T.I. Mixes Party Anthems, Tribute To Late Friend At NYC Show

He sends 'Live in the Sky' out to 'my partner big Phil.'

NEW YORK — New York fans are getting a healthy helping of T.I. this week. On Sunday, he’ll be among the plethora of MCs unloading lyrics at Giants Stadium during Hot 97′s Summer Jam. And on Thursday night, Tip and opener Yung Joc performed two shows (one at 8 p.m. and one at 11) at the legendary Apollo Theatre.

Tip started the last show of the night standing in the middle of the stage wearing a Bathing Apes hooded sweatshirt, orange shorts and sneakers to match, and a Louis Vuitton backpack.

The music for “King Back” started, and Tip removed his hood to reveal his face.

“I welcome you and get acquainted with the youngest in charge,” he rapped. “Respected from East to West like he was running the mob/ Dictating, ain’t taking orders from no one but God/ I know you n—as is broke, ’cause I know that you charge.”

With DJ Drama on the turntables, Tip showed no signs of fatigue as he ran around the stage for “Top Back,” “Rubber Band Man,” “Motivation” and “ASAP.”

“Apollo, let’s get it,” he yelled, making the letter A with his fingers; the crowd followed suit.

Some of the ladies in the front row found a different way to use their hands as they began grabbing at T.I. when he rapped in their section during “24′s.” Tip went into a string of his female-friendly records: “Freak Though,” “Let’s Get Away” and “Why You Wanna.”

“Go and tell a n—a no, wit an ass so fat,” the Apollo audience sang along. “Hey, why you wanna go and do that love, huh?/ Hey, hey, why you wanna go and do that, do that?”

“Y’all better act like the flyest mutha—-a in the world is in here,” Tip told the crowd. “I’m only gonna give you one more chance to get loose,” he said before starting the song “Get Loose.”

Tip then told the crowd to take out their cell phones and hold them in the air to let the light shine. He said he wanted to talk about those who weren’t there because they’re dead or in jail.

“How you live, you go,” Tip told the crowd as the beat for his “Live in the Sky” dropped.

“Life’s ups and downs they come and go,” T.I. rapped. “But when I die, I hope I live in the sky/ All my folks who ain’t alive, I hope they live in the sky/ Pray to God when I die that I live in the sky.”

“We dedicate this to my partner big Phil,” T.I. yelled for his friend Philant Johnson, who was killed in a shootout in Cincinnati in April (see “Deadly Shooting Causes T.I. To Re-Evaluate His Life” ). “We still love you. Ain’t sh– changed.”

T.I. started bringing his train into the station with “I’m Straight.” Tip and his whole P$C crew were onstage, and every time he would rap “I’m straaaaiiiight,” everyone would throw their arms open wide and lean back.

Tip ended the show with mega-hits “Bring Em Out” and “What You Know.”

“When I chirp shawty, chirp back/ Louie knapsack where I’m holding all the work at!” he roared.

“What you know about that?” the audience responded.

“Hey, I know all about that!” he answered.

For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.