50 Cent brings hip-hop classics, lasers and more to dazzling Final Lap show in Holmdel

Hip-hop classics to lasers to tips about summer party etiquette: 50 Cent’s The Final Lap show on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the PNC Bank Arts Center had at all.

It wasn’t perfect, but it sure wasn’t boring.

The party etiquette tips came up when 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, took a side swipe on stage at his long-time rival, Sean “Puffy” Combs. After referring to the late Prince’s penchant for revealing stage garb, 50 got into Combs’ former exclusive summer parties.

“That’s why I ain’t going to no Puffy parties,” 50 said. “They’ll hug you from the front and the back at the same time. If you’re into that, I’m fine with that. To each his own. But I’m just saying it ain’t my (blanking) kind of party. It’s uncomfortable.”

Rapper 50 Cent opens the show Sept. 17 at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan, part of his Final Lap tour.

Crude, but 50 apparently has a sly sense of humor. It’s too bad he didn’t engage the audience with his banter more during the show, which included a surprise appearance by fellow New York rap great Jadakiss.

Still, no expenses were spared in this production. There was a live band, a troupe of dancers, pyrotechnics, confetti and more.

There were also costume changes. So many, in fact, it was almost humorous. But it wasn’t like Liberace. 50 kept to urban fresh looks, switching from a blue track suit to a red one, for example. Then he emerged from a billow of smoke in a white T-shirt and white pants in a flash, changing in seconds.

We’ll call it sartorial magic.

50 Cent performs Sept. 20 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

Speaking of which, 50 did all the hits, including “Magic Stick,” “P.I.M.P.,” “Candy Shop,” “Just a Lil Bit,” “Window Shopper” and “In Da Club.” The soundtrack of youth for many in the packed audience.

“I love you big guy!” screamed a female fan.

Several of the songs were artistically rendered, thanks in part to the impressive video cubes on stage.

“Ayo Technology” had a sensual post-technology vibe as the screens, lasers, dancers and smoke effects set the scene. 50 Cent is a TV and movie producer these days, but from the looks of things he could stage a live show on Broadway.

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Busta Rhymes opened the show. Many fans missed the performance as they were stuck on the Garden State Parkway in a traffic jam entering the venue.

Jadakiss performed three songs, including “We Gonna Make It,” as 50 and his crew exited the stage midway through the show. Later, Jeremih performed the R&B ballad “Birthday Sex” on piano with a dancer wearing a long-sleeved hot pink thong leotard that was very revealing.

They appeared to have sex at one point in the very R-rated performance.

50 and his crew returned after that. A drawback of the night was the muddied sound. 50’s vocals, so nuanced on record, seemed to be too bottom heavy, and not 100 percent clear. It’s called a “Final Lap,” but there were no final goodbyes or fond remembrances from the stage.

50 is 48, seemingly far from retirement age.

Here’s hoping for another lap or two.

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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; cjordan@app.com

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