John Legend has fans comparing him to Lil Mama now that a recent impromptu performance has begun to circulate on social media.
In the video that is headed toward viral status, Legend is onstage alongside 50 Cent performing the chorus on the rapper’s massive 2003 hit song “21 Questions.” While the singer’s supporters have no complaints about his vocal abilities, comments send a clear message that his talents are not parallel to those of the late Nate Dogg, who sang on the actual track.
Nate passed away suddenly due to complications from a stroke in March 2011. He was 41. Following his passing, 50 Cent tweeted that he wrote the song in its entirety but “needed nate to sing it for me. He had a way of making everything feel hard.”
Fast-forward to present day, and comical quips have instead clowned the “Ordinary People” artist for adding an unexpected tinge of church vibrato to the song with extra emphasis on words like now and down. “Chrissy come get ya man’s. Fif tryna hold back the laugh and keep the performance going but shiddd. They said nobody asked him to perform, he pulled a Lil Mama on stage. Awwww man,” an X user posted.
Rapper Lil Mama famously crashed Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ 2009 MTV Video Music Awards show performance of “Empire State of Mind” when she walked onto the stage. The then-20-year-old even resisted Beyoncé’s attempt at stopping her. In 2021, Jay-Z said his fellow New Yorker was forgiven for letting her excitement get the best of her.
@ace876media.ent1 50 Cent performing 21 Questions live with John Legend #50cent #johnlegend ♬ original sound – Ace876media
At different points during the “21 Questions” performance, the “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” hitmaker is observed smiling as he and the crowd took in Legend’s rendition of the chorus. The spectacle reportedly took place in New York at the 12-time Grammy Award-winner’s 45th birthday bash.
50 Cent is said to have been in attendance for the celebration as well as a guest performer. Another person wrote, “John Legend turned this into a Selma banger.” And a third reaction read, “John Legend and Jennifer Hudson the only people I know that sing every song like a negro spiritual.”
While 50 Cent and Legend have yet to officially join forces for a musical collaboration, the EGOT winner has found success with his contributions to other hip-hop records. Common, Nipsey Hussle, Chance The Rapper, Saweetie, Kanye West, and Slum Village are all artists he has worked with at some point in his 20-plus-year career.