WASHINGTON, D.C. — "She's a Bad Mama Jama," a string of Biggie records, "Arab Money" and "Pop Champagne"? This Mayor's Ball was no night of stuffed-shirt political posturing. Nah. D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty put together quite a party on Sunday night at the Washington Convention Center. And he handpicked the performers of the night, not because of their involvement in various community projects, but because he really likes their music.
[artist id="1235716"]Fall Out Boy[/artist], [artist id="1162"]Wyclef Jean[/artist] and [artist id="1225081"]T.I.[/artist] all captivated the stage. Tip's set was short and bursting with enthusiasm. A clean version of "Bring 'Em Out" was the kick-off number. Tip didn't cuss at all during his program.
"Swing Your Rag" followed, and even if you didn't have Gucci or Louis on, it was OK. The crowd twirled whatever they had in the air. "Live Your Life" elicited the most ecstatic display of crowd participation, with everyone yelling "ayaaaaaaa-ayaaaaa-ayaaaaa" on the hook.
"Everybody who's ready to represent Barack Obama, make some noise!" the King of the South encouraged. "Everybody who's ready to welcome the 44th president into the United States, let me hear you scream."
T.I. was off to his next gig, a concert at club Love with [artist id="1240040"]Akon[/artist] and [artist id="1243444"]Young Jeezy[/artist], but not before the finale of "Whatever You Like."
"If you represent for Michelle Obama, let me hear you scream," the Atlanta igniter said. "It's the King baby, be easy."
Fall Out Boy had the honor of being the night's last act. The foursome ramped up some of their hits such as "I Don't Care," but they were was most interesting when giving new takes on covers — a luxury playing live affords you.
Patrick Stump sang a rock version of Estelle's "American Boy," which he switched to "American Girl."
Then there was the "Patrick Mashup" introduced by bassist Pete Wentz, who was sporting a T-shirt that read "I Heart BX" for new son Bronx. Wentz said the frontman would be singing a song best described as Akon-meets-R.-Kelly, mixed with Sonny and Cher.
Stump sang the hook of Akon's "Don't Matter" over a slow guitar riff then brought in lyrics from R. Kelly's "Ignition" remix. He ended with bringing back the "I got you babe" from 'Kon's "Don't Matter" and finished with the hook from Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe."
Sandwiched between FOB and T.I.P. was the bill's elder statesman, Wyclef, who'd kicked off the inaugural celebrations the night before at the Green Inaugural Ball. At 36, 'Clef is definitely older than he was as part of the Fugees, but the dude just keeps increasing his stage prowess. He broke genre and language barriers Saturday, rapping in Spanish and French as well as English.
"If you like George Bush put your hands in the air right now," he told the audience after "Ready or Not," and the people booed in response. "On Tuesday, get your stuff and get the hell out of the White House. Tell me one thing George Bush ever did good except [pardon former Fugees producer] John Forte."
"Fu-Gee-La" came next and towards the end, the Haitian Grammy winner did a live remix, rapping over his band's variation of the beat to "A Milli."
"Y'all ain't getting crazy enough for the mayor," Wyclef warned. Soon after, he laid down his law with a freestyle. "I'mma be rich cause the next president's Obama ... / Get out, get out, I'm talking about Dick Cheney."
The attendees at the ball also saw Wyclef do his patented back-flip. He also jumped into the crowd during "Sweetest Girl" and brought a boy onstage while rapping "Hips Don't Lie." Before leaving the stage, 'Clef revealed a new version of "If I Was President."
"If I was president/ Obama, with the father from Kenya, with the spirit of America/ We voted for him," he rapped. "Obama's the president/ They said the deaf men would never hear, I tell them, 'Yes we can' ... / The mortgage crisis, we ain't scared / Health care, we ain't scared / If you ain't scared of no terrorists, put your hands in the air."
"Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural" will air live on MTV on Tuesday, January 20, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. MTV News will have wall-to-wall coverage of the event and of the scenes in Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Kenya in the days leading up to the event and in the days that follow.