DJBooth Goes Backstage at Chicago’s “Hip-Hop Invasion 2008” [Exclusive Coverage]
Chicago, IL -- Over the past three years, DJBooth.net has attended artist meet-and-greets, album release parties, private listening sessions, in-store signings, and just about every other type of event that promotes or is affiliated with urban music, but no matter how wild and crazy a concert or live performance can get, absolutely nothing beats the insanity that is “the backstage experience.”
On Friday evening, DJBooth was invited to attend Hip-Hop Invasion ’08 at Chicago’s very famous Congress Theater. The show, which was put on by Chitown Entertainment, featured liveperformances from Three 6 Mafia, Kardinal Offishall, Baby Bash and Ray J. While those in attendance enjoyed enthralling performances from all the scheduled performers, DJBooth hung out backstage and scooped some details on upcoming projects, remixes, touring plans, and much more.
(L) Baby Bash, (R) Shorty Mack
The opening performer of the evening was Houston emcee Baby Bash, who immediately energized the late-arriving crowd with his unique brand of charisma and liveliness. Bash performed hits like “Suga Suga,” “What Is it,” and “Cyclone.” According to the emcee, a brand-new project is being completed for a mid-2009 release; the first single is produced by Lil’ Jon and will be released before the end of the year.
DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia getting ready to go out on stage
Ray J took the stage next, after arriving roughly 45 minutes late, and performed a set that included “One Wish,” “Gifts,” and “Sexy Lady.” Though Ray J declined to comment on his new musical venture, his hype man and best friend since age 13, Shorty Mack, provided plenty of details on his forthcoming debut album. The project, tentatively set for release via Knockout Entertainment/Koch Records, will be entitled Shorty Mack: The Perpman, with “Raining Women,” featuring Ray J as a lead single.
Following Ray J’s performance, a caravan of young ladies followed the singer into his dressing room, which was fully stocked with bottles of Hennessey and Fiji water, and didn’t reemerge until a vehicle arrived to whisk the singer away to his hotel.
(L) Ray J getting out of his vehicle, (R) Lindo P
As Ray J departed, Kardinal Offishall took the stage, flanked by Lindo P and Solitair. The Toronto native performed most of the high-energy cuts from his brand new album, Not 4 Sale, including “Lighter,” “Numba 1,” and, of course, “Dangerous.” Back in Kardinal’s dressing room, the emcee discussed his current goings-on, as well as his plans for 2009. In regard to the lower-than-expected sales of Not 4 Sale, Kardi offered the following explanation: “Akon is happy with the progress of [the album] thus far. He said we’re “Marathonin’ it.” Both of the singles have done very well so far, our patience is definitely paying off.” Two remixes of Kardinal's currently-rising hit single, “Numba 1,” have been recorded, the first featuring David Banner and Alfamega, and the second with Barrington Levy and Busta Rhymes.
Due to a late-arriving flight, Three 6 Mafia was unable to sit down for an interview following their 45-minute performance.
All Photos By DJ Z