By Nadeska Alexis
Eminem will forever stand by his protege, friend and business ally 50 Cent. Fif has been at work on his next solo LP for the past couple years, hanging out with close pal boxer Floyd Mayweather, while the two men who’ve played an instrumental part in his career; Eminem and Dr. Dre, have been visibly absent for the most part. Until now. 50 Cent made a rare appearance in Austin, Texas on Friday night to perform his classic 2003 album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in its entirety, and fans who were hoping for that rumored Eminem performance were not the least bit disappointed.
The opening lineup at the SXSW Shady 2.0 Showcase included 50 Cent’s new G-Unit artists Paris and Kidd Kidd, plus Action Bronson, Black Hippy’s Schoolboy Q, Don Trip and Big K.R.I.T. Yelawolf was forced to cancel his appearance due to an injury but his fellow Shady Records signees, Slaughterhouse, took the stage before Fif dishing out freestyles, in addition to singles like “Hammer Dance” from their upcoming album welcome to: Our House.
50 Cent hit the stage shortly after 11pm, launching into “What Up Gangsta?” decked out in an appropriately nostalgic outfit–a camouflage bullet-proof best and Yankees cap.
Throughout the week there had been whispers of an Eminem guest appearance during Fif’s set, and Marshall Mathers confirmed those rumors on the second song of the night. Fifty rolled right into “Patiently Waiting,” spitting his first verse and within seconds Em burst onto the stage, delivering the hook and his verse, casually decked out in jeans a baseball cap and his signature hoodie.
At times, Fif’s commentary during the show was just as entertaining as the actual songs. “It’s been 10 years. That album sold 13 million copies,” he told the crowd, marveling at the success of Get Rich or Die Tryin.’ “The money came so fast, I couldn’t f— it up,” he added, getting some laughs from the crowd. “I was trying everything I could think of.”
Tony Yayo hung by Fif’s side as the crowd continued to go wild for tracks like “Many Men,” and “In Da Club.” And although the Queens rapper was in great spirits, he still managed to get in a bit of a rant, taking aim at some of his critics. “I guess it’s not what have I done, but what have I done for you lately, is that right?” he said, the annoyance evident on his face.
Still, Fif treated fans to a few more songs, including an encore performance and a freestyle over Eminem’s “Till I Collapse,” which commanded another Shady appearance on stage. “Wanksta” was the closing number of the night, and though fans stayed put, expectantly, for another few minutes, that was it folks.