Old School Reigned Supreme At Power House 2011
“I Am The West”
The black banner that draped along side the DJ booth behind Ice Cube not only proclaimed his status as one of the most legendary West Coast rappers to date but also set the tone for his 40 minute set during Power House 2011 on Saturday night.
Although the sold out crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. had a night full of big named artists such as Lupe Fiasco and Wiz Khalifa, it was the old school rappers who reminded the audience of why they first fell in love with hip hop.
Dressed in all-black, reminiscent of his NWA days, Ice Cube got the crowed out of their seats with classics such as “Today Is A Good Day”, “Check Your Self”, “We Be Clubbing” and “Gangsta Nation”. Ice Cube also brought his old N.W.A bandmate, MC Ren, out during the song “Hello”. When the mood struck him, Ice would crip walk across the stage as fellow member of Westside Connection, WC, through up the “W” sign, representing West Coast to its fullest.
Fellow LA rapper DJ Quik also took the stage and brought back a cool and relaxed performance that could have only been mastered during the 90’s. No flashy chains or a 20-man pose, all DJ Quik needed during his set was a beat and a mic and the crowd appreciated it. Singing along to his songs including “Can You Work With That”, DJ Quik showed the audience some love by jumping into the crowd during one of his songs. Later during his set, Suga Free and the Rejectz joined DJ Quik as they acted as hype men, dancing around on stage.
While the two O.G.’s reminded everyone what makes them some of the best rappers in the West, the newcomers also proved that they deserve to headline next to such veterans.
Before joining DJ Quick, the Rejectz started off the concert with their own eight minute set. Their high energy dance moves got the crowd on their feet, while their performance of “Cat Daddy” got everyone in the audience to wheel chair stunt. Pint sized rapper, Mann, continued the momentum with his song “Buzzing” while Big Sean finished his own set with his first single “My Last”. Although Chris Brown didn’t join Big Sean on stage during the song, there was no shortage of guest appearances during the concert.
50 Cent surprised Jeremih during the performance of “Down On Me”, which was the first time they have ever performed the song together on stage. 50 then stayed on stage to perform “Crime Wave”, “Outlaw” and “Bitch”. However the “lady killer” was not to be upstaged by the rapper as Jeremih accepted a double platinum plaque for the song they both perform on.
Critically acclaimed rapper, Lupe Fiasco, let his hair down and brought Trey Songz on stage to perform “Out of My Head”, which made all the women in the audience swoon. Unfortunately, Lupe had some mic issues through out his set, but continued to kick and push through his performance with his intense stage presence.
In the most surprising, yet oddly predictable, guest appearance of the night, Snoop Dogg blazed the stage with Wiz Khalifa to perform their new joint “That Good”. The two “High School” co-stars have recently bonded over extra-curricular activities, as Snoop fittingly walked out on stage smoking the chronic.
T-Pain and LMFAO were by far the most energetic performers of the night. T-Pain, a man who needed no introduction, wowed the crowd with dance moves one wouldn’t normally expect from a man of his stature. Along side of four backup dancers, T-Pain danced the night away to “Buy You A Drink”, “All I Do Is Win” and "Booty Work”. T-Pain, also took care of the ladies by singing Beyonce-sized rifts during his single “Best Love Song”.
LMFAO brought to the stage a performance that made Cirque du Soleil look lame. During a set that could only be described as a twisted, Willy Wonka world in the 80’s, LMFAO party rocked along side dancers tossing props into the crowd. The duo performed club favorites “Shots”, “I’m In LA Trick” and “La La La”.
Unfortunately the fun couldn’t last forever, as Power 106 revealed its hugely anticipated guest performer. In the lowest point of the night, Ron Artest came out in what is probably the most awkward and uncomfortable performance in Power House history. Nothing is worse than a performer who has no stage presence, and not only did Artest not have that, but he seemed scared the entire time. Next time Metta World Peace wants to get his rap game on, let him do it in the Lakers locker room, not in front of a paying audience of 18,000.
Despite that mishap, Power House 2011 was probably one of the most exciting concerts most of the people in the arena have ever attended. The headliners and their friends took the concert to a whole other level with their passion, presence and high energy performances. Power 106 never fails to get the biggest names in hip hop for the event and it will be exciting to see what artists makes the cut next year.