Monday, June 21, 2010 at 9:43 a.m.
Fueled by sets from hip-hop's biggest money makers, Power House 2010--presented by Power 106 FM-- delivered a massive, beer-soaked night club radiating with radio gloss, left-field surprises, Laker pride and a touch of 90s nostalgia. Drawing crowds that nearly sold out Anaheim's Honda Center on Saturday, June 19, the night lasted for a little over 5 hours and included performances from Drake and new school notables Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Jason Derulo, Baby Bash, B.o.B and Bruno Mars.
Laid back legend Snoop Dogg acted as the show's headliner along with a few major surprise guests including Laker stars Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Ron Artest, Tyrese Gibson and Oscar De La Hoya. And what would any mega star line-up be without a surprise performance by blingified rap mogul Diddy? Needless to say, hits were played, dubs were "put up", shirts were ripped off, female fantasies were fulfilled and flesh was shamelessly (and we mean shamelessly) flaunted. In the spirit of recapping some of the most tweet-worthy moments of the show a comprehensive "Best Of" Powerhouse list. It's sure to be disputed but trust us, we look forward to it.
Best one-hit opener: Cali Swag District.
Like any big hip-hop show, Powerhouse offered a rapid fire line-up of acts to open for the show's main support. Any rapper-of-the minute with a modest hit seemed to qualify. But we have to give props to Inglewood's Cali Swag District for getting the crowd dancing with 2010's annoyingly popular dance craze, the Dougie (Google it, parents). Of course any group that combines a hit and loosely structured dance moves is a winner in our book.
Best shameless Michael Jackson impersonation: Ne-Yo
Few people in the world can pull of a Michael Jackson look without looking, uh, bad. During his theatrical, Jackson-esque set, R&B crooner Ne-Yo sported all the essentials: Thick-ass white socks, polished loafers, ankle-breaking dance moves and a black fedora that covered his eyes for most of his songs. All he was missing was a glittery glove and a jehri curl. Honorable mention for this award goes to up-and-coming lothario Jason Derulo, who's black leather jacket, studded knee patches and copper-plated Nikes made him look like an extra from the music video for "Beat It."
Best jail bait joke: Drake
At 23-years old, Drake is a little too old to be seducing minors with his glossy hooks and deep, brown eyes. Good thing he knows that (thanks to his pal Lil Wayne). At one point, he decided to bring a lucky lady from the crowd on stage to woo her in front of thousands of jealous female fans. After a few minutes of hugging, touching teasing, the Canadian heartthrob asked people in the crowd for a small request. "I need everybody to pause their cameras for a second," he said. Turning to the girl on stage he asked if she was 18. There was a brief pause, and then a "yes." Whew, close one dude.
Best prop tricks: Ne-Yo
Shameless MJ rip-offs aside, Ne-Yo gave us some solid showmanship of his own on Saturday. Especially in the field of cane twirling. Backed by a thunderous live band, he busted out some prop work with a pimp cane towards the end of his set that was part samurai, part Michigan J. Frog. It was the kind of tightly-rehearsed talent that took the level of Powerhouses' showmanship up a notch. And he didn't even have to rip his shirt off!
Best female crowd response: Trey-Songz
When the stage went dark to prepare for R&B stud Trey Songz, the decibel level of high pitched, female screams was deafening. And that was before he even came out. Though there were plenty of huge eruptions from the crowd that night, Songz easily garnered the largest response from the ladies with songs like "Can't Help but Wait" and "Say Ah" performed with a live band.
Best Laker cameo: Ron (the rapper) Artest
It must feel really good to be Ron Artest right now. Not only did he redeem himself in the eyes of Lakers fans during the final games of their NBA playoff victory over the Celtics, but he also followed it up with a Powerhouse performance of his very own rap song, "Champions." Artest was the first Laker to come out, followed by Bryant and Fisher, but his performance definitely made him stand out, even though we're pretty sure he should stick to basketball.
Best homage in the middle of a song: Drake
Staying true to his Young Money crew, Drake performed his verse of the ubiquitous radio hit "Bed Rock" in which he took a second to honor late R&B singer Aaliyah. Using the lyrics from her song "Are You that Somebody," he and his band did a brief, live instrumental cut of the song before finishing his verse. It was a quick transition, but it a memorable one.
Best part of Diddy's surprise set: Performing "Mo' Money Mo' Problems."
Remember when we still looked at Sean "Diddy" Combs as a rapper instead of a reality T.V. star? Though he mostly tried to pump up singles from his latest group, Dirty Money, Combs definitely evoked some "back in the day" nostalgia from his his glittery suit phase in the 90s with a crowd pleasing rendition of "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems featuring piped in lyrics from the late Notorious B.I.G. One word: classic.
Best wardrobe: Snoop Dogg
Though there was plenty of bling and flashy costumes at Powerhouse, none topped Snoop Dogg's blue-drenched bandanna print body suit. Never have flowing adult pajamas looked so gangster. And during bass-rattling, old-school tracks like "Deep Cover" and "What's My Name?" we got flashbacks of the Dog Father during his glorious, gangsta rap hey day. Chuch.