There was a time when Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson represented the height of the gangster rap genre – or the nadir, depending on your tolerance for materialism, violence and sexism in music.
To those nine bullet wounds he was pleased to parade, he can now add another more mundane example of his street credentials – bankruptcy. No jokes about that name please.
Still, a fair number of Scottish fans were willing to help him out of his financial pit with their eager patronage of this show and they were initially rewarded with a slick, fast-moving presentation from Jackson and his regular entourage of G-Unit rappers, including the charismatic Lloyd Banks, who repeatedly outshone the supposed star of proceedings.
Jackson’s three amigos were relentlessly enthusiastic and energetic, partly counteracting his more casual approach to performance, and bringing the party atmosphere he could not hope to generate on his own – although the seething crowd in the arena needed little persuasion to respond to the no-nonsense flow of material.
Bras were thrown. Bass heavy hits such as Candy Shop and 21 Questions came thick and fast. In Da Club, one of the more memorable hooks, delivered a precision mix of voices over an efficiently funky beat.
But by then, Jackson presumably considered his work here to be done, as he strolled off and on stage for the rest of the show, leaving the G-Unit boys to hold the fort as the momentum they had worked to build gradually slipped away along with sections of the audience.