Rappers from the labels Cash Money and Ruff Ryders, including platinum-sellers DMX, Juvenile and Eve, begin a 40-date, cross-country arena tour Thursday.
After the opener at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y., the tour continues through April 17, when the rappers wrap the outing in California at the San Diego Sports Arena.
Last year, Ruff Ryders and Cash Money emerged as the two hottest hip-hop labels in the industry, scoring nine top-10 albums on the Billboard 200 albums chart between them. Ruff Ryders released four #1 albums alone DMX's Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood and ... And Then There Was X, Eve's Let There Be ... Eve Ruff Ryders' First Lady and the compilation album Ruff Ryders: Ryde or Die Vol. 1.
Cash Money's top performers were Lil' Wayne, whoseTha Block Is Hot debuted at #3 in November, and Juvenile, with 400 Degreez (#9) and Tha G-Code (#10). The B.G. album Chopper City in the Ghetto (#9) and supergroup Hot Boys' Guerrilla Warfare (#5) also reached the top 10, at #9 and #5, respectively. The Hot Boys feature Juvenile, Lil' Wayne, B.G. and Young Turk.
The LOX, a Yonkers, N.Y., group signed to Ruff Ryders, also scored a top-10 album last month with We Are the Streets, which debuted at #5 and featured the single "Wild Out" (RealAudio excerpt).
"We going on there ... to boost up the units," LOX rapper Jadakiss said last month about the tour.
"You're every day out there in different towns and cities telling people to buy your album," added group member Sheek.
The tour is the latest in a string of arena outings featuring only rappers. Last spring, DMX, Jay-Z, Redman and Method Man toured as part of the Hard Knock Life Tour, which grossed more than $13 million. In the fall, Master P, Snoop Dogg and other rappers from No Limit Records also played arenas.
Ruff RydersCash Money tour dates:
Feb. 24; Rochester, N.Y.; Blue Cross Arena
Feb. 25; Uniondale, N.Y.; Nassau Coliseum
Feb. 26; Auburn Hills, Mich.; Palace of Auburn Hills
Feb. 27; Rosemont, Ill.; Allstate Arena
Feb. 28; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Van Andel Arena
March 1; Dayton, Ohio; Ervin J. Nutter Center
March 2; Buffalo, N.Y.; Marine Midland Arena
March 3; Philadelphia, Pa.; First Union Center
March 5; Hartford, Conn.; Hartford Civic Center
March 7; Hampton, Va.; Hampton Coliseum
March 8; Albany, N.Y.; Pepsi Arena
March 9; Washington, D.C.; MCI Center
March 11; Nashville, Tenn.; Gaylord Entertainment Center
March 12; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Mellon Arena
March 13; Milwaukee, Wis.; Bradley Center
March 15; Indianapolis, Ind.; Conseco Fieldhouse
March 16; Greensboro, N.C.; Greensboro Coliseum
March 17; Memphis, Tenn.; Pyramid
March 19; Uniondale, N.Y.; Nassau Coliseum
March 20; Greenville, S.C.; Bi-Lo Center
March 22; Houston, Texas; Compaq Center
March 23; San Antonio, Texas; Alamodome
March 24; New Orleans, La.; New Orleans Arena
March 25; Dallas, Texas; Starplex Amphitheatre
March 26; Kansas City, Mo.; Kemper Arena
March 27; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Myriad Convention Center
March 29; Minneapolis, Minn.; Target Center
March 30; St. Louis, Mo.; Kiel Center
March 31; Cleveland, Ohio; Gund Arena
April 1; Baltimore, Md.; Baltimore Arena
April 2; Boston, Mass.; FleetCenter
April 5; Louisville, Ky.; Freedom Hall
April 7; Miami, Fla.; American Airlines Arena
April 9; Atlanta, Ga.; Philips Arena
April 10; North Little Rock, Ark.; Alltel Arena
April 13; Seattle, Wash.; KeyArena at Seattle Center
April 14; Sacramento, Calif.; ARCO Arena
April 15; Irvine, Calif.; Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
April 16; Phoenix, Ariz.; Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion
April 17; San Diego, Calif.; San Diego Sports Arena