Diddy and Snoop Dogg Bring Out Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Lil’ Kim, 112, More at The Tip-Off Concert [Video]
The energy in New York City on Thursday night (Feb. 12) was palpable thanks to the festivities surrounding the NBA All-Star game. Diddy and Snoop Dogg served as the welcoming committee for basketball fans in the Big Apple with The Tip-Off, a concert kicking off the main event at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
As DJs from Hot 97 (the radio station supporting the event) mixed records for the crowd, those sitting in the sold-out venue waited in anticipation for the artists that were about to take the stage. French Montana and A$AP Ferg were the only other rappers announced on the bill alongside Diddy and Snoop, leaving fans clueless as to who the surprise performers would be — they didn’t disappoint.
The night was a celebration of East Coast and West Coast unity, along with every region in between. When Diddy opened the show with Suge Knight’s infamous speech at the 1995 Source Awards (which took place right at MSG), we didn’t know where the night was headed. But the Bad Boy Records founder was preaching positivity, telling the concert-goers that the negativity was best left at home (or in jail where Suge currently sits).
For the next four hours, artists like Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Lil’ Kim, Kurupt, Big Sean, 112, the Lox, Black Rob, Nas and Faith Evans, among others, graced the stage to perform some classic material. Everyone was on their feet — and in the aisles — as soon as Diddy emerged to the sounds of his ’90’s hit “Victory” and brought out Jermaine Dupri to kick things off with “Welcome to Atlanta.”
From there, Ferg touched down with “Work,” Dre shocked the crowd when he made an appearance for ‘The Next Episode,” Busta Rhymes showed up for “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” and newcomers like iLoveMakonnen and O.T. Genasis their hits “Tuesday” and “CoCo,” respectively. Snoop ran through his history of hits from “Murder Was the Case” to Drop It Like It’s Hot” to “Gin and Juice.” The stage was also a kaleidoscope of color due to the light show, which was its own spectacle.
The “wow” moments of the night were aplenty with Kanye performing his 2007 song “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” off Graduation. The hilarious moment during his set arrived when he scolded a camera operator filming the show. Yeezy wanted a wider shot.”More action,” he yelled. “This is hip-hop.”
Lil’ Kim popped up to booming applause, joining Diddy and the Lox for “All About the Benjamins.” “Money, Power & Respect” followed, with the New York City natives Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Styles P never missing a beat. Then the stage heated up even more when Nas, wearing a floor-length fur coat, grabbed the mic for “Hate Me Now,” all while fiery graphics lit up the screen behind him.
R&B received its fair share of shine as well when 112 showed up to woo the audience with Valentine’s Day-appropriate tunes like “Cupid” and the sensual ode “Peaches & Cream,” and Faith Evans showcased her powerful pipes during the emotional ballad “I’ll Be Missing You.”
Experience the all-star performances below.
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