Hip-hop acts N.E.R.D. and Big Boi kicked off New York's Advertising Week on Monday Night (Sept. 22) with an energetic and wicked performance at Times Square's Nokia Theater that had the industry suits
Hip-hop acts N.E.R.D. and Big Boi kicked off New York's Advertising Week on Monday Night (Sept. 22) with an energetic and wicked performance at Times Square's Nokia Theater that had the industry suits in attendance on their feet.
Backed by a five-piece band and sporting a red and black lumberjack shirt, N.E.R.D. frontman Pharrell Williams and bandmate Shay Haley kicked off the AOL and Platform sponsored event by plunging into a jumping frenzy while performing "Brain."
"People who make ads like to party too!" Williams told the unexpectedly enthusiastic crowd,
although it was difficult to hear him at times due to problems with the sound system. "I asked, "How many girls like to give brain?" and the whole f*cking room was electrified!"
After brief versions of less-lively tracks "Sooner Or Later" and "You Know What," Pharrell attempted to wind up the crowd again, showing support for Presidential candidate Barack Obama after the audience broke into an "Obama chant." "So I guess I don't have to ask. We feel the same way. We're going to do what we have to do to make sure the person that goes after Osama isn't holding a baby in one hand and a soccer ball in the other," he said, taking jabs at Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin. "She is a hot MILF though, isn't she?"
But it wasn't until Haley requested Williams "quit this R&B sh*t" that the duo, jumping in unision to "Rockstar," managed to get full-blown crowd participation. "When you're at your job and you come to the meeting with this brilliant idea, there's always one f*cking hater saying 'It ain't gonna work'," Williams mocked. "Now, I'm giving you full authority to stand on the biter's desk next time and say, 'You can't be me 'cause I'm a rockstar!'"
As they ended their set with "Spaz," they were joined on stage by a slew of hyped fans. Williams asked all males return to the main floor for their latest single "N.O.S.E." and fan favorite "She Wants To Move," while one female fan rubbed her hands up and down Williams' right leg and another lifted his shirt.
Accompanied by an eight-piece band, a DJ and two back-up singers, Outkast's Big Boi took the stage next. His large ensemble all wore green tees that said "Big Boi" and/or promoted his latest single "Something's Gotta Give," from his upcoming album, "Sir Luscious Leftfoot... Son Of Chico Dusty," tentatively due in October.
Big Boi entered to a live version of the intro to the album and a then performed new songs like "Old School, New School" and "Back-Up Plan." But it wasn't until he ran through the Outkast catalog that the suit-and-tie-wearing audience really let loose, dancing in
pairs, bopping their heads and waving their hands in the air.
"When they told me this was a corporate show, I thought it might not be this lively. But, this motherf*cker is like the animal house!" Big Boi said before continuing with a medley that included "Rosa Parks," "Bombs Over Baghdad," "Ms. Jackson," "Kryptonite" and single, "Royal Flush," sans Raekwon and Andre 3000.
Big Boi closed his half of the set with a horn-and-trumpet-infused "Southern Playalistic Cadillac Funky Music," "Elevators (Me & You)," "Da Art Of Storytellin'," and crowd-pleaser, "I Like The Way You Move," as the whole room chanted the familiar chorus.