The folks at Hot 107.9 in Atlanta sure know how to throw a party. For their 17th annual Birthday Bash, the southern radio staple celebrated with a who's who of top rap talent like Lil Wayne, T.I., Usher, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy and about 20,000 hip-hop fanatics.
"Every time I come it's just a new energy," Miami MC Rick Ross told MTV News immediately after he jumped off the Philips Arena stage. "ATL, for the South, is a very special place, and I feel like anybody from the South, they're gonna recognize that and it's a beautiful thing. It was a wonderful night."
The magnitude of the concert still isn't lost on Lil Jon, a Birthday Bash veteran. "I can't even believe there has been 17 Birthday Bashes, and I probably been to 10 of them, so it's always good to be in the hometown where it all started from," he said.
Gucci Mane estimates that he's performed at the annual throwdown four or five times already. In 2010, he brought out his protégé Waka Flocka Flame, and this year, he graciously shared the stage with hometown favorite DG Yola, who was recently incarcerated. "I know the city's crazy about him, it's a good look for him so that made me feel good just seein' him goin' back getting' embraced by the city," Gucci said.
The Zone 6 rapper wasn't the only one with special guests. T.I. proved why he is widely regarded as the King of the South with an electric performance that included surprise cameos from Young Jeezy, Usher, Lil Wayne and Kelly Rowland.
The concertgoers weren't the only ones surprised when Kelly and Weezy performed their #1 hit "Motivation" together. "I didn't even expect to see her up there, I was just told I was coming out to 'Motivation.' I thought that was kinda weird," Tunechi told us. "Then when I seen her out there I understood everything."
"I supposed to put it in words, you saw the stage of Birthday Bash set on fire," T.I. said.
What is your favorite Birthday Bash memory? Let us know in the comments!