Though several entertainers claim to be the reason that Atlanta has become the epicenter of Hip-Hop, R&B and all things urban music, old heads know that if it weren’t for the legendary Jermaine Dupri, the ‘A’ would just be the letter on the Braves hat. To pay homage to one of the best to ever do it, a dizzying array of musical luminaries, from Monica and Ludacris, to Usher and Jay-Z, put on a spectacular show at the fabulous Fox Theater to celebrate 20 years of So So Def, the label started by Dupri in 1993, changing the game.
See footage below.
Kris Kross performs:
In one eyebrow raising moment of the evening, Jay-Z, making a climatic surprise appearance, seems to address his wife Beyonce’s lip-syncing controversy. Jay twice stopped his performance when he realized that the DJ was playing versions of songs with his vocals on them. When the crowd, excited and puzzled, screamed for him to continue, he set the record straight:
“I don’t f*ck with the vocals my G,” he told Dupri who was on stage with him. “Let me do my own sh*t. Y’all ain’t have to come out here for that. You could have just played the sh*t and put a picture [of me] up there. I’m sorry my G, I came a long way, I gotta do this sh*t right.”
The crowd roared with laughter and approval.
Jay-Z performs — comments at 3:13:
“Well, I am a perfectionist. And one thing about it is that I practice until my feet bleed,” Beyonce said. “I did not have time to practice with the orchestra. Due to the weather, I did not feel comfortable taking a risk. I decided to sing along with my recorded track, which is a common practice in the industry. It was one of my proudest moments. I am very proud of my performance.”.
Though the controversy lasted well past it’s expiration date, Jay-Z never weighed in. He did, however, make a rare appearance on Twitter to brag about her electric (non lip-syncing) Super Bowl performance that literally caused the lights at the Super Dome to go out.
Whether Jay’s comments were in reference to his wife’s Inauguration performance or not, we know at least one person in the Carter household won’t be doing any lip-syncing. Ever.
But even with Jay’s star power, the night was truly about Jermaine Dupri. Pastor Troy, J-Kwon, Xscape, minus Tiny and Kandi, Bow Wow, Bonecrusher, Anthony Hamilton and many, many more all came through and showed the ‘Mayor’ major love.
Mariah Carey makes a surprise appearance:
As Lil John, who served as the DJ for most of the night said, “This feels like a muthaf**king family reunion [up] in this thang!”
Salute to So So Def and here’s to twenty more years!