. Fans would say more hits than misses mean the
Queens, New York, MC is always on target.
To be sure, even short a full clip of
G-Units, it was a high-calibre presentation.
Get mad, we're being' had, gangsta rap's really bad
December 1, 2020
Globe and Mail
By Margaret Wente
At the Urban Music Awards in Toronto the
other night, everybody dissed the people who think there's something wrong
with rap music. Everybody, that is, except for one of the special guests,
a mother whose son had been gunned down on the street. There is something
wrong with rap music, she said, just as there is something wrong with
killing someone at a church funeral. Rap music is not harmless. It
glorifies the culture of violence that killed her son.
That is not the fashionable position.
What's fashionable is making fun of the stupid politician who wants the
rapper 50 Cent banned from Canada. And, of course, his position is absurd.
What's the point in banning 50 Cent when his music and his image are
available any time, any place, anywhere, and the kids at Jane and Finch
internalized his every move long ago? You might as well try to ban the air
Sophisticated people know that violent,
misogynistic lyrics are inherently harmless. They're a form of social
protest, or just a way to work off steam. Look at Mick. If obnoxious
lyrics lead to violence, then why haven't 100 million Rolling Stone fans
Eugene Rivers has a view on that. I wrote
about him last week. He's the black pastor from Boston who argues that
underclass culture, not racism, is to blame for Toronto's deadly
Mr. Rivers maintains that for adolescent
white males, who make up its biggest audience, gangsta rap is relatively
harmless. Like the Rolling Stones, rappers offer rebellion on the cheap --
a low-cost way to give the finger to authority, have an outlaw fantasy
life, and drive your parents nuts, without any social consequences. The
white kids "go off to college, put on a suit and go to work at Morgan
Stanley". But for black kids who grow up without family discipline, a
sense of law and order, or alternative role models, gangsta rap "has
an absolutely catastrophic effect".
Call it the Murphy Brown mistake -- the
belief by large segments of the educated overclass that underclass culture
is really very cool. And it is -- for the overclass. After all, when an
affluent thirtysomething white career woman has a baby out of wedlock,
chances are things will be okay. When a poor black 17-year-old does the
same thing, chances are things won't be okay at all.
When a juvenile outlaw culture is the only
one available to adolescent males, there's going to be trouble. And when
famous rappers dictate the behaviour code, watch out. A few weeks ago, a
platinum-selling rap star named Cam'ron Giles was shot in both arms while
tooling around Washington in his $250,000 royal blue Lamborghini. The
mystery of who shot him, and why, is a hot topic in the hip hop world. But
the police investigation has gone nowhere, because nobody, least of all
Cam'ron, will talk. If he did, he'd lose his street cred. "It's not
in our nature," his rapping buddy told The Washington Post.
Needless to say, the shooting has been good
for Cam'ron's career. His next album is called Killa Season, and, as one
fan said, "this is definitely going to help his sales."
Among the fiercest critics of hip hop
culture is John McWhorter, a black American academic. Two years ago, he
wrote a blistering essay called "How hip hop holds blacks back",
in which he traced the decline of rap from happy party music to the ugly
glorification of thug life, bling, easy money, fast cars and
woman-bashing. "Of course, not all hip hop is belligerent or
profane", he wrote. "But it's the nastiest rap that sells best,
and the nastiest cuts that make a career." Today, hip hop is a
billion-dollar industry, and stars such as 50 Cent and Cam'ron Giles are
Mr. McWhorter argues that the attitude and
style expressed in the hip hop "identity" keep blacks down.
"Almost all hip hop, gangsta or not, is delivered with a cocky,
confrontational cadence that is fast becoming a common speech style among
young black males. The problem with such speech and mannerisms is that
they make potential employers wary of young black men and can impede a
young black's ability to interact comfortably with co-workers and
customers. The black community has gone through too much to sacrifice
upward mobility to the passing kick of an adversarial hip hop
But when hip hop is all there is, don't
expect the music to fade any time soon.
