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."