50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Jeremiah performed in Toronto in front of a capacity crowd. We take a closer look in our The Final Lap tour review.
Monday night, 50 Cent brought his The Final Lap tour to Toronto as he performed in front of a capacity crowd at Budweiser Stage. He was joined by Jeremih and fellow New York hip-hop legend, Busta Rhymes, who is fresh off receiving his BET Lifetime Achievement Award.
Busta Rhymes praises Toronto hip-hop legend
Known as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, live performer in the history of hip-hop, Busta brought his signature high energy, showmanship, and quick flow to the stage alongside his right hand man Spliff Star.
His set spanned decades as he took fans on a trip down memory lane, performing tracks like “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See”, “Ante Up”, “Don’t Cha” and “I Know What You Want”. Busta went back to his Jamaican roots, giving the crowd a scolding for not giving a bigger reaction to a “Bloodclot Big Chune” before resuming the track sans Mariah Carey.
He then brought the crowd back to 2023, performing his new hit “Beach Ball” featuring BIA, off his upcoming 11th studio album to be executive produced by Pharrell, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, and himself.
He ended the show by taking the crowd back to the early days with “Scenario” before closing out with “Bounce” off his 2001 album Genesis. One of the highlights of his set was bringing out Toronto’s own Kardinal Offishall, who he praised as a national treasure, for a performance of “Ol’ Time Killin'” whose remix Busta appeared on back in 2001.
50 rings off hit after hit
Then it was 50 Cent‘s turn to run through one of the deepest catalogues of hits in hip-hop. Ever. From “What Up Gangsta”, “Magic Stick”, “This Is How We Do” and “Hate It Or Love It” to “Candy Shop”, “Window Shopper”, “A Little Bit”, “P.I.M.P”, and “Many Men”.
Though Drake is still in the middle of a lengthy run as the top dog in hip-hop, 50 Cent‘s The Final Lap tour is a reminder of just how electric 50’s run was as he defied both the industry and his peers to take the top stop. A backdrop at the Ontario Place entrance, with old newspaper articles about politicians wanting to ban 50 from Canada during his prime, sets the tone for how long he’s come as an artist, entrepreneur and icon. He was one of the last hip-hop artists to release music that made you want to dance in the club and turn up with your friends.
As he came closer to the end of his set, he brought fans back to modern times with the Power theme “Big Rich Town” and “The Woo” by the late Pop Smoke showing his ability to dip his toe back in hip-hop and still make relevant music when he needs to.
During a wardrobe change, he brought out Jeremih to perform alongside him before giving him the stage solo to perform his hit record “Birthday Sex”.
After a performance of “In Da Club” and a seriously hyped up call for an encore, 50 returned performing songs like “Rider pt. 2” and “Wangsta” before thanking the crowd and sharing that he feels at home in Toronto.
50 and Busta deliver shows to remember
Both 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes delivered shows to remember, and while both are cut from a similar cloth where performing over backtrack vocals is a no-no, they delivered two distinct shows. While Busta Rhymes is a true MC, playing to and engaging with the crowd, 50 Cent‘s show doesn’t include much engagement or intimacy with the crowd (minus the odd wave at women in the audience), but he’s in the enviable position of not needing to. 50 is at a rare level where the music has so resonated with fans over the years that they don’t need anything else from him; the music speaks for itself.
Also, perhaps due to his TV storytelling abilities, 50 Cent‘s show is as much a visual experience as it is an audio experience. From the dancers, confetti, and pillars of fire that could be felt back in second section, to the live band and LED screens displaying streetscapes from the streets of New York, as well as his alcohol brands, The Final Lap is a whole experience; almost a theatre production or live show worthy of a Vegas residency. Adding to the feel good, nostalgic vibes are Tony Yayo and Uncle Murda who do a good job of balancing bringing the hype in support of 50 with slipping out of sight and allowing him to the star of the show.
It’s clear that 50 was having fun and so was the crowd, and, despite the name of the tour, hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him.