Hip hop’s elite visit Tallahassee for concert

Ticket holders sprinted to the main arena of the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center when its doors opened Saturday at 7 p.m to get prime-choice seating to witness what many called the best event to hit Tallahassee this year.

This year’s homecoming celebration came to a close with “The Last Big Show of the Year,” the 2006 student government association concert.

The concert was hosted by radio personality Sean D of 90.5 WANM and began with a brief introduction and welcome by Florida A&M University Student Body President Phillip B. Agnew and Student Body Vice President Monique Gillum.

In an attempt to get the crowd hyped, Agnew and Gillum gave away prizes and led spirit chants such as “FAMU, FAMU, FAM I love you! Alright, alright, alright!”

The packed auditorium was filled with students, visitors and members of the Tallahassee community singing popular hip-hop and rap songs played by DJ Lil Boy of radio station Blazing 102.3.

“It was like partying at a club,” said Aldon Wilson Jr., a former FAMU student from Miami, “and this was before the concert even began.”

The first act to perform during the concert was the FAMU Strikers, who gained much acclaim for appearances on BET show 106 and Park.

Other opening acts included a performance by R&B group F.A.M. and the up and coming rapper R.Y.P.

Members of the concert committee say they were pleased with the positive feedback they received from the audience in regards to the opening acts.

The crowd’s energy quickly rose as R&B artist Kelis ran to the stage singing her hit single “Milkshake.”

Audience members rose to their feet and ran to the front of the arena to sing along as Kelis sang her songs “Blindfold,” “Billionaire” and “Bossy.” The show took an unexpected turn during Kelis’ performance of “Blindfold” when her husband, rapper Nas, made an appearance on stage to sing his verse in the song.

“Nas coming out was the hottest part of the show,” said concertgoer Kamila Jones, of Tallahassee. “I don’t think anyone expected him to show up.”

The scene switched up a bit when rapper Plies, the newest addition to Slip and Slide Records, came to the stage singing songs from his album, “100% Real Nigga.” The performance featured a guest appearance from Pleasure of the group Pretty Ricky, who is featured on Plies’ single “Get u wet.”

The audience’s energy and participation climaxed during Lil Wayne’s performance. The New Orleans native came to the stage blasting his hit single “Fireman.”

The rapper looked to the floor, took a deep breath and announced to the crowd, ” I just gotta let ya’ll know a ni– don’t feel too good right now, I swear to God.” Lil Wayne then took a moment to collect himself and went on give what many say was the best performance of the evening.

“I liked the way Lil Wayne mixed in all his songs,” said Courtney Culmer, a fifth-year pharmacy student from Jacksonville. “The whole show was wonderful. It was great,” Culmer said.

Lil Wayne performed a combination of his new songs and old hits, including the songs “Stuntin’ Like my Daddy,” “Go DJ” and “The Block is Hot.”

The show concluded with performances by T.I. and Young Dro. The self-proclaimed “King of the South” entered the stage sporting a new, grown-out hairstyle.

T.I. began his set with one of his first hit singles, “Rubberband Man.” The Atlanta native went on to sing some of his most popular songs, including “Bring Em Out” and “Why You Wanna.” During his performance, T.I. brought out a fellow member of the Pimp Squad Clique, Young Dro, who got the crowd moving to his singles “Rubberband Banks” and “Shoulder Lean.”

Alexia Robinson, concert publicity committee chair, said every one on the committee was thrilled with the outcome of the show. “We are very pleased with the turn out,” Robinson said. “We want to thank the student body and members of the Tallahassee community for their full support; it was more than we expected.

“We had a few minor difficulties but we are elated, excited and delighted.”

Committee members said funds from this year’s concert will go to a notable cause.

“The proceeds from the concert will go back to the A&S funds,” said Elijah Bowdre, 20, a junior business administration student from Long Beach, Calif.

“Some funds will be forwarded for a concert in the spring. Students can look forward to that,” Bowdre said.