ATLANTA — Radio station Hot 107.9 celebrated a milestone anniversary with its annual extravaganza of stars, Birthday Bash 15, on Saturday night. Gucci Mane closed the show for the first time, after Rick Ross, Ludacris, Plies, Monica, Travis Porter, Waka Flocka Flame, Trina, Uncle Luke, Lil Jon, Ciara and Mr. Birthday Bash himself, Young Jeezy, hit the stage at Philips Arena.
Rocko, Shawty Lo and Monica paraded out classics (some of them just as old as 107.9) and new hits. Then it was time for the man nicknamed Ricky Rosé.
Rick Ross got in front of the crowd wearing a platinum colored jacket and more chains and medallions than Mr. T. He started his set with the two most popular records from his Albert Anastasia EP, “MC Hammer” and Blowin’ Money Fast (B.M.F.).”
During the latter, Ross popped a bottle of rosé and let it spill on the crowd. A woman onstage with him wore a T-shirt that read “Free Meech,” a reference to the convicted leader of the BMF crime organization Ross compares himself to in the song.
“Hustlin’ ” and “Super High” followed. The Bawse ended with verses from various guest appearances: “All I Do Is Win” (for which everyone in the arena put their hands up during the chorus), “O Let’s Do It,” the remix to “Angels” and “Hello Good Morning.”
Plies, one of Birthday Bash’s most consistently popular performers for the past few years, proved he’s more than just anthems. The Florida Goon entered the stage wearing a bathrobe and slippers sipping out of a coffee cup. The DJ dropped Usher’s “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home),” as Plies danced and pretended to grope a woman, before he rapped his verse to the song.
“Knock, knock, guess what, the Goon’s home,” he rapped. The audience almost drowned him out, singing along. “Gone three days, brought a quarter mil home/ Miss me to death/ Guess what she wrote/ Miss you too, put that on your ringtone.”
Plies kept the audience on their feet with a flurry of his catalog favorites such as “Plenty Money” and new bangers like the brash “Becky.”
Although Young Jeezy wasn’t officially on the bill, he kept his show-stealing streak up, coming out as a guest of Plies’ to perform his “Lose My Mind.”
“Why y’all trippin’, I’m just fine,” everyone yelled on the chorus. “12:45, ’bout that time/… This sh– crazy, way too batty/ Rosé, baby, waste two stacks/ Hardest thing in the lot, that there mine/ Can’t spell sober, lose my mind.”
Later, on Plies’ verse, the spectators continued to join in. “Guess what my momma told me?/ She hate my patnas/ Guess why she hate ’em, though/ ’Cause all of ’em robbin’/ F— the police, ’cause all of ’em problems.”
Later in the show, it was time for hometown heavyweight Ludacris. He started out with “Southern Fried Intro” and proceeded to go ape, with a streamlined array of crowd pleasers that included “Southern Hospitality,” “My Chick Bad” and “How Low.” ’Cris introduced an assortment of guest performers, including Trina, Lil Scrappy and Diamond, Tity Boi and the biggest surprise, Luther Campbell.
Campbell brought out his world famous Luke Dance to shake it to songs like “Doo Doo Brown,” “Captain D Comin'” and “It’s Your Birthday.”
“Make some mutha—-ing noise for a legend,” Luda commanded. “They didn’t see that sh– coming.”
Gucci Mane finally got his spot as the show’s closer. The time off from the scene due to his incarceration has had no adverse effect on his standing among the fans. Gucci is huge, and the Philips Arena was heavily anticipating his arrival.
Gucc started with a short video where a faux news report labeled him Georgia’s Most Wanted. Backstage, Gucci watched himself on the arena’s hanging big screens while Waka Flocka Flame peeped the intro from a monitor. The short featured Gucci being chased through the forest.
Finally, Mr. LaFlare, who is normally very laid-back onstage, walked out to receive the loudest ovation of the night. Fittingly, Gucci started his set with “I’m Back Bitch.”
“If a n—a try me, I’mma have to bust his ass/ A couple old schools in my backyard … / If I don’t know ya, I’mma have to serve ya … / You on my sh– list/ I’m on the Forbes list.”
Next came a couple of the highlights from his State vs. Radric Davis LP, “Heavy” and “Lemonade.”
Gucci was later yelling “Burrr” on the stage, wearing a towel on his head.
“N—a, you don’t love me/ N—a, you don’t love me,” all the women in the crowd sang on “White Girl (I Think I Love Her).”
“Bring my young boy out here!” Gucci ordered, setting up Waka’s appearance. Flocka’s presence onstage is the opposite of his big brother’s. He jumps, shakes his dreads and keeps the crowd crunk. The main attractions were “Hard in Da Paint” and “O Let’s Do It.”
The Brick Squad team ended the show with “Steady Mobbin’ ” and “Wasted.”
“What the f— is up?/ It’s Gucci Mane the G,” he rapped on “Steady Mobbin’,” a song off of the Young Money compilation. “So icy, so no Nike boy/ Just Gucci, Louis, Pradas, ’scuse me/ ’Gucci Mane keep shi–in’ on me/ Why that boy keep buyin’ jewelry?’/ East Atlanta cockin’ hammers/ Bandanas on car antennas/ No, we do not talk to strangers/ Just cut off these n—as’ fingers.”
Were you at the Birthday Bash? Share your reports of the show in the comments below.