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50 Cent @ Fine Wine & Good Spirits in Northern Liberties.

July 27, 2015

50CentVodkaText by Lissa Alicia. Image by Chris Fascenelli.

Last Wednesday, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson made a grand appearance at the Northern Liberties Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection Store on Girard Avenue to debut his new vodka, EFFEN.

By five o’clock, when the event was to begin, the liquor store was a complete madhouse. Hundreds of people had lined up to see the Get Rich or Die Tryin‘ rapper. And in a shop that is already disorienting due to the sheer size of the store, the excited crowd only made things worse.

In order to even get within three feet of 50, people were required to purchase a $24.99 bottle of his vodka. The line that zigzagged through half of the store extended all the way to the back door, where fans of the multi-platinum artist were required to wait outside in the scorching heat. For those who were uninterested in purchasing the liquor but wanted to catch a glimpse of 50 Cent, there was a wide aisle where people mulled around, unsure of what to do or where to go.

Around 5:15, 50 arrived in the building, creating much buzz. Ten minutes later, the man of the hour appeared before the crowd.

“He didn’t come in through the back,” said Ebonie Phillips, a Wine & Spirits employee and 50 Cent fan. “He just showed up. It was like he appeared out of the men’s room. He just walked by and I couldn’t do anything but smile.”

50 looked completely unbothered, as if he actually wanted to be there. As he walked toward the front of the store – flanked by his security and other personnel, all eyes were drawn toward his electrifying smile. He quickly posed for a few pictures, waved at fans and made his way toward a small area where he would sign bottles and pose for pictures with fans. Before taking a seat on the throne-like chair, 50 Cent stood on the chair and began recording video of the loyal fans going wild.

In addition to the visitors clutching the surprisingly smooth-tasting vessel of vodka, a few people were holding on to original artwork. Apparently there was some sort of art contest that was facilitated by the EFFEN team where creatives were asked to paint their version of the EFFEN bottle. A few people brought their work with the hopes of winning the contest.

“I am a self-taught artist,” said Michael Courtney, who was juggling multiple paintings and EFFEN bottles. “I was entering the contest, so I brought in some paintings to show him and try to get him to sign one.”

50 Cent’s vodka is actually pretty tasty and affordable. His fans seemed like the couldn’t get enough of it. But the real question is, will EFFEN take the top spot of rapper-endorsed vodka from Ciroc?

Only time will tell. Until then, grab a bottle and try it out.

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