After years of bringing out some of the biggest names in urban music this years RNB Fridays Live show has really ramped up the star power bringing out a stellar lineup of musicians whom together embody everything RNB stands for. Representing Blues, Jazz, Reggae, Rap, Hip-Hop, Urban and Pop the diverse lineup spans globally and incorporates hit makers from the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and includes current stars to showcase the true evolution of RNB while also allowing an array of fans of each era a moment to see global superstars entertain them. Having previously brought out artists like Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland, singer turned DJ Craig David, rap anthem-maker Kelis and reggae-pop fusion artist Sean Paul this years artists had big shoes to fill but after the line-up announcement dropped there was no question that this years performers were up to the challenge. With 25 Billboard awards, 11 MTV awards, 10 Grammys, 6 BET Hip-Hop awards and 5 AMA awards amongst many others this years group were certain to bring the house down.
90’s RNB trio Next started the day off playing through their catalogue of work, including their infamous tracks “Too Close”, “Wifey” and “Butta Love” before UK songstress Estelle treated us to a mix of her new work and a very memorable version of her hit song “American Boy”. New Jersey’s own Naughty By Nature took to the stage next and showcased why they’re music has been played for over 3 decades while they performed a string of hits including “Hip Hop Hooray” “O.P.P” and Jamboree amongst telling the crowd how much it loved plying to Australian fans. Taio Cruz came next with a set that warmed us up performing hits like “Hangover” “Higher” and “Dynamite” before handing it over to Ginuwine who got into the crowd before performing “Pony” with help from Naughty By Nature. Trey Songz then showed us just why he continues to be at the top of the charts as he worked through a wide catalogue of tunes the crowd lovingly sang along too. Ready and warmed up a duo of independent women acts came next – Eve first and with her arrival came a rap-along set that included hits from her early work like “Satisfaction” and “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” to her more recent work like “Tambourine and “She Bad Bad” before turning it over to two OG’s of female rap Salt-N-Pepa who didn’t waste any time in showing us that they still got it and from “Push It” to “Shoop-A-Doop” we were trying every 80’s/90’s dance trend their was. Playing a dual headline role crooner/ love-song maker Usher teamed with rapper and hype-man Lil Jon to put on an exceptional performance that left the crowd dancing while singing and rapping along to their vast amount of hits. From their early work like “U Got It Bad” and “Get Low” to “Turn Down For What” and “DJ’s Got Us Falling In Love Again” the duo performed an extensive set of hit after hit that left the crowd buzzing long after the show had finished.
If you haven’t yet gotten to this years RNB Fridays Live then what are you waiting for? The national annual event is still plying in a few cities so if you can put on your best sneakers, tracksuits and band tees and get yourself to your closest concert. From the 80’s to now the show has something for everyone and I can tell you as an avid fan of RNB/ Hip Hop this isn’t a show you want to not have seen!