Gangsta rapper 50 Cent granted visa to tour Canada over MPs' protests
December 1, 2020
Rapper 50 Cent has been given the green
light to enter Canada over the objections of Toronto MP Dan McTeague. 50
Cent, who has been shot nine times, was granted a visa by Citizenship and
Immigration Canada so he can begin his Canadian tour on Saturday, one of
his lawyers said last night.
Mr. McTeague and Tory justice critic Vic
Toews argued that the U.S. rapper glorifies gun violence and should not be
allowed into Canada. Mr. McTeague wrote to Immigration Minister Joe Volpe
urging him not to grant 50 Cent a permit to enter the country. "His
music is anti-social. It violates the basic values that Canadians stand
for ... the respect for human beings, the respect for police
officers," Mr. Toews said.
50 Cent cleared to go ahead with Canadian tour
November 30, 2020
American rapper 50 Cent has the green light
to perform in Canada just in time for the Dec. 3 launch of his
Despite the objections of a Liberal MP, 50
Cent -- or "Fiddy" as he's also known -- was granted a temporary
resident visa by Immigration Canada, according to The Globe and Mail.
The hip-hop star, whose real name is Curtis
Jackson, is required to obtain a ministerial permit to enter Canada
because of his criminal record.
50 Cent is no stranger to violence. The
admitted former drug dealer was famously shot nine times and his songs
reflect the hard life he led on the streets of Queen's, New York. His life
story recently became the subject of a new movie, Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
Earlier in the month, Toronto-area Liberal
MP Dan McTeague pressed the government to bar the rapper on the grounds of
his criminal record, because his music allegedly glorifies gun violence.
"I think it's the timing on this .
more than anything else," McTeague said, in an appearance on CTV's
Canada AM last week.
"Toronto has witnessed an
unprecedented number of young violent deaths as a result of gang warfare,
He also expressed concern over shootings
that have occurred at 50 Cent's concerts.
"The last time he was here in 2003 in
my city and in the GTA, a man was killed at the Molson Amphitheatre.
Another attempt was made in Montreal at the next concert," McTeague
But Ben Trister, the rapper's immigration
lawyer, told The Globe and Mail that it's wrong to suggest 50 Cent's music
A 24-year-old was shot dead after a 50 Cent
concert in Toronto in 2003, but the crime took place four km away from the
venue, Trister said.
The Canadian tour is scheduled to start
Dec. 3 in Vancouver, with stops in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City,
Halifax and Saint John, N.B.
How Canada deals with rapper 50 Cent
November 25, 2020
Globe and Mail Editorial
American "gangsta" rapper 50
Cent, a.k.a. Curtis Jackson, is scheduled to play a series of concert
dates in Canada beginning Dec. 3. Liberal MP Dan McTeague wants federal
Immigration Minister Joe Volpe to bar his entry on the grounds that the
performer's lyrics and lifestyle promote gang violence. In Toronto, a city
still reeling from a recent wave of gang-related murder and mayhem, such a
suggestion might readily find a sympathetic audience. Indeed, it might be
applauded in other communities as well.
On any number of grounds, however, it's
still a regrettable idea.
It's true that Mr. Jackson is unlikely to
win many nominations for citizen of the year. Raised by a single mother in
Queens, N.Y, Fiddy (as he known to his legions of acolytes) was introduced
to the nether worlds of crime and drugs early on. He was arrested on
felony drug charges -- for dealing crack -- in 1994, at 19, and eventually
served seven months in jail. It is this prior criminal record that would
allow Mr. Volpe to deny him entry.
In the thug-ridden neighbourhoods of hip
hop, Mr. Jackson seems to show a natural talent for making enemies. In
2000, he was wounded three times in an apparent dispute over drugs, said
to involve drug lord Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff. He has also been embroiled
in controversies of various sorts with a dozen separate rap artists. This
year, gunshots were fired at a New York radio station where Fiddy was an
on-air guest, after he summarily dropped another rapper (The Game, né
Jayceon Taylor) from his label.
