Artist: T.I.Title: T.I. Reigns at The Apollo (Concert Review)Rating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Danielle Stolich
“Before me, there was no such thing as the ‘King of the South’!,” declared a lively T.I. to a packed house at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theatre Thursday night (June 1). Hundreds of fans braved the stormy weather to see the self-proclaimed Hip-Hop royalty cause hell up in Harlem, proving that he and his Pimp $quad Click (P$C) have no intentions of slowing down.
After a hype performance by Bad Boy’s own Yung Joc of “It’s Going Down” infamy, T.I. warmed up the crowd with “I’m Serious” and “ASAP”. Self-assured and smiling the entire night, T.I. felt right at home on stage, delivering an energetic albeit short concert.
The ladies came alive once DJ Drama dropped the needle on the trap star’s hit “Why You Wanna”, with T.I. shamelessly throwing admiring glances and smiles to the scores of female fans in the crowd. After showing more love to the ladies with a frenzied rendition of “Get Loose”, the thug motivation continued as T.I. and P$C kept it moving with favorites like “Motivation” and “Front Back”.
While the concert’s carefree party vibe remained consistent all night, mid-performance T.I. gave a solemn tribute to his slain friend Philant Johnson, who was murdered in Cincinnati in April. As T.I. led the crowd through “Live in the Sky”, hundreds of cell phones gave the theatre an angelic glow. After the fitting tribute, T.I. refused to leave the stage on a somber note. While ripping through his hits “I’m Straight”, “U Don’t Know Me” and to Brooklyn’s delight, the Jay-Z-assisted “Bring ‘Em Out” the crowd proceeded to go crazy one last time.
Prior to leaving the stage after ending the show with his triumphant single “What You Know”, T-I-P made one thing clear. “If you don’t respect nothing else,” he affirmed aloud, “you will respect this hustle and that’s GRAND, bi-yatch!”