50 Cent merged the worlds of hip-hop and entertainment during the screening of the second season of Starz’s drama Power at the Best Buy Theater in the heart of Times Square on Tuesday night (June 3). Attendees — contest winners, media and celebrities — exclusively mingled with Starz employees and the cast of Power who all celebrated the show’s return this summer, June 6 (9 PM ET/PT). The screening was followed by a chock-full performance from 50 Cent and G-Unit, Joe, Elle Varner, Jeremih, Machine Gun Kelly, Remo the Hitmaker and Troy Ave, along with his B$B crew.
Despite the rainy weather and heavy traffic that pushed back the 7 p.m. start time 40 minutes, CEO of Starz Chris Albrecht and the show’s executive producer Courtney Kemp Agboh opened the night with a round of thanks to everyone involved. “Of course, when you have a TV show, it takes a few important people to do it — mainly the cast and the crew,” Albrecht said. “We have an amazing cast; I’m not going to mention names. You know who they are. You will see them on screen. You will see them in a lot of places. It’s an amazing crew.”
“I just wanted to say, to my crew, it is so cold in New York in the winter and I appreciate it,” Agboh added. “And for those of you who love the show and don’t know they are the ones who make my dream come true.”
Season 2 of the hit drama picks up right where season one left off. Notably, 50 Cent’s character Kanan is fresh out of prison after a 10-year bid and ready to settle the score with Ghost. Meanwhile, Ghost is having trouble getting out of the drug game as he does whatever it takes to save his nightclub. He’s also dealing with his love triangle between his wife Tasha and his mistress Angela, who is an assistant U.S. attorney closing in on Ghost’s drug operation. The relationship especially makes his longtime business partner Tommy nervous, in which viewers get to see just how far their friendship is tested and the trust issues that come with it.
The first episode’s suspense, coupled with some choice rap songs playing throughout each scene, like Chase and Status’ “Machine Gun” (featuring Pusha T) and Lil Wayne and Drake‘s “Believe Me,” was the perfect segue to Fif’s nearly two-hour performance. The big screen rose to a live band playing the intro to “Big Rich Town,” and the star of the show emerged, exchanging his sharp black suit for trendy streetwear attire. The crowd immediately shifted from their seats to the dance floor as his first guest Joe performed classics like “Stutter” and “I Wanna Know.” Elle Varner came alive with her 50 Cent collaboration “Birthday” and smash “Only Wanna Give It to You.”
After bringing out G-Unit (sans Young Buck), 50 Cent introduced a new record with a motivational chorus about hitting the lotto. Though he’s widely known for his hits off Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and The Massacre, 50 Cent in 2015 continuously aims for crossover appeal with this latest preview having a lot of potential. After, it was back to 50 and G-Unit classics (Lloyd Banks‘ “Beamer, Benz or Bentley”) which had the audience rapping every word, all before bringing out Jeremih to perform his smashes “Down On Me” and “Don’t Tell ‘Em.” The Chicago-bred singer stayed to perform 50’s new single “Get Low,” which didn’t have as much impact mostly because 50 Cent forgot some of the words.
Throughout the night, we saw the extent of 50’s catalog as he performed more hits like “P.I.M.P.,” “Ayo Technology” and “Magic Stick.” In between his run, he gave time to let fresher faces grace the stage. First, a group from Jamaica, Queens called 821 performed their hard-hitting anthem “Lobby” that’s been gaining traction on YouTube and SoundCloud. Next was MGK, who brought his rock star energy with “Till I Die” and calmed the mood with “A Little More.” Later on, G-Unit’s own Kidd Kidd kicked a freestyle a cappella about Power that got a few laughs from the audience for his clever one-liners. And finally, Remo the Hitmaker played his remix to “Why You Mad at Me,” which, again, had 50 Cent forgetting the words. “This song is too new!” he joked.
The finale of the show can be best described as changing of the guards for New York street rap. The G-Unit general concluded by bringing out Troy Ave. In the past, the two had a minor beef. 50 Cent believed Troy Ave was biting his style, even working with G-Unit members Banks and Yayo. It seemed like tensions were behind them as G-Unit and B$B came together on stage for an epic set. With everyone feeding off each other’s chemistry, they performed “All about the Money,” “Show Me Love,” “In The Club,” their current collaboration “Bang Bang,” and “Doo Doo.” It was the type of camaraderie that’s been missing in the NY scene for quite some time.
50 Cent saved his best street anthem for last: “What Up Gangsta.” As white confetti fell upon the crowd, the sight of G-Unit and B$B as one was a sign that the brash 50 from his former feuds with Rick Ross, Ja Rule and Game may be no more. He’s grown as rap’s elder statesmen, focusing on money, power and an untamed desire to be in the center of the spotlight.