Photos courtesy of Craig Hunter Ross and Bobby Dee
The slogan "Hip Hop and you don't stop" was in full effect in Chocolate City Saturday Match 25th when the My 2000's Playlist Tour hit Capital One Arena. T.I., Ashanti, Ja Rule, Fabolous (a last minute replacement for Fat Joe), Mase, Mike Jones, and Ying Yang Twins were the acts featured on the bill. Ashanti, Ja Rule, Fabolous (a last minute replacement for Fat Joe), Mase, Mike Jones, and Ying Yang Twins were the acts featured on the bill.
Due to traffic logistics, I regretfully missed out on Ying Yang Twins and took my seat as Mike Jones began his set. I've never been a fan of Jones, so honestly, I wasn't expecting much from his performance. However, I will say that got the crowd hype during performances of "Back Then", "Still Tippin" and his verse from "Badd". Jones took time out to left some local talent perform but due to the bad audio, I didn't catch the performers name.
Following a 20-minute intermission set by a so-so DJ, Mase took the stage. Backed by dancers but rapping to prerecorded music, Mase's set was compromised of "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down", "Mo Money Mo Problems", "Been Around the World", "Feel So Good", and "What You Want". Mase jokingly mentioned he was out of breath before ending his set with a prayer. Like Mike Jones, Mase gave a unknown rapper a chance to perform, but I would preferred to hear "Lookin At Me".
The crowd was anxiously awaiting the next artist who happened to be Fabolous. John Jackson was an artist that a lot of people paid to see which was evident by the standing ovation he got. Fab kicked off his set with "Can't Deny It" and quickly sped through his hits such as "Can't Let You Go", "Breathe", "Make Me Better" and "Throw It In The Bag". Fab also took to dance or briefly touch on songs he made guest appearances with artists such as Lil Mo, The-Dream, Trey Songz and Drake. As a Fab fan I will say he show seemed a bit unorganized and some of the DJ transitions didn't mix well at all.
It was then time to go back to the dirty dirty and welcome the King of the South to , T.I. to the DMV. Similar to Fab, T.I. was met with thunderous applause. Over the course of am energetic thirty five minutes, T.I. took the audience on journey through his eleven-album discography. "Whatever You Like", "Bring Em Out", "Top Back", "24"'s, "Live In The Sky" and a personal favorite "Ride Wit Me" all went over well with the crowd. T.I. was easily the best performer of the night and closed out his show with "Live You Life".
The last performers of the night were Ja Rule and Ashanti who [performed tag team style for the better part of an hour. It was evident the two put the most money in their performance as they had effects, dancers and clearly the best sound quality. In addition to performing their duets such you know and love, the two went into their solo work. Ashanti hit "Happy", "Rain On Me", "Only U" and more. Naturally she closed her set out with "Foolish".
Ja Rule on the other hand earned a new level of respect as we often forget just how strong his run was at the top of the 21st century. All of the hits from his second to sixth albums made their way into his setlist outside of "Thug Loving", "Caught Up" and "Holla Holla". Quite honestly Ja and Ashanti have so many hits between them they could easily do a tour by themselves.
For the most part it was a fun night out. However, like most stacked shows some of the artists were rushed and it showed in their stage presences. Nevertheless, I had a great time going back to my clubbing and DJ days.
Final Grade : B