Very few artists can say they yield such luminance and staying power as P.Diddy and Snoop Dogg. Last Thursday, it was only right that two of the biggest pillars representing East and West coast hip-hop joined forces for the Hot 97 “Tip Off” concert. This capacity-packed, Madison Square Garden show not only signaled the start of All-Star weekend, but also marked the first time in more than 20 years the two hip-hop stars appeared in New York on the same stage, then known as The New Paramount Theatre. This wasn’t just any appearance. This was an onslaught of hits (after hit, after hit… take that) curated by Puff and Snoop, featuring some of the biggest names in hip-hop– past and present.
The show began with Hot 97’s Ebro, Laura Stylez, Peter Rosenberg, DJ Enuff, and their newest addition Nessa amping the crowd up with what was to come. Comedian Alex Thomas set off the show with some funnies, followed by the legendary master of the ceremonies Doug E. Fresh. Doug E. took the crowd back with a lively freestyle, some funky history lessons on all things hip-hop, and of course “The Dougie.”
Majority of the crowd danced(all night really) while the “Teach Me How to Dougie” instrumental rang through the speakers. After that, Doug E. began to beatbox with his protege and dancehall artist Lil Vicious entering to perform “Freaks,” much to the crowd’s delight.
Diddy then made his grand entrance, featuring classic footage of Suge Knight’s controversial speech at the 1995 Source awards as the backdrop. After briefly admonishing Suge’s comments and speaking on the importance of positivity, Harlem’s own begun his set with “Victory,” “Welcome to Atlanta(Remix)” with special guest Jermaine Dupree, and “D.I.D.D.Y.”
The energy quickly rose about 40 more notches with P.Diddy performing “Pass The Courvoisier” with a kingly robe and crown-clad Busta Rhymes. Bussa Buss then performed “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” before bringing out OT Genesis for his infectious single “CoCo.”
French Montana followed with “Shot Caller,” “Aint Worried About Nothing,” “Ocho Cinco,” “Pop That,” and “Don’t Panic” with Bad Boy-mate MGK in tow.
The stage was now set for Long Beach’s very own Snoop Dogg who came out in a blue jumpsuit performing “Next Episode” with no other than Dr.Dre himself. The west coast nostalgia continued, with “Aint Nothing But a G Thang” off the doctor’s classic debut The Chronic, before making his exit with “Still Dre.” The synergy between D.R.E and Snoop D.O double G was duly noted.
Snoop then brought out T.I for his Young Thug assisted-single “Aint About The Money.”
Naughty By Nature, ASAP Ferg, 2 Chainz, and Kurupt also got stage love.
Puff reminded everybody that “New York is the mecca of having a good time.” Tis was a groove in the big apple. Shortly after that, the Hot 97 soiree was led into a nifty west coast ode of Snoop and 2 Pac’s “Gangsta Party.”
Changing the tempo for the ladies, Snoop crooned “Sexual Seduction” and also brought out Makonnen to perform his Grammy-nominated single “Tuesday.” Spare a few brief technical difficulties, Diddy informed the house staff to bring the lights down and just like that North West’s dad was performing “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” After Kanye performed, Diddy ushered in 112 who took it back to classic Bad Boy R&B.
You got the feeling that anybody at any moment could show up at this show. And that they did. Enter the electric Keyshia Cole. A little after that, Puff surprised the crowd like “Whoa” with Black Rob entering to perform the hit single. The Lox and Lil Kim continued the cool Bad Boy reunion during the “Its All About The Benjamins (remix) and “Money, Power, Respect” portion of the show.
No moment stood out more then when Puff Daddy and Nas both came on stage rocking fur coats, in vintage “Hate Me Now” mode. God’s Son countered with “Made You Look.” Honorable mention special moment goes to Diddy’s son Christian Combs for exhibiting some slick dance moves and even doing his best Puff impression.
There were quite a few more surprises– Detroit’s newly minted Ciroc boy Big Sean performed IDFWU, Snoop rocked a few more jams, and Snoop and Puff culminated the night with BIG and Pac tribute records.
If this year’s Summer Jam is going to be anything like The Tip-Off concert, then everyone will be in for a treat. As Diddy would say, as we proceed!