Moreover, whatever the merits of his music,
there is no doubt that 50 Cent's lyrics glorify a culture inimical to the
values of civil society. One random and relatively tame example (sensitive
readers should skip the rest of this paragraph): "I got a itchy itchy
trigger finger, nigga its a killa in me not to spray that shit I got
enough ammo shots to blow I up a hole in every mothafucka out this bitch .
. ." Or another sample: "9 Millimeter Ruger 16 shots, hollow
points will go through ya and this? this here? this is a 12 gauge Mossburg
kid, two shots and you can wet like half a block this shit here gets my
dick hard, it's a Calicko, it holds a Hundred shots if you can't kill your
beef with this you need to stop."
Rodgers and Hart, it ain't.
Like other miscreants before him, Mr.
Jackson has been co-opted by the very capitalist ethic he purports to
despise. He's now a full-throttle entrepreneur, having expanded his
burgeoning $100-million empire from rap (an estimated 20 million albums
sold) to clothing (Reebok shoes), movies (Get Rich or Die Tryin'),
vitamin-enriched water and video games (Bulletproof, which landed in
stores this week).
But if Mr. McTeague is correct to decry the
mesmerizing effect a gun-toting role model like 50 Cent may have on many
young men, his proposed solution is wrong. Why ban his personal
appearances when his albums are easily available from music stores and the
Internet? Why ban only him and none of dozens of other rap artists whose
lyrics and lifestyles are equally noxious, full of violence and degrading
Although many youths may lionize Mr.
Jackson, and even seek to emulate him, the tragic propensity of
gang-affiliated young men to kill each other for a wayward glance or an
offhand remark surely has deeper roots than one gun-fixated rapper's
percussion-heavy, monotonic grunting about drugs and sex. Try growing up
fatherless, often in poverty, in virtual ghettos, without prospects for
education or decent jobs.
We may properly disdain the values and
subculture that is celebrated in what passes for 50 Cent's music. We may
lament his deleterious influence on the young. There is excellent cause
for people to boycott his show and his products, and to urge others to do
so. But whatever the degree of toxicity in his act, a free and democratic
society must, with the exception of direct incitement to violence,
tolerate the expression of ideas it finds objectionable. To bar entry to
Curtis Jackson would be an unfortunate step.
Hip-hop mayor of T. Dot
November 28, 2020
By Ashante Infantry
The capacity crowd inside the Mod Club is
lapping up the frenzy onstage. Surrounded by members of his Black Jays
collective, rapper Kardinal Offishall is firing tracks from his new album,
Fire and Glory. Ostensibly, the audience is hearing these songs for the
first time, but they chant along and salute Offishall with raised arms as
if they were erstwhile hits.
That's due partly to the artist's anthemic
mélange of hip hop and reggae, but mostly to his delivery: vigorous call
and response with stagemates Ro Dolla, Riley, Solitiar and Lindo P.
A few days later, Offishall's alter ego,
twentysomething Jason Harrow, now low-key and minus the trademark specs,
digs into coconut shrimp at his favourite west-end bistro.
"My favourite thing is to just play
poker in the backyard and chill," he said. "I save all that
rah-rah for the fans. After they work all day, I want them to know they
can come to my show and act the fool and have fun."
Maestro is the dean and K-OS has the
critical acclaim, but Offishall is Canada's most popular hip-hop export,
thanks to collaborations with an international array of artists such as
Sean Paul(Jamaica), Method Man and Busta Rhymes (U.S.), and Estelle(U.K.).
And he's a dedicated T.Dot booster,
distilling the city's cultural milieu in his rhymes, most notably with
2000's "Bakardi Slang" which detailed the urban Torontospeak for
neophytes (When you say "The club is over" Yo we say "The
"If you go to New York or L.A. and
talk about hip hop, he's the one name that everybody knows," says
Toronto music journalist Dalton Higgins.
