If you’ve ever been to a hip-hop concert, you know that several mishaps can and frequently occur. The show could start late. One of the headliners might not show up. There could be long and unexplained delays. The opening acts might go on longer than expected. The list of possibilities is endless, and Saturday’s Ruff Ryders concert at the Liacouras Center was no surprise.
The show, scheduled to start at 8 p.m., began at 8:30. While a bit late, this is often common procedure for a hip-hop concert. At that point, the concert’s hosts, Power 99 radio personalities Poochman and Mikey Dredd (known as the Hot Boyz) came to the stage. After announcing the lineup for the show (including Jadakiss, DMX, The Lox, and Drag-On) the duo informed the sparse crowd that there would be a couple of opening acts.
The first opening act, a rock group, performed to the sound of boos from the audience. The same occurred when the other four acts came to the stage, but the crowd’s reaction was more indicative of their weariness than the performances from the local acts. One of the few bright spots was the acapella freestyles of Larceny, a Philly-based hip-hop group signed to Ruff Ryders.
After the opening acts were finished, the Hot Boyz confessed that they had been told to keep the acts going until 9:45 because the headliners were running late. Unfortunately, for the next hour, the audience was treated to impromptu performances from people in the crowd. Spectators kept a close eye on the arena’s clock after it was announced that the Liacouras Center was only rented until midnight.
Finally, at 11 p.m., the show began, although it only lasted for half an hour. DMX arrived and gave an amped, albeit short, set consisting of both his hits and new material. Songs from his first album, such as his breakthrough single “Get At Me Dog,” to his newest album (The Great Depression, set to be released on Oct. 23), like “We Right Here,” were covered. The fact that almost everyone in the building knew all of the words to all his songs is a testament to X’s star power. Many became visibly emotional on songs like “Prayer,” but danced in the aisles during “What These Bitches Want.”
While DMX’s performance wasn’t bad, his short, partially lip-synched performance could not make up for the absence of the other Ruff Ryders, especially Jadakiss, his co-headliner. Though, Jadakiss is one of the hottest names in rap at the moment, after not appearing in Philadelphia, he may lose some credibility in the city.