Usher, Wiz Khalifa, Desiigner, Young M.A. & More Bring Down the House at Powerhouse 2016 in Brooklyn
When hip-hop’s seasoned veterans and hottest rookies invade one stage, it’s sure to be nothing short of a glorious affair. Brooklyn's Barclays Center opened its doors for Power 105.1's annual Powerhouse concert on Thurs. (Oct. 27) and while fans filed into the venue anticipating a night of memorable performances from the already-impressive bill, it was the unforeseen guest cameos that shattered showgoer’s expectations.
Kicking off the star-studded event, Nigerian singer Ayo Jay brought his island fever to New York as he performed “Available” and "Shabba," before leading into his summertime hit “Your Number”, which flew to No. 19 on the Hot R&B Songs chart. 2016 breakout star Young M.A followed suit as she made her Barclays Center debut in her hometown. Clad in a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball jersey, M.A dished out tracks from her 2014 mixtape Sleep Walkin, a collection of songs that pay homage to New York’s greatest artists, like the Mobb Deep-influenced "Quiet Storm," and "Summer Story" where the Brooklyn native rhymes over Mary J. Blige’s timeless classic "Everything." After saluting late rapper Notorious B.I.G in her “Brooklyn (Chiraq)” freestyle, the BK native repped for her city with the 2016 smash hit “Ooouuu”.
Check out more Powerhouse highlights below.
Hip-hop and R&B’s youngsters light Barclays Center up
Kehlani’s soulful voice reverberated through the arena, as the Suicide Squad soundtrack hit "Gangsta” rang off. The singer shed her nude jacket for a sultry performance of the Chance The Rapper-assisted "The Way" and "Distraction." Trailing behind the R&B crooner, Desiigner stepped out in a fur vest and white turtleneck for a high-energy set, including his Billboard Hot 100-topping "Panda." Adrenaline rushed through the G.O.O.D music protégé’s veins as he stripped off his layers and hopped into the crowd, belting out lines from his latest hit "Tiimmy Turner" and other tracks from his debut mixtape New English. Tory Lanez turned the Barclays Center into a summertime party as his “Controlla” remix radiated throughout the stadium, later transitioning into his Hot 100 chart-topping single "Luv."
Wiz Khalifa babysits a blunt throughout his entire performance
“F--k that man, I’m ready to party”, said Wiz Khalifa, decked out in a olive green t-shirt that reads “Don’t Shoot,” and black pants with embellished jewels along the side. He opened with the bouncy squad anthem "We Dem Boyz," before continuing his lengthy set with a variety of his collaborations, including “Gang Bang” featuring Big Sean, the Travis Scott-assisted “Bake Sale” and “Pull Up” with Lil Uzi Vert.
It doesn’t get any more New York than Joey Crack and Remy bringing the audience back to the early 2000s hip-hop era, with classic hits like "New York," which originally featured fellow NYC rhymers Ja Rule and Jadakiss, along with “Make It Rain” and the crowd favorite “Lean Back." The Bronx queen’s fierce demeanor backed her powerful rhymes as she performed verses from her earliest hits like "Whuteva," as well as hip-hop duo M.O.P’s “Ante Up” and the flossy track "Conceited." In a blink of an eye, DJ Khaled graced the stage for a quick run-through of his Major Key cut "For Free" and "All I Do Is Win." The Terror Squad mates closed out their set with their 2016 banger "All the Way Up."
The Snowman brings out M.A.
Pandemonium erupted within the Barclays Center when DJ Self welcomed his special guest to the show. Just hours ahead of the midnight release of his highly anticipated album Trap or Die 3, Young Jeezy gifted the Brooklyn crowd with his Southern rap anthems "Go Crazy," 'I Love It" and "Lose My Mind." Paying tribute to his late friend and fellow ATLien Shawty Lo, Jeezy perfomed "They Know," Lo’s famed 2008 single. "We in Brooklyn right?," Jeezy asked the crowd. "Shit, I put on for my city, I’ma let people put on for their city too," he said as Young M.A. stepped back on the stage for a second performance of her hit "Ooouuu," this time performing in front of a packed arena.
Usher brings the grand finale
The Grammy-winning singer closed out Powerhousem and proved why he still remains an R&B king. Rocking a red velvet bomber jacket, Usher began with a jazzy rendition of "Good Kisser." He then blazed through fan favorites "Caught Up" and "U Don’t Have To Call," gliding across the stage with the grace and precision he had in his younger days. He performed the new Future-assisted track “Rivals” from his eighth studio album Hard II Love, but returned to a few more classics from his stacked collection of hits. Usher slowed it back down and closed out the first half of his performance with his verse from the love song "Matrimony," off Wale’s 2015 album The Album About Nothing.
While Usher took a breather, R&B newcomer Bryson Tiller took the stage for a short set that included "Exchange," “502 Come Up” and “Don’t,” all from his debut album Trapsoul.
Usher returned to the stage to dimmed blue lights and hazy fog for a stripped down performance of "Climax." After belting his Hot 100 No. 1 single “Burn," Ursh took fans on another trip to his native Atlanta, as a few of the city’s biggest stars joined the crooner onstage. "Lovers and Friends" echoed throughout the building as Usher brought out collaborator Lil Jon, before transitioning into “Yeah” and Jon’s "Turn Down For What." The biggest surprise of the night came when slender rapper Young Thug appeared for the final song "No Limit" as Usher closed out the star-studded event dancing to ASAP Ferg’s "New Level," an appropriate closer for his Powerhouse performance.