"And here, he can pretty much go into
any neighbourhood and have that street respect. He's like the hip-hop
It's been a long time coming for the York
University mass communications grad, who is up for his sixth Canadian
Urban Music Award tomorrow.
Though he's been on the scene since the
mid-'90s, Fire and Glory is Offishall's first album of new material.
In 2001, MCA released Firestarter Volume 1:
Quest for Fire comprised primarily of his independent singles, including
hits "Maxine" and "Ol' Time Killing." But when the
label folded in 2003, so did his already recorded, much-anticipated
But like his song "Husslin,"
Offishall stayed busy: acting in Love Sex & Eating the Bones and My
Baby's Daddy; appearing on the Fast and the Furious 2 soundtrack, and
doing ads for Rogers and Honda Civic.
"You can't live in Canada and be an
artist just in Canada, and expect that to be all you do if you do black
music," he explained. "You don't know how many times I'd be
scrambling with overdue bills, then a royalty cheque would arrive from the
Method Man (recording) or some random soundtrack in New Zealand."
With Fire and Glory released on his Black
Jays imprint, in a co-venture deal with Virgin, Offishall is shopping for
a U.S. label and opening for rap superstar 50 Cent's seven-date Canadian
tour. The concerts have become controversial since Liberal MP Dan McTeague
asked Immigration Minister Joe Volpe to bar the gangsta rapper, real name
Curtis Jackson, from crossing the border, because he allegedly promotes
gun violence. 50 Cent, or Fiddy, is also a shooting survivor and stars in
the film Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
"Not that I agree with everything that
50 says, but 50 is not nearly the cause or even a big part of the problem
that's going on here," said Offishall, who shares a New York attorney
with the gangsta rapper.
"These kids need other opportunities
to keep them from being idle and getting into trouble," he added,
nodding to the now- defunct 1993 Toronto Arts Council program where he
nurtured his musical interest alongside contemporaries Saukrates, Choclair
and Jully Black.
"Fresh Arts saved a lot of us,"
he said. "My career would not be where it is otherwise. It wasn't
only a summer job, but something I wanted to pursue. But I want the youth
coming up to know the power is still in their hands — not the police, or
the government or the teachers. I don't want to hear that you had no
choice but to sell crack; you just don't want to work at McDonald's or the
gas station because of your pride. I have yet to meet anyone who sells
drugs just so they can buy bread or drive a Honda Civic."
While loath to pinpoint any single artist,
Offishall allows that violent, materialistic lyrics are bound to have an
"Even if it's small, it's still a
contributor, because music goes with every emotion that we have. If I'm
pissed or angry and listen to angry music ... sometimes that helps to put
you over the top; but if I go out there and do something stupid it's not
'cause 50 Cent told me to."
On Fire and Glory his subject matter runs
from police reform ("Everyday") to spirituality
Offishall is looking forward to kicking off
the 50 Cent tour in Vancouver on Saturday, though it's not a financial
"Basically, it's like he says `I'm 50
Cent and I don't need anybody to come on tour with me, so hold 50 cents
and come on tour with me; if you don't want it, I'll get somebody else.'
So it turns out to be more of promotional benefit, a chance to reach a
mass of people to tell them to buy the album for Christmas."
MPs add 50 Cent to debate on gun violence
Calls to bar rapper from touring in Canada
November 24, 2020
By Melissa Leong, with files from Kelly Patrick National Post; with files
from News Services
Dan McTeague, a Liberal MP, garnered
support from an unusual corner yesterday when Tory justice critic Vic
Toews joined in his call to prevent U.S. rapper 50 Cent from touring in
Canada because he has a criminal record and he glorifies gun violence.
50 Cent, who was once shot nine times in a
gang incident, is the star of the recent film Get Rich or Die Tryin', a
fictionalized and violent portrayal of his career. He was in Canada this
year filming the biopic and is scheduled to launch a Canadian tour --
called the "The Massacre Tour" -- next month.
