Has it really been 20 years since the release of 50 Cent’s seminal album Get Rich or Die Tryin'? It seems only yesterday that tracks like In Da Club were riding up the charts. Despite this, the American rapper unveiled his debut studio album in February 2003.

On Saturday evening, 50 Cent, along with his esteemed colleagues Busta Rhymes and Jeremih, descended on Tyneside as part of the hip-hop artist's Final Lap Tour, where a full house awaited their arrival.

The Northern Echo: 50 Cent at Newcastle's Utilita Arena

From the south side of Chicago, rising star of the rap world Jeremih was the first to take the stage. Sporting a hoodie and shades and flanked by his DJ, hype man, and provocative dancers, the US rapper perfectly set the tone for the night ahead. The artist would later return to the stage to join 50 Cent on the song Put It Down With Me.

For fans of old-school hip-hop, Busta Rhymes was always going to be a highlight. The rapper delivered a set featuring classics such as Ante Up (Remix), Scenario by A Tribe Called Quest and Break Ya Neck. The artist’s speed rapping and lyric prowess astounded the crowd. The inclusion of Beach Ball and Luxury Life brought the set up to date. Both of which feature on the artist's upcoming album Blockbusta, which will be released at the end of this week.

The Northern Echo: Busta Rhymes in Newcastle's Utilita Arena

But finally, the moment the Tyneside crowd had been waiting for arrived when 50 Cent appeared from a riser at the back of the stage. Cell phones illuminated the arena as far as the eye could see. At the top of the show tracks like What Up Gangster and If I Can't transported the audience back 20 years to the release of the rapper's debut record.

The Northern Echo: Jeremih at Newcastle's Utilita Arena

50 Cent spared no expense on his extravagant stage production. Video screens featured at the rear and above the stage along with pyrotechnics, a walkway into the arena, frequent outfit changes and a laser light show that would even make Pink Floyd a tad envious. The onstage choreography from the artist's energetic troupe of backing dancers enthralled the crowd throughout.

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The rapper's career-spanning setlist traversed the artist's entire back catalogue and featured over thirty tracks. Highlights included Pimp, a fiery airing of Candy Shop, and Lil Bit. The main set came to its explosive conclusion thanks to confetti cannons and streamers making the Utilita Arena look like New York on the 4th of July. Of course, the show would not be complete without the artist’s anthem In Da Club.

On Saturday evening, 50 Cent’s groundbreaking performance was worth every penny of the admission price.