50 Cent Plays Concert in Kosovo
Is 'the ghetto' the same worldwide? Curtis 'Fiddy' Jackson suggests that his own American gangsterpeneur experience allows youth in violence-plagued regions such as Kosovo, Iraq, Israel, and Beirut to identify with his music. But what are the implications of using a shared vocabulary of violence as a means of breaking down language barriers?
US rapper 50 Cent has performed a concert in Kosovo to a sell-out crowd of 25,000 people, becoming the most high-profile artist to play there.
Some fans thought he would not show up as the threat of violence has escalated with Kosovo set to declare independence from Serbia.
Speaking to Reuters before performing, the 32-year-old said: "I haven't missed a show date in my career."
Riot police were on guard during the gig at a stadium in Pristina.
50 Cent - real name Curtis Jackson - said: "I've been to Iraq. I performed for the soldiers. I've been to Israel. I've been to Beirut. They actually bombed the week after I left."
He is currently in the middle of a European tour promoting his latest album, Curtis.
"I won't get a chance to see the world, like the entire world, unless I go everywhere. I see my music break through language barriers," he said.
The football stadium is situated between the ruins of a Serb police station and a railway yard where thousands of Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians were deported by Serb troops.
Cent, who grew up in New York and has been shot nine times, added: "I know exactly what happens when the guns come out. Maybe that's why they (identify) with me."
One fan at the concert, Elza Januzi, said: "I hope that we will have more opportunities to have more people like him coming and performing in Kosovo. It's a great, great feeling tonight."
You’re a beleaguered Baltic nation, looking for a major artist to brighten things up. So who do you get? 50 Cent, of course! Hired to help celebrate the country’s new phone network, Fiddy became the first “high-profile” artist to perform in the country’s capitol Pristina since Kosovo ended its hostilities with Serbia in 1999, playing in front of 25,000 fans. “They live in the same type of environment that on a smaller level, we are subjected to where I’m from,” he said.