The Beatdown summer concert put the official stamp on the return of Clear Channel’s, 103.5 The Beat, Hip Hop and R&B. With a lineup that included Kendrick Lamar, Trey Songz, Meek Mill, DJ Khaled and many more artists, the stage was set to be a great night for the music world. Unfortunately, this triumphant return fell on the same night as Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Miami, so a lack of attendance threatened to kill the vibe of the concert series. The success of the concert was also threatened by many late arrivals.
Fortunately for The Beatdown, a solid lineup more than accommodated for the many empty seats. If you were a hip hop head, the performers didn’t disappoint with their energy. Local artist T Row kicked off the concert followed by Rico Love lulling the crowd with They Don’t Know and then by the more up-tempo B*tches Be Like. For the song that takes several shots at women, the ladies definitely were into Love’s two-song serenade.
South Florida is known for it’s large Caribbean community, so it was no surprise when the next act, Mr. Vegas, took to the stage and the crowd went wild. Vegas really engaged the crowd with a solid mix of soca and reggae music and was the perfect intro for Maybach Music’s own Yo Gotti. Gotti gave a surprisingly great performance. Maybe I just didn’t realize before how many hits Gotti has put out or has been on, but he definitely made an impression on the stage.
DJ Khaled was next on the lineup and kicked it off with his hit single All I Do Is Win. Here’s the problem with a Khaled performance. Unless he manages to bring all the artists he features on his tracks on stage with him, it’s usually comprised of him yelling on stage by himself while the DJ plays his track. He did manage to surprise the audience with Fat Joe along with reggae artist Mavado, but the reality is that no one has heard from Joe since Another Round. We could’ve done without the Khaled antics on stage. The final Khaled track was his latest hit single They Don’t Love You No More, and, since Meek Mill was one of the performers for the show, Khaled was able to have some saving grace.
Meek Mill was a definite refresher, especially after suffering through a lackluster Khaled. There is a new swag about Meek, and I can see him elevating himself in the hip hop world. Dreams & Nightmares is always a pleaser, but if you haven’t listened to Meek’s verse on They Don’t Love You No More, then you’re missing out on the evolution of Meek we’ve been waiting for. A solid set by Meek had the crowd engaged. Next on the lineup was Future and Meek gave such a solid performance that nothing was bringing down the hype of the crowd. Future reminds me of a crooning, ratchet rapper of that makes any sense. The crowd was completely engaged, but at times I felt Future wanted us to make love to the hardcore Atlanta beats his uses.
Maybe Future’s intent was to perfectly introduce Trey Songz, who was the next act. Trey, who can be seen as a modern day R Kelly with his “baby making music” style and sexed up lyrics, didn’t disappoint the ladies in the crowd. They were all vying for a chance to be on stage or get some type of interaction with him, while the men quickly became subdued. It was a solid performance from Trey nonetheless but an odd intro to the final performance from Kendrick Lamar. There was no way Kendrick was going to disappoint anyone in attendance. He brings no fluff to the stage. Just himself and his DJ, and that’s really all he ever needs. Solid beats and stunning lyrics gives Kendrick all the ammunition he ever needs to get the crowd hyped.
I will admit that I thought the organization of the lineup was a little strange. Sometimes artists need to get over egos so the show flows smooth. It definitely felt that egos dictated how the artists was arranged. In addition, the surprise guests were a little weak. DJ Sam Sneaker was in the building, but no Rick Ross. With so many of artists signed to his label who performed in the show, it would’ve been nice for Ross to represent Dade County and give the crowd a teaser. Overall it was a solid show. The empty seats didn’t stop the BB&T Center from being hyped the whole night, and 103.5 The Beat let it be known that their return to the airwaves would not go unnoticed.
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