"When we look at what's happening in
places like Toronto, to bring him in with his music that glorifies gun
violence, quite frankly I don't care if he's a convicted criminal or
not," Mr. Toews said last night.
"His music is anti-social. It violates
the basic values that Canadians stands for ... the respect for human
beings, the respect for police officers."
Mr. McTeague told CBC television: "I
do want the laws of Canada to apply to anybody who is a criminal, an
admitted criminal, as Mr. Curtis Jackson -- known as 50 Cent -- is. Under
our laws ... he would be deemed criminally inadmissible."
Canadian law dictates that anyone with a
criminal record needs a special permit from the office of Immigration
Minister Joe Volpe to enter the country. Mr. McTeague has written to Mr.
Volpe urging him not to grant the permit.
Mr. Volpe declined to discuss the case with
reporters but said he too was concerned by the rising gun violence in
Although 50 Cent has acknowledged spending
time behind bars, the status of his criminal record is not clear.
Representatives for the star did not immediately reply to requests for
Mr. McTeague said the last time 50 Cent
gave a concert in Toronto in 2003, one person was killed outside the
Stockwell Day, the Tory foreign affairs
critic, said when he heard the rapper was coming, he sought out his music.
"I wanted to see for myself some of
his lyrics and what he promotes -- it's pretty vile stuff," he
said. "His comments toward girls and women, if anyone else had
made those, the mainstream media would tear that person apart, but because
you say you're a rapper, you get a free pass.
"I don't care who does it, I find it
However, Mr. Day said if 50 Cent is not
breaking the law in Canada, he has freedom of speech and the right to be
The rapper said on Tuesday that parents
should buy their children his new video game - rated "mature"
for blood, gore and sexual themes - and use it as a teaching tool.
In the game, 50 Cent is depicted making his way through New York's
underworld with armed guards and guns blazing.
Canada legislator seeks to bar U.S. rapper 50 Cent
November 23, 2020
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government
should ban U.S. rapper 50 Cent from touring Canada later this year because
he has a criminal record and glorifies gun violence, a legislator from the
ruling Liberal party said on Wednesday.
50 Cent, who was once shot nine times on
the street in a gang incident, is the star of the recent film "Get
Rich or Die Tryin,"' a fictionalized and violent portrayal of his
Junior Foreign Minister Dan McTeague said
the rapper's message was inappropriate at a time when Toronto, Canada's
largest city, was experiencing a surge in shooting deaths.
"I do want the laws of Canada to apply
to anybody who is a criminal, an admitted criminal, as Mr Curtis Jackson
-- known as 50 Cent -- is. Under our laws ... he would be deemed
criminally inadmissible," he told CBC television.
Canadian law dictates that anyone with a
criminal record needs a special permit from the office of Immigration
Minister Joe Volpe to enter the country. McTeague has written to Volpe
urging him not to grant the permit.
Volpe declined to discuss the case with
reporters but said he too was concerned by the rising gun violence in
Toronto, where 49 people have been killed so far this year, many of them
young black men.
Although 50 Cent has acknowledged spending
time behind bars, the current status of his criminal record is not clear.
Representatives for the star did not immediately reply to requests for
McTeague criticised 50 Cent for "the
message at this time that he brings, one of glorifying gun violence, often
(the) denigration of women" and said the last time he gave a concert
in Toronto in 2003, one person was killed outside the theater.
The rapper is due to start a Canadian tour
Last month the distributor of "Get
Rich or Die Tryin"' took down some movie billboards near Los
Angeles-area schools after community leaders complained they glorified
gangs and violence. The posters showed 50 Cent holding a microphone in one
hand and a gun in the other.
"If we have young people as young as
14 leading gangs in my community around Toronto, we have to take into
consideration that the message is often going to very impressionable
people who think nothing of human life," said McTeague.
The rapper told Reuters on Tuesday that
parents should buy their children his new video game and use it as a
teaching tool. In the game, 50 Cent is depicted making his way through New
York's underworld with armed guards and guns blazing.
