It was an evening fit for Hip-Hop royalty as Rap legend Nas graced the stage at the Blender Theater at Gramercy Park on Tuesday, July 15th. That day would be a special one in his fifteen year career with the release of his highly controversial ninth studio album Untitled (Def Jam).
The performance was held in conjunction with Hot 97 which followed an in-store meet and greet at Virgin Megastore. The album signing saw more than one thousand plus fans; some of which contentedly relocated to the theater and waited in a line wrapped around the block to see the man of the hour perform.
Mister Cee and DJ Enuff entertained the crowd spinning records from the Wu-Tang Clan, Method Man & Redman and fellow Queens groups Capone-N-Noriega and Mobb Deep amongst other Rap staples. Despite the fact that the venue was as hot as a sauna, ticket holders still kept their spirits up in anticipation of Nas performance. The two-story venue also saw celebs like Jermaine Dupri, L.A. Reid and of course first lady Kelis.
Dawning an red Fila t shirt and white pants, Jones hit the stage with DJ Green Lantern on the turntables after a brief slavery reenactment which lead to the opening of N.*.*.*.*.R followed by Sly Fox. Keri Hilson came on stage to assist Esco on the Polow Da Don produced Hero.
It wasnt until singles were played from classic debut Illmatic that the sweat-stained audience went into frenzy. N.Y. State Of Mind, It Aint Hard To Tell and The World Is Yours amongst others caused fans to mouth each word allowing Nas to stand back and hold out the mic.
Nas kept things going with You Owe Me, and his memorable verse on Missys Hot Boys. He even dedicated the often hated on Oochie Wally for the ladies. When he surprised the crowd with the James Brown influenced Get Down, the heat ravaged venue took its first casualty as a poor female passed out.
A few more selections were performed from his more recent catalog along with Got Ur Self A Gun, Shoot Em Up and Made You Look closing out the show. Watching a legendary lyrical poet like Nasir Jones perform is like watching Hip-Hop history unfold before you. In spite of the steaming temperature and one persons fainting spell, Nas still carried out an outstanding performance to add to the books.