Rapper 50 CENT was disappointed when New York authorities refused to grant him permission to play a secret show in his native Queens over safety fears – but failed to let the snub ruin his charitable weekend plans.
The In Da Club hitmaker was set to take the stage for Family Day on 30 August (09) for a “surprise” concert at a schoolyard close to the Jamaica neighbourhood where he grew up and was nearly fatally shot in 2000.
But local authorities fiercely opposed the idea, amid fears the gig could descend into violence.
The hip-hop star – real name Curtis Jackson – scrapped the performance, but vowed to keep the rest of his plans for the weekend (29-30Aug09) in place.
Jackson organised buses to take local kids to the Six Flags Great Adventure theme park in New Jersey on Saturday (29Aug09) and scheduled a picnic event back in the borough of Queens on Sunday (30Aug09).
And even though he wasn’t allowed to perform, the rapper was delighted with his achievements over the weekend.
He tells MTV.com, “I just wanted them (the kids) to have a good time. I don’t want to preach anything. I’ll leave the preaching to the preacher. I’ll let my actions and activities I’m involved in speak for me instead of trying to convey a message that people won’t receive from me. I’m not sure they’re ready to receive that from me. It’s cool when they see what I actually do. It’s my neighbourhood.
“The things I say (in songs) may not be something you would expect or look forward to hearing from a role model. But it’s my choice as an artist to write the harsh realities. So I’ll always be inspiring to the kids that got on the buses. So they’re the important people in this situation.”