Following the release of their debut albums, singer Keyshia Cole and rapper Remy Ma have embarked on a national tour to show their fans love.
After two hours of anticipation, the first lady of the Terror Squad Remy Ma entered the Electric Factory stage on April 6th with trumpets blaring to her first single, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” Donned in a red Asian inspired zip-up, a long black crimpy mane and signature blonde bangs, Remy brought her New York City swagger to the streets of Philadelphia. She performed her verses from M.O.P.’s “Anti Up remix” and the summer anthem of 2004, “Lean Back.” She went on to do the second single off her album, There’s Something About Remy, “Whateva.” The high speed annoyingly catchy club banger epitomizes her persona. She is bold, brash, vulgar and unapologetic.
But it was her freestyles that got the crowd hyped and proved that she could hang with the best of them. In one of her many off the dome pieces, Remy out rapped the track and continued to spit a cappella. She laid down raw raps for the audience, “See I’m known to Chaka Khan (shock a con) cause I’m every women, Remy Ma the don is so conceited, think I’m hot, your not, just overheated.” Although her set was short, the Boogie Down Bronx native worked the crowd from beginning to end.
“Remy’s fly, I think she’s an exceptional artist,” said Safiya Burrell, a graduate student at Lincoln University. “She’s empowering,” Burrell said. “She makes people feel good about themselves.”
But it was Keyshia Cole’s soulful voice that wooed the audience. The sea of restless and eager fans had begun chanting her name until she finally hit the stage at about 11:10 p.m. The small framed and unassuming young lady in an all white suit and high boots commanded the audience’s attention with her powerful vocals and a live band.
After performing her Kanye West produced track, “I Changed My Mind,” Cole took the crowd on a melodic journey through tales of heartbreak, rejection, pursuit and love. Belting out, “Every man’s gotta go through it, every girl’s gotta go through it. It’s a thing called love,” the R&B siren had the crowd singing along. Cole has an element of “girl from the block” that adds to her presence; the idea that females from all over can not only relate to her music but also to her as a person.
It was the performance of her current single “Love” that heightened Cole’s show. There were no synthesizers, DAT machines or lip synching devices; just Keyshia Cole and her band. The electric guitar, drum and base complimented her rhythmic cries of sorrow and heartache.
“I liked it,” said Rachel Marcelo, a West Chester college freshman. “It was good.”
Despite the wait, fans got exactly what they were looking for: unfettered braggadocio of Remy Ma and the strong R&B sounds of Keyshia Cole.
Renita Burns can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.