On October 6th, Boost Mobile Rock Corps (BMRC) transformed NYC’s Radio City Music Hall into the United Nations of hip-hop and rock. The volunteer network invited over 5,000 students who had dedicated at least four hours of community service to attend a concert headlined by Boost Mobile’s original poster boy, Ludacris.
Nick Cannon, sticking to what he does best, hosted the show with Biz Markie on the wheels of steel. The thoroughly entertaining duo worked well, with Cannon’s charismatic audience interaction and Biz Markie’s perfectly timed musical selection. Together they never allowed for a lull in crowd participation.
Above: Swizz Beatz performed “Tambourine” with special guest Eve.
BMRC left room for a wealth of surprises in the form of guest appearances. Hurricane Chris “Ay Bay Bay’d”Â his way across the stage to the finger snap motivation of the crowd. A dedication to the great producers of our time gave Marley Marl, Just Blaze, and Swizz Beatz the opportunity to showcase their greatest hits. While Marley Marl spun timeless classics like “The Symphony,”Â Just Blaze ran through a medley of Def Jam hits. But it was Swizz Beatz who topped his peers by bringing Jadakiss and Eve onto the stage to perform “Wild Out”Â and “Tambourine,”Â both of which he produced. The crowd’s wildly loud reception nearly caused an NYC earthquake.
Although hip-hop performances reigned, rock bands Angels & Airwaves and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus were well received by the ethnically diverse, but notably hip-hop oriented crowd. Angels & Airwaves, with their intergalactic intro, sang their most recent single, “The War,”Â while The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus roped in the audience with their radio hit “Face Down.”Â
While Ludacris was the headliner of the show, he wasn’t the only stellar performance of the evening. The concert, originally a two-hour event, came in at a little over three hours, due to the fact that artists had a hard time ending their acts. The crowd just didn’t want them to leave. The energetic showman Yung Joc leaped across the auditorium to a flurry of applause and hollers from his fans. Fabolous, heavily supported by the large amount of Brooklynites in the crowd, went from his repertoire of love ballads to harder tunes like “Gangsta Don’t Play,”Â featuring Junior Reid, who joined him on stage.
Busta Rhymes and his Flipmode sidekick, Spliff Star, ran through a timeline of hits that had the crowd on their feet and others climbing on chairs to get a peek at the stage. A verse on J. Holiday’s “Bed”Â reminded the audience of Busta’s lyrical speed and skill. Keyshia Cole sang each of her songs with the passion of a personal vendetta and put the audience onto her newest single, “Shoulda Let You Go.”Â
When Ludacris, the show’s closer, appeared on stage to a tiring crowd, he easily found ways to motivate through commanding tracks like “Move Bitch”Â and “Stand Up,”Â which proved that when he moves, everyone most definitely moves with him. He went the route of medley in his song performance, moving through his music catalogue with confidence. Luda’s energy was contagious; his audience even created a moshpit of chaos near the stage. And with that, the show closed the same way it had opened—monstrous and mind-blowing.
–Lauren J. Rivera