Atlanta went in hard this past weekend as Ludacris, Young Jeezy and T.I. took to the stage at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, N.Y. as part of HOT 97 and Big League Entertainment's Holiday Bash '08. Despite the inclement weather, thousands of Hip-Hop heads of all ages ranging from tiny tots in hoodies to granddads sporting fresh New Eras came out to bask in the show.
Luda had the crowd standing on their seats from beginning to end with joints like Southern Hospitality, Pimpin All Over The World and Ho. The hyped up public was also served with Chopped N Skrewed, and finally finished off with a vigorous performance of Move joined by DTP crony I-20.
Even with a good energy building, the shows momentum was often impeded by poor sound. The microphones were low and at times it was difficult to decipher what the artists were saying.
After a brief break, Young Jeezy hit the stage properly sporting a blue Yankees cap as what would seem as a sign of homage. Jeezy came in with the track Welcome from his days when he was known as Lil J; which was followed up with the crowd pleasers Who Dat and Bottom Of The Map.
After a couple of more tracks, the audiences energy seemed to dwindle. Just then Jeezy asked for everyone to take their cell phones and lighters and lift them up in the air, and as everyone did, the opening to Soul Survivor dropped. The entire room vibrated with ovation. Jeezy went on to perform I Luv It, and a Kanye-less Put On. After declaring that aside from dropping The Recession the most momentous part of 2008 was when Barack Obama was elected, he ended his set with My President Is Black
After yet another break, a sudden blast came from the stage; and in the midst of the sparks and flames T.I. stepped up to close the show, draped in a Billionaire Boys Clubs Ice Cream collection ensemble full with varsity jacket, graphic T and his signature shades which are never left behind.
T.I.P went on to check the alleged fake n****s in the game with songs like Every Chance I Get and You Dont Know Me, which the audience rapped word-for-word in a cult-like chant. After blazing the show with countless hits including Why You Wanna, Bring 'Em Out, Big Things Poppin, Live Your Life and the energetic Swing Ya Rag, T.I. was completely topless, showcasing that pigeon chest that oddly enough drives the ladies wild. The self-proclaimed King closed the show with the female-friendly Whatever You Like as a shower of fireworks encircled him.
Other highlights of the night were Jim Jones and his Dipset affiliates who always receive love from the N.Y. public. The Diplomats went on to perform hits like Pop Champagne and Day And Night (Remix) along with Kid Cudi. Also, Busta Rhymes hit the crowd with new hits like his latest Arab Money as well as his classic verse from Scenario.
The Holiday Bash was enjoyable, with some slight dull moments and techinical problems, but quick recoveries. Overall the night was a testament to the fact that New York does indeed have love for the South.
Photos taken by Nigel D.