NEW YORK — Everybody knows 50 Cent has made a career out of conflict — from his well-documented feuds with Ja Rule, Irv Gotti and Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff to his more recent spats with Fat Joe and Cam'ron.
And although not as serious as the others, there's his current (friendly?) competition with Kanye West (see "50 Cent And Kanye West: The Main Event Is Finally Here, In New Releases").
But on Thursday night in Manhattan, depending on what side of the coin you looked at, Fif either poured gasoline on a fire or rebuilt a burned bridge.
The G-Unit leader, flanked by Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks, invited Jim Jones and Juelz Santana to the stage during the kickoff to his 5 Borough Tour at Hammerstein Ballroom. The Diplomats duo got nothing but love from the crowd as they made their way to the stage.
Jim Jones and Tony Yayo on the same stage? Jones, after all, has dissed Yayo in past interviews, and Yayo had mocked Jones during shows yelling out, "Booooorring!" as Jones' track "We Fly High," with its "Baaaalllin'!" ad-libs, played.
All must be forgiven. But somewhere Cam'ron, who's been keeping an unusually low profile as of late, must be smarting. His enemy and his main man together? And for Cam, it only got worse.
Jones immediately launched into "We Fly High," as 50 and Santana played hypemen (the rest of G-Unit exited momentarily), both taking turns putting up the basketball shot that accompanies the song's memorable ad-lib.
Earlier in the week, Jones appeared on BET's "Rap City" when 50 was serving as guest host. The two vaguely hinted that the Dipset Capo would be signing to G-Unit (although Jones already denied the rumor in this week's Mixtape Monday).
But after Jones' one track, there was no grand announcement, and he and Juelz exited stage right. Kind of anticlimactic.
The show, however, wasn't done just yet. As LL Cool J watched from a balcony, Fif impressively tore into hit after hit. "I think these mother----ers acting like I ain't got no hits," 50 said. "I want you to go home and tell people what I did when I got mad."
"P.I.M.P." — check.
"Just a Little Bit" — check.
"Window Shopper" — check.
"In Da Club" — check.
Even "Amusement Park" — from 50's new album, Curtis (see "50 Cent Album Preview: Eminem, Dr. Dre Help Curtis 'Keep It Funky' ") — got a big reception.
Fif — who had a tougher time controlling the crowd at his pre-VMA show last weekend — easily turned around the merciless crowd, which began the night booing him, and reminded the house just how many big records he's amassed in just four years since his debut was released.
The night, however, wouldn't be complete without his latest one, "I Get Money." He performed it earlier in the night to calm the wolves, but now that he had them, and he knew it, he pulled it back out again.
"I'm gonna bring out Kanye West," he told the crowd, who cheered, before 50 jokingly singing 'Ye's "Gold Digger." Then the 50s (fake bills with 50's face on them) started raining down on the audience.
And if folks still didn't believe in his hits, the G-Unit captain made a major announcement before he left. He called the "I Get Money" remix the "Forbes 1, 2 and 3" — after Jay-Z, 50 and Diddy's rankings on Forbes magazine's list of Hip-Hop Cash Kings, which was unveiled last month.
Now we see why he's been laughing straight to the bank.
The rest of the Hot 97-sponsored event continues Friday (September 14) in Staten Island, Saturday in Brooklyn, and wraps up Sunday with shows in the Bronx and Queens.
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