Everyone from Jay-Z to Mariah Carey came out to celebrate 20 years of hits at So So Def’s anniversary concert in Atlanta on Saturday night. So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri put on for his city at ATL’s Fox Theatre with a night full of stars and surprises. The historic event featured performances from past and present So So Def artists including Bow Wow, Da Brat, Anthony Hamilton, Dondria, Jagged Edge, Xscape, and more.
Kriss Kross kicked off the party with “Jump,” which topped the charts for eight weeks in 1992. Two members of Xscape, sisters LaTocha and Tamika Scott, took it back with their ’90s classics. Da Brat got turnt up with a set so “Funkdafied” that her pants literally dropped to the floor. R&B heartthrobs Jagged Edge proved they can still make the ladies swoon with their baby-making jams including “Let’s Get Married.”
Lil Jon, who started his career working at So So Def, challenged J.D. to a DJ battle. During their back-and-forth set, they brought out Bone Crusher, YoungBloodZ, J-Kwon, Lil Scrappy, Dem Franchize Boyz, Pastor Troy, and Bow Wow.
The Cash Money rapper, who was signed to So So Def at the age of 11, was joined by T-Pain for “Outta My System” and serenaded one special lady with his hits “Let Me Hold You” and “Like You.”
Jagged Edge returned to the stage, this time bringing out Nelly for “Where the Party At.” The St. Louis MC showed off his toned physique while trading rhymes with J.D. on “Grillz.” Dondria and Anthony Hamilton represented for the new and old So So Def, and Monica made an impromptu appearance to sing an a cappella version of the J.D.-produced “Love All Over Me.”
Usher had the crowd on its feet with a medley of his biggest hits, crediting J.D. for giving him his most No. 1 records. He sang “Confessions” and shared the stage with Ludacris and Lil Jon for “Lovers and Friends” and “Yeah!”
Luda stuck around for “Welcome to Atlanta” before making way for Jay-Z. The Jiggaman took the stage in a Pyrex hoodie to perform “Money Ain’t a Thang” with J.D. before introducing his own special guest, Young Jeezy, who killed the stage with “R.I.P.” Hov continued with “PSA” and “Ni**as in Paris,” and spit verses from “Jigga What, Jigga Who” and “Clique.”
“Make some noise for this man right here. J.D., a fu**ing legend in this game. I had to come to your town and pay homage and salute you,” said Mr. Carter, who hosted an after-party with J.D.
The festive evening ended with an appearance from Mariah Carey, who wheeled out a cake for her collaborator of many years. She asked for a lighter and to her surprise, Da Brat walked onstage to help her light the candles. “Happy anniversary to my friend J.D. aka Jermash,” said Mimi.
The So So Def mogul thanked his city for an unforgettable evening. “I want to thank all of ya’ll for coming out tonight. I swear to God, I love you ATL. I wouldn’t [have taken] this show to no other motherfu**ing city but mine,” he proclaimed.
Photo credit: Julia Beverly + Instagram