50 Cent

With the Clipse. Sunday, April 20, at the CSU Convocation Center.

John Q's Steakhouse 55 Public Square 216-861-0900. Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Dinner: 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The brazen multiethnic hip-hop crew Egotrip summarizes the gangsta-rap phenomenon with this haiku from its Big Book of Racism: "Fuck that nigga dead/Fuck them niggaz, kill niggaz/Our first gold record." There are few iced-out thugs who have much to say about narcotics and firearms that wasn't said better by N.W.A. or Notorious B.I.G., but the genre offers up a Jay-Z or DMX every few years to keep suburban white boys interested in what's happening in America's inner cities.

50 Cent and Clipse don't have B.I.G.'s storytelling abilities or Ice Cube's once-strong knack for biting social commentary. They do, however, boast killer disses (50 has made a cottage industry out of publicly questioning Ja Rule's status as a murderer, thug, and heterosexual) and some undeniable Dre- and Neptunes-produced club bangers that feel light years ahead of most street-life sounds.

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