BROOKLYN, New York -- Ever since Jay Z christened the Barclays Center with a string of eight sold-out shows last year, Brooklyn has played host to all-stars of all kinds. Last week the BK Nets started their 2013 NBA season in the entertainment compound, just days after Drake took his Would You Like a Tour? show to the shiny New York arena.
On Saturday, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Meek Mill, Fabolous, A$AP Mob, Trey Songz, Lil' Kim, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar continued the trend as they all took the Barclays stage at Power 105.1's Powerhouse concert.
The night stated with a small, but stand-out set from singer/songwriter Sevyn Streeter and another R&B display by K. Michelle a few acts later, but it was the rap gods who owned the night. Big Sean performed selections from his latest Hall of Fame album, while Meek paraded out a ton of guests including Nicki Minaj, who he performed his mixtape single "Dope Dealer" alongside.
2 Chainz shimmied across the stage, while Trey Songz lost his shirt and gyrated while singing a choice selection of his R&B hits. Still, it was Lamar who would own the night. After a two-song warm-up from TDE labelmate and friend Schoolboy Q, Kendrick took the stage at about 11:40 p.m. The Compton, California, spitter came out rapping to the back half of his "m.A.A.d city" tune from his critically acclaimed, platinum debut album.
Dot dished out a number of good kid cuts lifting the Brooklyn crowd's spirit with each song. There was "Backseat Freestyle," "Swimming Pools (Drank)," and a new twist on "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" with TDE's latest signee SZA, who sang the hook.
Just when it seemed the NY crowd couldn't get more excited, Kendrick pandered to the Brooklyn faithful by bringing out one of the borough's most beloved rap artists. Right after TDE sound man Ali dropped the beat for Junior Mafia's 1995 hit "Get Money," Lil' Kim stormed from backstage kicking her iconic bars. Kendrick than gave the Queen Bee room to perform her verse of Diddy's "All About the Benjamins" single, much to the fans' delight.
After the pair exchanged a warm embrace, Kendrick got back to his set ending with the front end of "m.A.A.d city" while bouncing to the sound of Schoolboy Q's infamous "Yawk, yawk" ad-libs.
It's hard to believe after Lamar dropped his "king of New York" line on Big Sean's controversial "Control" back in August that the same city that seemed to be lukewarm at the notion of extending love to an out-of-towner packed the city's newest arena to see Dot. But it turns out the city wasn't "m.A.A.d" at all and Kendrick is just that good.