Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Rap's rivals battle it out in Belfast

50 Cent (right) and Kayne West come face to face at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Palms Hotel and Casino last Sunday in Las Vegas

Ulster music fans are today gearing up for the latest round in a showdown between two hip-hop heavyweights after 50 Cent announced a Belfast concert later this year.

The US rapper confirmed that he will play the Odyssey Arena on November 5 - just three weeks before his rival Kanye West performs at the same venue.

The surprise announcement by 50 Cent comes after he was beaten by West this week at the Mobo Awards and in the battle to top the album charts.

50 Cent stated that he would retire from music if West outsold him in the race for the number one album.

West, who plays the Odyssey Arena on December 1, sold nearly one million copies of his Graduation album in its first week. In comparison, 50 Cent sold 691,000 copies of Curtis.

However, 50 Cent later seemed to withdraw his threat to quit, saying that he was "excited to have participated in one of the biggest album release weeks in the last two years".

His announcement to play Belfast before West does seems to suggest an about-turn for the rap star, who also lost out at the Mobos last night.

The rapper, real name Curtis Jackson, pulled out of the Mobos and the Vodafone Live Awards.

West went on to win Best Video for Stronger and Best Hip Hop Act, beating 50 Cent in this category.

It is understood 50 Cent cancelled a number of European promotional tours this week, but a spokeswoman for Aiken Promotions said he had confirmed he was playing Dublin and Belfast in November.

"He seems to like it here," she said.

50 Cent was in Dublin during the summer, when he appeared on stage at the RDS with Justin Timberlake. He collaborated with Timberlake on the recent single Ayo Technology.

He last played Belfast in 2005.

Tickets for his November 5 gig go on sale on Friday, September 28, priced £39 seated and £35 standing.

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