50 Cent and Busta Rhymes play at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle

On Saturday evening, 50 Cent arrived on Tyneside alongside his esteemed colleagues Busta Rhymes and Jeremih as part of the hip-hop artist’s Final Lap Tour, where a full house awaited their arrival.

The Northern Echo: 50 Cent at the Utilita Arena, Newcastle

From the south side of Chicago, rising star of the rap world Jeremih was the first to take the stage. Wearing a hoodie and sunglasses and flanked by his DJ, the hype man and provocative dancers, the US rapper perfectly set the tone for the coming evening. The artist later returned to the stage to record the song “Put It Down With Me” with 50 Cent.

For fans of old-school hip-hop, Busta Rhymes has always been a highlight. The rapper delivered a set that included classics like Ante Up (Remix), Scenario by A Tribe Called Quest and Break Ya Neck. The artist’s speed rap and lyrical skills amazed the audience. The inclusion of Beach Ball and Luxury Life brought the set up to date. Both are featured on the artist’s upcoming album Blockbusta, due out later this week.

The Northern Echo: Busta Rhymes at the Utilita Arena, Newcastle

But finally the moment the Tyneside audience had been waiting for came when 50 Cent emerged from a podium at the back of the stage. Cell phones lit up the arena as far as the eye could see. At the start of the show, tracks like “What Up Gangster” and “If I Can’t” took the audience back 20 years to the time when the rapper’s debut album was released.

The Northern Echo: Jeremih at the Utilita Arena, Newcastle

50 Cent spared no expense on his extravagant stage production. Video screens at the back and above the stage as well as pyrotechnics, an arena walkway, frequent outfit changes and a laser light show that would make even Pink Floyd a little jealous. The stage choreography by the artist’s energetic group of backing dancers thrilled the audience throughout.

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The rapper’s career-spanning setlist spanned the artist’s entire back catalog and included over thirty tracks. Highlights included “Pimp,” a fiery performance of “Candy Shop” and “Lil Bit.” The main set came to an explosive conclusion thanks to confetti cannons and streamers that made Utilita Arena look like New York on the Fourth of July. Of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without the artist’s anthem “In Da Club.”

On Saturday night, 50 Cent’s groundbreaking performance was worth every penny of the ticket price.

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