This was my third year attending the biggest Reggae Concert in NYC, Hot 97’s, “On the Reggae Tip.” Every year Hot 97 gets the top Reggae artist to come perform at the Hammerstien Ballroom. This year’s lineup had an abundance of talent. The lineup included: Movado, Ding Dong, Voicemail, Richie Spice, Macka Diamond, Allison Hinds, Machel Montano, Baby Cham, Alicia Keys, Elephant Man and Beenie Man. The lineup this year was ridiculous. Doors open at 6 p.m., I got there 4:30 and there was still at least fifty people in front of me. Once we got in everybody was getting loose drinking, smoking, getting hype before the show even started.
After the DJ got the crowd hype, Jabba came out and decided to have a dance contest. He didn’t say it until the second round, but the dance contest was for $1,000 dollars! I have video of the contest, the girl on the right clearly one, but he split the money between the both of them evenly, even though the crowd begged for them not to.
First artist out was Macka Diamond. Females enjoyed, “Yuh Nuh Ready,” and, “Bun Him.” As the only female Reggae star in the lineup, she held it down and had all the females hype.
The next two acts were Ding Dong and Movado. Ding Dong came out dancing and the crowd went nuts. Then came the craziest moment of the night, Ding Dong jumped into the crowd while singing the big time hit, “Bad Man Pull Up.” As you can see from the video it was pure chaos and Ding Dong was right behind me as girls swarmed him. Then came Movado, I can hear girls screaming, who said they came just for him. When he played his hit, “Gangsta for Life,” the entire crowd sang along and danced in the limited space they had.
Next up was Voicemail and Richie Spice. Voicemail gave a good performance, running around the stage dancing. Richie Spice seemed like he smoked a little too much and sang songs people didn’t know so he got a lukewarm response. He would of done better if he sticked to his major songs.
Next up was Baby Cham and Alicia Keys. As soon as Baby Cham hit the stage I can feel the pressure from all the girls moving up to try to get as close as possible. Girls was staring at him with some indecent thoughts in their head. He performed his older hits and had the crowd going wild. The females seem to enjoy his little dance moves, screaming every time he would start dancing. He later one to perform his more recent songs, “Tables will Turn,” and “Vitamin S.” Then came the climax of the night, Baby Cham performed his major hit, “Ghetto Story,” and in the midst of it the grammy award winning artist, Alicia Keys came out to perform the remix to, “Ghetto Story.” Baby Cham went to his knees singing the song while Alicia Keys backed him up, providing the most profound image of the night. Baby Cham performance was the best of the night.
Then it was time for madness to ensue, Mr. Energy God, aka Elephant Man came out in a Hulk costume. When the mask came off deafening cheers took of the ballroom. Elephant Man gave his normal energy filled performance, climbing on top of speakers and bring a girl on stage to dance on him. His performance was good but didn’t live up to last year. Maybe it wasn’t that spectacular to me because I’ve seen him perform several times.
Next up was something new to the Reggae Tip concerts. For the First time I can recall their were Soca artist added to the lineup. These artist were Allison Hinds and Machel Montano. Allison Hinds performed uplifting songs for the females while Machel Montano did his best to get everyone dancing. Both succeeded in entertaining the crowd and having everyone moving their waist.
The last artist for the night was the long time Reggae Superstar, Beenie Man. Some girls went wild again screaming and pushing their way to the front. He gave a a good performance and kept the crowd jumping and waving. The crowd would erupt every time a new hit from Beenie’s massive catalogue was played. Foxy was standing on stage but disappointingly didn’t come out to perform the , “Hmm,” remix.
Overall the show was very good. Don’ feel like it was better than last year though, even though last year I was sitting down. The order of the performances should of been switched and some artist should of focused more on songs that people know. In the end, Hot 97 again delivers another great Reggae Concert.
Baby Cham & Alicia Keys
Elephant Man & Beenie Man
Macka Diamond, Ding Dong, Movado, Voicemail, Richie Spice, Allison Hinds & Machel Montano