Live From The Stage: XXL’s Freshmen ’10 Concert
Six members of this year’s XXL magazine “Freshmen Class”—Nipsey Hussle, Pill, Jay Rock, Donnis, Big Sean and Freddie Gibbs—gave a spirited performance at the Highline Ballroom last night.
While there were no locals on the bill (a fact discussed on various forums and sites across the ‘Net), the New York audience showed the rap neophytes much love, lining up for hours before the show started and packing the venue to the rafters.
Asylum/Warner Music artist Jay Rock kicked off the show with a set that included his biggest track to date, “All My Life (In The Ghetto)” which features Lil Wayne and will.i.am. Jay Rock’s debut album, Follow Me Home, is set for release sometime this year.
Power 105.1′s DJ Envy was the night’s host and resident DJ.
Hip-hop theorists say G.O.O.D Music/Def Jam artist Big Sean is Kanye West‘s sometime ghostwriter. After seeing his confident live performance and hearing his braggadocious lyrics, we wouldn’t be surprised if it were true.
Obligatory crowd shot! (Every rapper asks the audience to put their hands up, so let’s say this could be from any of the performances.)
Gary, Indiana’s Freddie Gibbs attacked the stage with his forceful delivery and powerful presence.
The charismatic Pill (of “Trap Goin’ Ham” fame) kept the crowd hyped with his natural swagger and raw energy. His upcoming mixtape, 1140: The Overdose, will be a collaboration with DJ Drama.
Almost a younger, safer version of T.I., Atlanta’s Donnis was definitely a highlight. One of the stronger lyrical performers, Donnis is also a showman. The new Warner signee brought out the big guns for his stage time, including Estelle (pictured below) who called Donnis her “little brother.”
Estelle’s guest appearance was followed by another: Ryan Leslie. R. Les hit the stage to play keyboard, sing back-up vocals and perform.
Nipsey Hussle was the final Freshman performer, bringing a crew with him (all decked out in blue) and opening his set with his trademark hit, “Hussle’s In The House.” A large portion of the predominantly male audience immediately threw up gang signs as soon as Nipsey hit the stage.
After waiting till after 1:30am (the show started at 9pm) the night’s “surprise guest,” Cam’ron, finally hit the stage with his new protége, Vado. They performed a mix of old and new hits alongside what was undoubtedly the biggest crew of “goons” on stage that night.
Thanks to Vanessa Satten, Rob Markman and the XXL team for showing the DrJays.com Live team love!
Additional images: ADayInTheLifeOf.com