Power 105 At Barclay Center, Thursday, October 22nd, 2015, Reviewed
Here were the choices open to radio station Power 105 Thursday night:
1 – Have rappers bring out full bands and suffer the audience with long breaks
2 – Have the rappers just use DJs are have a fast paced show.
Instead, all the rappers used DJs and the break between sets lasted forever and the show ran so late I left at 1225am and still missed some of Kendrick’s set. That’s one part of the bad news, the other part is the sets weren’t all that hot -I mean some were pretty good, but it is 2015, have we come so far to listen for hours to hard beats and rappers singing along to their hooks? The cheap seats were $75 to Thursday night’s show but having said that a pretty good value for a terrific line up made it a real opportunity to see some great rappers in one place. A great opportunity that did not pay off.
Jidenna – The Nigerian rapper, dressed smartly, had the line of the night, “Have dirty blood but smart clothes” -his father’s words to him about not dressing like your profession. The Nigerian rapper lectured us between songs but rolled out a credible “Classic Man” – B
Omarion – May only have one song but it is a killer song, “Post 2 Be” but in the worst performance of the evening he sang along to the hook, and blew the verses entirely. A terrible performance by a man who has been around long enough to know better – D-
Jeremih – I’ve never been convinced this sex singer was anything much and the set kinda blew bad, except for a fine “Birthday Sex” -his first hit, which had the mostly black, mostly female audience losing their collective minds. A question for hip hop fans, what is with the intensely annoying foghorn DJs ? Natalia Rosa came out to sing the Whitney Houston so far beyond simply sampled “Somebody” – C+
Meek Mill – The set of the night and by far. They coulda rolled it up after this and everybody would’ve felt it had been worthwhile. A 50 minute mini concert with Meek filling the stage with his posse and rapping clear cut classics like “All Eyes On You” (Nicki Minaj waved to us from the sidelines) and “R.I.C.O” -despite Drake bouncing him earlier this year. PS Chris Brown should have been there. Mill shouted out the late lamented Lil Snupe, invited A$AP Ferg on stage, and then Rick Ross in his first appearance since his second heart attack, and finally DJ Khaled in terrific form. I love the latest album by the way and the Drake feud is forgotten and forgiven – B+
Fetty Wap – After breaking his leg in a bike accident, he was stuck on a throne this night like Dave Grohl, though he would’ve sucked standing up. French Montana made an appearance, and we got “Trap Queen”, “679” and a coupla others but it was beat heavy nasty sounding stuff – C-
Big Sean – I haven’t much liked Big Sean since “Live This Life” and actively hate “One Man Can Change The World” -even the Rudimental remix. But, with the caveat that by the time Kendrick Lamar hit the stage I was exhausted, this was the rap performance of the night. On an elaborate stage but still with just a DJ, the man was easily the best dancer and his rapping was amazing, as fast as Twister but even slicker on a phenomenal “All Your Fault”. Personal best? “Clique” – B+
Future – I am willing to admit that I was seriously exhausted by the time I got to Future, it was past 11, but this was beyond bad rap ordinaire. Everything Future should be was well beyond him -how lazy can one man be? I can’t believe it was the same guy who blew me away this summer, singing to the hooks and preening. Nice sneakers though. No Drake either, motherfucker.
Kendrick Lamar – My third time seeing Kendrick and my third time being completely unconvinced. Man, he couldn’t even sell “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”. Three songs in those that stayed began to leave and with every reason to push himself to the forefront of rap in front of his peers, he failed to do so. If Kendrick is the best, what does that make Kanye? A hugely disappointing set – C