Ballistically speaking, there is no equivalent to 50 Cent.
50 thug's thug was shot nine times in a single evening and survived, qualifying him for 'hood sainthood. That assassination attempt came on the heels of a stabbing, which occurred shortly after the release of "How to Rob," in which the real-life criminal detailed how he would target everyone from Mariah to ODB to Brian McKnight if his record didn't sell. Not since Tupac and Biggie became martyred bullet catchers has a rapper courted danger so brazenly. And while his lyrical gifts aren't the most clever, he has found more interesting ways of saying "Nigga, I'ma kill you" than you ever could have imagined.
Producers Eminem and Dr. Dre have recanted their fascination with guns and gangstas on their own recordings, but they're more than willing to let their Shady/Aftermath signee wave around semis and scare the community. If you've always wished the rhythm of loading firearms could be further explored on a rap record, Get Rich or Die Tryin' is your gangsta's paradise.
Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street
Scheduled to perform with Hannibal Leq and Street Legacy on Sunday, March 2. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $42. Call 602-267-1600 for more information.