Before he exchanges his platinum records for bingo cards, trades groupie-filled after-parties for potluck mixers, and ditches the chrome-wheeled, pimped-out rides for a four-wheeled mobility scooter, rap's all-time leader in record sales -- Eminem -- is bringing his Anger Management Tour to South Florida. If you believe the rumors, Slim Shady is retiring as an emcee so that he can concentrate on his career as a producer. If that's true, this could be the final opportunity to "lose yourself" in his music.
While Em may be the most rugged representative of the retirement community since Bea Arthur flexed her muscle with The Golden Girls, the nine-time Grammy winner is also the headline act for the third installment of the hardcore hip-hop tour. With ticket prices reaching a high not matched even by the smoke-filled tour buses, the angry blond and friends' four-hour adrenaline festival continues to pack amphitheaters throughout the country.
Joining Eminem on tour is his label-mate and current king of the charts, 50 Cent. Despite constant controversy, a violent past, and a wardrobe composed of more Kevlar than cotton, 50 remains a marketable force in the music industry. Propelled by hits "Candy Shop" and "Just a Little Bit," 50's sophomore effort, The Massacre, has reached quadruple-platinum status. Along with monstrous record sales, 50 Cent may very well have more business ventures than bullet wounds, including a forthcoming feature film, his own video game, a sneaker endorsement deal with Reebok, his own line of watches, and an energy drink.
Sharing the stage with these two superstars is the clown prince of hip-hop, Lil Jon. The emcee/producer's trademark 14-karat smile and iced-out goblet are proof that it is possible to make a fortune by simply repeating the words yeah and OK without being a corporate yes man. While his lyrical prowess may be limited, Jon has an ability to make crowds move to his infectious, signature, bass-booming sound, a.k.a. crunk.
Along with the triple threat of Eminem, 50 Cent, and Lil Jon, Anger Management also features Obie Trice, D12, and G-Unit. Even though the bill is overflowing with star power, tour organizers were still able to provide audiences with a glimpse into the future of hip-hop music with a set from the newest acquisition of the Shady/Aftermath label, Stat Quo. Regardless of the fact that the Atlanta native has been anointed the next star produced by Em and Dr. Dre, sharing a stage with the game's biggest names is humbling for Stat, who tells us, "It's an honor to be amongst such great artists on my very first tour."