New York Shuts Down 50 Cent’s ‘Family Day’ Event
50 Cent's planned "Family Day" Sunday (Aug. 30) celebration for his former Queens, NY, neighborhood has been "postponed indefinitely," according to reports. The event was announced last year, when 50 worked with actor/singer Bette Midler to unveil his Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson Community Garden. "We're gonna make it happen the way we been making it happen, right here," 50 exclaimed, regarding the planned Family Day event (also dubbed "40 Day").
However, due to pressure by various local politicians and media scrutiny, the Sunday event has been shut down by the city. "The G-Unity Foundation and New York Restoration Project are deeply saddened and disappointed to learn that the permit for our upcoming Family Day event was not granted by the City," 50's foundation responded in a statement. "As a result, Family Day - scheduled for August 30th - has been postponed until further notice."
On Saturday (Aug. 29), 50 will still be busing residents from South Jamaica, Queens to New Jersey to spend the day at amusement park Six Flags Great Adventure, where they will also take in a personal performance by 50 (though we're not sure which songs he'd be performing for the kids), as planned.The event, which was sponsored by 50 and Midler, became controversial when local politicians learned that the rapper intended to perform in Queens. The media quoted sources as saying the police were concerned that "a rival or punk out to make a name for himself would try to shot Fitty during the performance," a claim that struck music fans as silly, but managed to upset local politicians.
50 spoke with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials, and promised not to perform, in order that the Sunday event be allowed to continue as otherwise planned. "The Mayor was saying he spoke to 50 and he agreed that it wouldn't be a performance," G-Unit rapper Tony Yayo said. "I don't even wanna say anything bad about him - I don't wanna get pulled over when I leave from outta here! But 50's big, 50s bigger than life. Rumor is he spent over half a million dollars on this."
The Mayor appears to have gone back on his word, however. "I think that's a shot to morale," fellow Queens native Q-Tip said of the postponement. "It's a shot to somebody's morale who's 15 or 16 years old. That's an impressionable soul who sees 50 Cent, how he's not able to see him perform. I think the [city's officials] are aware, but they think [50's] performance may cause rabble-rousing, or get people to act out. That's just an old way of thinking about folk, especially black folk. That's what it all boils down to, essentially."
The G-Unit Foundation expressed their disappointment, saying "Everyone in the community of Jamaica, Queens, especially the children, were looking forward to once again participating in this fun-filled, family-friendly event which was to promote community pride and provide adults and children alike with quality time together."
We can't imagine why the city would shut down an event like this. Hearkens back to an earlier age of rap scapegoating we thought had long since passed.