Liberal MP calls on immigration minister to ban rapper over gun lyrics
November 23, 2020
Bu Terry Pedwell
OTTAWA (CP) - Immigration Minister Joe
Volpe has been asked by one of his Liberal colleagues to prevent rap
artist Fifty Cent from coming to Canada.
Born Curtis Jackson in Queen's N.Y., Fifty
Cent - or "Fiddy" as he's known in rap circles - is scheduled to
launch a Canadian tour Dec. 3 in Vancouver. But the rapper promotes gun
violence, says Toronto MP Dan McTeague, who wants Volpe to turn back Fifty
Cent at the border. "I don't think people in Toronto or any urban
centre need or want to hear Mr. Jackson's message right now,"
The musician performed in Toronto in 2003,
where McTeague points out there was a shooting.
"I think it's time we send a message
of our own to those who glorify violence that their gratuitous violence
and movies are not welcome in our country," McTeague said. "We
need to do a better job at protecting Canadians from people who's message
runs counter to all of our efforts of trying to curb gun violence."
A spokesman for Volpe was unaware of the
letter when contacted late Tuesday.
But the minister would not comment about an
individual case anyway, said Steven Heckbert.
"Whether the minister or departmental
officials make a decision about intervening or not, it's really not
appropriate for us to be talking about it in a public forum," said
The rapper has a criminal record, and would
be required to obtain a ministerial permit to enter Canada, although such
permits are issued regularly, he added.
"It's permission that's granted
typically about 12,000 times a year," said Heckbert. "In many of
those cases the minister does not intervene directly. The department has
delegated authority to make such decisions.
Some U.S. critics have criticized Fifty
Cent's music for celebrating guns and drugs, without any emphasis on
social or moral consciousness.
Paramount Pictures last month pulled some
billboards for the movie Get Rich or Die Tryin after community activists
complained they glorified gun violence in tough areas of south Los
The posters featured Fifty Cent, the
movie's star, holding a gun in his left hand and a microphone in his
The singer denounced the move as proof that
rappers get a bad rap when it comes to violence.
Fifty Cent's Canadian tour is also
scheduled for performances in Halifax, Saint John, Montreal, Quebec City,
Toronto and Ottawa.
It's not known if the musician obtained a
special permit to enter Canada in advance of booking his tour dates.
A coalition of African-Canadian
organizations met Tuesday with Prime Minister Paul Martin in Ottawa,
urging him to adopt a program to curb the escalating gun violence in
Four dozen shootings in Toronto this year,
out of a total of 70 homicides, involved guns.
Bullet-proof vest protects Montreal concert-goer
April 24, 2021
MONTREAL (CP) - A bullet-proof vest prevented
a man from suffering serious injury during a shooting after a 50 Cent
concert. The life of a man in his 20s wasn't in danger because of the
The shooting took place outside the
Bell Centre after the concert.
A male and a female suspect were
apprehended by an off-duty police officer at the scene, said a police
Man Killed Outside Jay-Z/50 Cent Concert In Toronto
July 4, 2021
Msemji Granger, 24, of Hamilton, Ontario,
was shot several times at close range by two unidentified assailants while
leaving the Roc The Mic concert at Toronto's Molson Amphitheater on
Tuesday (July 1), according to Billboard.
At approximately 10:20 p.m., Granger, who
was leaving the concert which featured Jay-Z and 50 Cent, was shot in the
head and upper body. He died on Wednesday (July 2) from his injuries. The
two gunmen were able to blend in with the crowd in the venue's parking lot
and were not apprehended.
The shooting occurred while fireworks were
going off at nearby Ontario Place to celebrate Canada Day. According to
Det. Sgt. Cory Bockus, Granger, who with a group of friends, was targeted
and not the victim of a random shooting.
The Roc The Mic tour is slated to hit
Virginia Beach, Virginia next on Saturday (July 5).