NOTHING SO SO ABOUT THIS AMAZING NIGHT CELEBRATING ATLANTA MUSIC
(Credit: Kingsmen Media Group)
The Atlanta record label that basically got itscommercial
start with two teenagers named Chris who went by Kris Kross
, started its 20th anniversary concert
Saturday night with those same fashionably adventurous Chrises – one of whom still wears his jeans backwards.
And that would be an operative adverb in describing the three hour-plus, sold-out So So Def 20th Anniversary concert at the Fox Theatre: Still.
As So So Def R&B quartets Jagged Edge
– the latter of which was whittled down to Scott sisters LaTocha and Tamika – still surged with a soulful power a decade-plus after their debuts; and far more scarce among the chart-toppers in their genre today.
Still, it would be Dupri’s arm raised at the end of the night as the last set proved a series of exclamation points on the rapper-songwriter-label executive’s wide-ranging contributions.
There was So So Def signee Anthony Hamilton
‘s brief but impactful two-song set where he ended up in the middle of the audience, immediately changing the tone of the show from rap-heavy to near-revival. Then surprise guestsMonica
offered their own testimonials – in song, and afterwards.
“Jesus!” was all the usually-loquacious Dupri could say after Monica (signed to Atlanta music
mogul Dallas Austin
‘s Rowdy Records) belted out his co-production, “Love All Over Me.” And Usher then shared with the audience that even though he signed to yet another Atlanta label (fellow Grammy-winning producers Antonio “L.A.” Reid
and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds
‘ LaFace Records), “it wasn’t really right until I started to get my No. 1′s with THIS man!”
“You’re a pioneer, homie,” declared Jay-Z
, who could rightly claim such a title, himself. The entertainment multi-hyphenate – who collaborated with Dupri on one of his earliest commercial hits, 1998′s “Money Aint A Thang” – was part of a finale that ended with confetti, a stage ringed with enough music powers to fill a Grammy photo gallery, and in the end, Mariah Carey
wheeling out a cake.
(Dupri co-produced Carey’s 2005 comeback single “We Belong Together”; one of her 18 No. 1 singles – the most by any female artist – and a record-holder for most the airplay in one day, still).
- Sonia Murray, CBS Loca