NEW YORK — When you think about it, it’s only fitting that Maybach Music MCs Wale, Meek Mill and Stalley held court on Monday night as The-Dream rocked the second of a two-night run at SOB’s. Among the ranks of R&B crooners, few have more rap swag than Mr. Terius Nash: From the Roc-A-Fella chain to the vintage throwback jerseys, the singer laced up, slinging NBA metaphors like any good rap star. Then, as if to solidify his credentials, he waded into an R&B beef with the Weekend.
When Dream visited our “RapFix Live” late last month, the Love King told host Sway that he had no conflict with Drake’s enigmatic homey. “No, it’s not a beef record to the Weeknd,” The-Dream insisted after a fan tweeted asking about subliminals in his “Ghetto,” from his 1977 mixtape. Fans have been quick to draw comparisons between the Grammy winner and the upstart for their atmospheric singing and production styles.
With destination blog Rap Radar hosting the proceedings, it was hard to believe the Georgia crooner hadn’t given the Weeknd a lyrical left-hook. “See I created this sound/ Yes, sir, I shut it down / There’s only one #1 / These other n—as are my sons,” he sang before the sound dropped out for an emphatic pause.
The Toronto singer wasted no time, responding with a few Twitter lashes in the wee hours on Tuesday morning (March 13): “I was raised old fashioned, you get at me, i get at you… ain’t no sideways sh– about it.”
The Weeknd wasn’t the only one who came under fire though on a balmy Monday night in NY. Dream opened with the beautifully layered kiss-off ” Wake Me When It’s Over,” widely perceived to be a missive aimed at his ex-wife, singer Christina Milian. “You knew it was over / I knew it was over,” he sang before alluding to tabloid pictures that showed the still-married Dream splashing on a beach with a lady friend back in 2010.
When he wasn’t airing folks out, The-Dream kept at it, making the case for R&B, a genre pronounced dead more times than we care to count. The soft-spoken Def Jam artist alluded as well to his two-year hiatus from the stage, explaining that he was getting back on his square. He treated the room — filled with as many fellas as there were ladies — to standouts from 1977, including the addictive “Wedding Crasher” and “Used to Be.”
If there was any complaint about the intimate show, it’s that an artist of Dream’s caliber is more than ready for backup singers over the backing tracks that sometimes threatened to overpower his vocals.
After a wardrobe quick change from his Chicago Bulls ensemble, the newly trim Dream returned in a fitted leather and New York Knicks jersey combo. Launching into crowd faves like “Shawty Is a 10,” “Falsetto,” “Walking on the Moon” and “Fancy,” the singer showcased his Prince-inflected flow.
A Kim Kardashian lookalike got a personal treat, as Dream pulled her onstage and grinded her through a … slow seduction. He didn’t hesitate to profess his love for the female anatomy either, in straight graphic terms.
“I love makin’ records,” Dream told the crowd. But it’s getting to share them live that’s truly inspiring, he admitted before shutting it down with the ladies’ anthem “Rockin’ That Thang.”
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