Review: 50 Cent at The 02
HIS songs may glorify violence and his heavily tattooed physique would put the fear into any sensible being, but 50 Cent can be incredibly charming.
On two separate occasions the New York rapper, actor and business tycoon invites on stage young boys he picks out of the audience. His sweet discussions with them and his encouragement of their hip-hop moves would win top marks from any parental guide.
And throughout the show, Fiddy -- or Curtis Jackson, as he's known to his mother -- beams beatifically, displaying a set of perfect American teeth. For someone who has been shot nine times, he looks in remarkably fine health.
There is no doubting his charisma, or his ability to rap, yet the 50 Cent live experience leaves much to be desired.
His band favour a brute force approach, shunning the more nuanced, rich sound of his records while regular G Unit cohorts Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks tend to be more miss than hit, particularly in the 'intervals' when they have to carry the show while the main man is backstage changing into yet another T-shirt.
The pair are especially lame when leading the crowd into a polemic of sorts, 'Smoke Weed'. But they don't literally smoke the drug -- as they did in a recent Amsterdam gig.
Much of the show is spent regurgitating material on Fiddy's most recent and weakest album, 'Before I Self Destruct', and it's hardly surprising that the crowd engage most when he dusts off his biggest hits.
'In Da Club', in particular, has The O2 rocking, but such songs don't come frequently enough in a set that's well over two hours long.