Why Was 50 Cent in the Gayborhood Last Night?

Two words: Effen vodka.

50 Cent with Ernest Owens at Voyeur Nightclub.

50 Cent with Ernest Owens at Voyeur Nightclub.

Here’s something I thought I would never report ever in my life: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was spotted in the Gayborhood.

Yes, the rapper. Yes, that guy.


Known for the mega-hit “In Da Club,” that’s exactly where I found him Saturday night at Voyeur Nightclub. He was there to promote his Effen vodka brand — yes, it’s meant to sound as if you’re censoring the the F-bomb — and nothing more.

Voyeur, a popular LGBTQ nightclub in the Gayborhood, is co-owned by brothers Billy Weiss and Michael Weiss, who are also the co-owners of Woody’s, across the street. The latter bar has been in the news lately over alleged covert racism in their dress code policies. But Saturday night, Billy Weiss was all about “reaching out to the community.”

“We thought it was a good idea to bring 50 Cent to Voyeur to promote his brand,” Weiss told G Philly. “We’re planning to work with the community to prove we’re inclusive — we have a hip-hop music lounge upstairs [at Voyeur] and plan on hosting an upcoming community forum at Woody’s that will address any problems people have with management.”

Voyeur was a packed house that played uncensored hip-hop till 5 a.m. There was a live DJ and drummer, black female exotic dancers, and a man dancing awkwardly in a light-up body suit. There were unique Effen vodka drink specials for guests along with an open bar the first hour. Some patrons were surprised by the new vibe.

Effen Vodka drink specials at Voyeur. Photo by Ernest Owens.

Effen vodka drink specials at Voyeur. Photo by Ernest Owens.

“It feels like a black club up in here … they done brought 50 Cent out,” said Jay Simmons, a 27-year-old black gay attendee from Atlantic City. “I haven’t heard this much rap music played here in one night — they really trying to get those black coins.”

But some felt like the choice was off-key.

“Why 50 Cent — he’s not even gay,” said Davante Rashad, 25, outside of the club. “He’s homophobic as fuck and he’s just using us to buy his fucking vodka.”

It’s true that 50 Cent has had a tumultuous relationship with the LGBTQ community. In 2004, he said he “ain’t into faggots” but thinks “women who like women, that’s cool.” He once suggested that society “need organizations for straight men in the case you’ve been on the elevator and somebody decides they want to grab your little buns.” But despite a long list of other offenses, the rapper has been adamant that he’s not homophobic — even when recently bashing LGBTQ characters on television.

I briefly got to enter 50 Cent’s VIP booth at Voyeur when he arrived around 1 a.m., an hour late. As expected, security was tight, with only his entourage allowed access inside. I maneuvered my way in for a brief photo and quickly asked him why he was in the club.

“I’m here for Effen vodka,” he told me. That’s all he said before our photo was quickly taken and I was back in the plebeian section of the nightclub.

He reiterated the same sentiments when I posted our photo on Instagram. After a few of my followers made some suggestive jokes about his appearance at Voyeur in the comments, he chimed in to promote his Effen vodka and nothing more.


Screenshot via @MrErnestOwens on Instagram.

Screenshot via @MrErnestOwens on Instagram.

Interestingly enough, the rapper seems not to want his fans to know he was in the Gayborhood because he hasn’t posted anything about his appearance on social media during or leading up to the event despite doing so excessively for the straight clubs he was also booked at.

Guess it was all about his Effen vodka after all.