In a packed arena nearly 10,000 Tallahassee residents, students and alumni attended Florida A&M University’s Homecoming Concert, “The Set,” at the Leon County Civic Center Saturday night.
The concert featured R&B singer Musiq Soulchild; rappers Lil Wayne, Lil Boosie, Webbie and Tallahassee’s self-proclaimed hero T-pain.
With a 5-7 piece band and two background singers, Musiq opened the show, crooning the audience with smooth ballads like “Halfcrazy,” “Love” and following up with several mid-tempo songs.
Dressed in shades, a Kangol hat and a trendy sweater and shirt, Musiq crept to each corner of the stage and managed to get what he described as the “too cool crowd” out of their seats.
As he belted a string of high notes, audience members sang along to hits like “Just Friends” and “Buddy.”
Musiq closed his set with his upcoming single “Makeyouhappy” from his latest album “Luvanmusiq.”
Once Musiq wrapped up his show, DJ Q45 from BET’s Rap City The Basement and the Kool Runnings Crew, lit the stadium with cell phones for a tribute to the late Skipper Chuck, a well-known Miami DJ.
After a short intro, rappers Lil’ Boosie and Webbie appeared onstage wearing colorful jackets, white t-shirts, massive platinum jewelry and a sizable entourage.
The two pint-sized emcees put on a show that catered to their true fans, beginning with a few of their underground classics and finishing out their set with their more commercially successful material, like “Independent,” “Excited” and “Wipe me down.”
With the flashing lights of cameras and glow in the dark doo-dads, onlookers bounced and screamed to the sounds of base booming hits “…like Beyonce, like Trina…”
As their portion of the show came to an end, members of their entourage tossed CDs and posters to rambunctious fans on the floor.
Minutes after Boosie and Webbie made their exit, Slip-N-Slide Records’ Protégé, Plies, joined by Miami’s own DJ Khaled, went on to perform a string of his most popular songs from his album “The real testament,” including “I am the club,” “1 Mo time” and “Shawty.”
Bouncing and swaying from side to side with closed eyes, pockets of adolescent girls recited nearly every word of the lyrics to “Shawty.”
“…Even though I’m not your man, you’re not my girl Imma call ya my shawty…”
While onstage Plies said it was a pleasure to be performing in what he called “one of the realest cities in Florida.”
Towards the end of his performance, Plies invited an audience member with a family member in jail onstage and gave him $1,000 on the spot.
Marvin Seabrook, 19, a rapper from Wildwood said he had no idea something like that could happen to him and that he was grateful for the money.
“He [Plies] is one of my influences and every little bit counts,” Seabrook said. “The money is for my daddy, he’s in jail for 25 years.”
Despite controversy over a recent arrest because of outstanding warrants, T-pain was in attendance, wearing a large platinum chain modeled after a Tallahassee Police Department badge.
Joined by Jay Lyric and Tay Dizm, two artists from Nappy Boy Entertainment, T-pain performed a compilation of some of the many songs he’s been featured on within the last year.
From the remixes of “I’m a flirt,” ” Pop, Lock and drop it” and “2-step” to “Dance floor” and “Kiss, Kiss,” T-pain delivered a smorgasbord of musical selections.
The concert’s headliner, Lil’ Wayne, ran onstage and was welcomed with wild applause from the crowd.
On tipped toes, viewers tilted over rows to catch a glimpse, as he performed old hits along with new material from his latest mixtape, “Da Drought 3.”
Later in the show he strummed his acoustic guitar with a few bars of “My Leather So Soft.”
His label mate, mentor and close friend, Baby, also performed his verse on the song “Stuntin Like My Daddy” with Wayne.
He continued with “Go DJ,” and ended the show with a lip-synched version of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” as a tribute to his fans.
The concert’s organizers said this year’s Homecoming concert was a big success and everything went smoothly.
Tyler Cheatham, 21, a senior business student from West Palm Beach and this year’s homecoming concert chair, said although the group of Poison was unable to perform because of time, the show was “10 times better than last year.”
“From planning it so far in advance, everything really unfolded as we expected,” Cheatham said. “Everyone gave beautiful performances and it had no down time…We had something to keep them on their toes at all times.”
Cheatham said students can look forward to the first annual spring concert next semester.
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