The line up for this year's Supafest was nothing short of impressive.
The Winter/SummerBeatz shows have always brought the urban star power. With a mix of fresh up-and-comers, some sure-fire crowd-pleasers and a
sprinkling of those Rap superstars that will continue to draw a huge
crowd for years to come. Even by international standards Supafest was an
amazing line-up. Hopefully it’s going to become a regular occurrence in Australia. Featured acts were Snoop Dogg, Nelly, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain, Game, Ciara, Bow Wow, Keri Hilson, Taio Cruz, Fat Joe, New Boyz, Miracle, Israel and Akon’s own DJ Benny-D.
The first few acts of the day were pretty much filler with Miracle and Israel warming up the smallish crowd. New Boyz are fun fellas from Cali’ who got their start making music to ‘jerk’ to; they were cute on stage and the girls loved 'em. Fat Joe deserved a better slot, but he did the best with what he got. “All I Do Is Win” and the Lil Wayne banger “Make It Rain" got the crowd excited. Taio Cruz did his sweet, auto-tune-y, pop deal, closing with “Dynamite.”
There were a few sound issues during the first few acts of the day. It was such a shame that the power and character in Keri Hilson’s beautiful voice somehow got lost along the way. She chimed through “Turnin Me On,” wailed through her rendition of Soulja Boy’s hit “Turn My Swag On” and finally ripped through the Timbaland dance hit “The Way I Are.” Speaking of Timbaland, he was noticeably absent from the day’s set list. This was such a shame as it would have been interesting to see what kind of a live show he’d have put together. Bow Wow did his thing in a Cash Money shirt and massive shorts, making him look pretty small. You’d think he’d try to make himself look closer to his actual age and make people forget how he used to be ‘lil’. Especially when he’s been scheduled before his ex-girlfriend.
Ciara kicked off her fierce set with the Missy Elliot smash hit “Lose Control.” Flames shot out of the front of the stage as she and her all-black-clad dancers tore through the choreography leading into her hit “Like a Boy.” Already ‘babin’ in a tight black and beige mesh midriff top and shiny cargo pants, she threw on a big leather jacket and did her version of another Soulja Boy track, “Pretty Girl Swag.” This glowing R'n’B goddess then played her hit “Ride,” complete with the signature dance moves that got the video banned from BET. Not satisfied with stopping the sexy there, she wriggled her way through the Justin Timberlake duet “Love Sex Magic.” What a babe.
Game brought his special brand of thug to Supafest. With his newly red
hair and what I like to call ‘boxer-face’, he successfully terrified all the punters that came to see Taio Cruz. He wasn’t one of the biggest stars of the day but he can certainly hold his own; he’s was an aggressive yet bright MC. The crowd loved him but the biggest cheer during his set came when an epic girl fight broke out in front of the diamond section. Game definitely lost the crowd for a few tracks to the skank action but I got the feeling it didn’t bother him too much.
The sun went down and the stadium was slowly starting to fill. Cheers erupted when a picture of T Pain flashed upon the giant screens. The stage went dark and a mysterious glowing entity appeared onstage. The crowd went nuts as Teddy-Pin-Her-Ass-Down exploded with the Kanye West hit “Good Life.” It was definitely the biggest crowd response of the day. T and his fly-girls kept the pace up, smashing through his hits “Buy U A Drank,” “Low” and “Kiss Kiss.” Fat Joe’s “Make It Rain” got a second round as well as Wiz Khalifa’s “Black & Yellow” and crowd favourite “Like A G6.” He grabbed a drink for the sensitive “Bartender,” and told the crowd he’s pregnant. During his performance at last year’s Winterbeatz he told that crowd that he was unfit and sat down during his set. He was still struggling with the singing, dancing, and partying, but it all came off perfectly. With such a wonderful personality and sense of performance, he was an absolute joy to watch. After catching his breath, the crowd went nuts for both Lil Wayne’s “Get Money” and DJ Khaled’s smash “All I Do Is Win.” T Pain sung both Ludacris’ verse and the anthemic chorus, then left the crowd with a piece of priceless advice. “You should only listen to two people, yourself and your mum. Don’t listen to your dad because he’s as stupid as your ass.” T Pain out.
Busta Rhymes wasn’t kidding around when he ordered the crowd to “do as
they’re told.” He slammed right into “Make It Clap,” “Uh Oh” and a very
intimidating remix of the Ying Yang Twins’ classic “Wait (The Whisper
Song).” The jumbo screens flashed up the faces of the girls in the front
row, looking terrified and somewhat violated. He asked his DJ for some
‘baby-making-music’ because he hadn’t quite made his intentions clear
with ‘wait til you see my dick...’ Busta went on to share his probation
status with the audience and called for the “best weed Australia has
to offer” to be brought to the front of the stage. He wanted “his
probation officer to see him smoke the weed.” Boom. He dropped the
mental “Woo Ha” Ol’ Dirty Bastard duet. The crowd was jumping and
going crazy for Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario” and then he let us
know he’s ready to ‘get crunk’. Busta then told an awkward story about
some slutty girl while toasting the audience, before closing his set with “Pass
While the crowd eagerly awaited that treasure from the “Lou”, DJ Benny-D
D whipped out his ‘famous’ flame hands thing. By that stage he and DJ
Nino Brown seemed repetitive, with Rihanna being played nearly every other track. It didn’t really matter as the audience is pumped for the two major acts of the day still on approach. The jumbo screens roll through picturesque imagery of St. Louis, Missouri, the hometown of Nelly and his St. Lunatics.
Nelly didn’t waste any time, “Party People”, “E.I”, “Batter Up”, “Air Force Ones” and “Country Grammar” all got the slam-bam medley treatment, slightly disappointing the long-time fans, but to be expected. He took a little more time with an a capella version of “Ride with Me” and the crowd ate it up. The crowd was then spoiled with remixes of not one, but two AC/DC tracks, “She Shook Me All Night Long” and “Thunderstruck.” Nelly strutted across the stage in his AC/DC muscle shirt as the crowd screamed out every word. He then took a moment to introduce his crew, the St.Lunatics, who have been by his side since the days of Country Grammar. Murphy Lee helped his main man with “Move That Body” and worked it solo with “My Shoes.” The smooth Rick Ross track “Here I Am” followed as Avery Storm joined the stage. A little promo for his new solo album followed and he performed one of his new singles “Supermodel” while random catwalk footage was displayed on the jumbo screens. It was nice of Nelly to rep artists that he’s associated with, but the crowd was getting restless.
Telling the crowd about how he likes a girl with confidence, he pulled up a few ladies from the audience. Each girl had to walk from one end of the stage to the other while the crowd cheered loudest for the girl with the sexiest walk. While one gal got a huge cheer the other two get booed, but he gave each girl her moment. They all got a slow dance with him and the last girl had a whole set of intense instructions whispered in her ear. He mentioned that it was getting *wink wink* a little warm and rolled into “Hot In Herre” as the girl very awkwardly tried to rip his shirt off, obviously overwhelmed by the opportunity she had been given. He then slowed it down for the last two tracks of his set. Nelly gave a shout-out to Kelly Rowland and sang their hit “Dilemma” before finishing with a song from his latest album “Just a Dream.” Nelly didn’t leave much room for disappointment, ticking all the boxes but still managing to leave the crowd wanting more.
The crowd at ANZ Stadium was peaking, more than ready for the final act of the night. The jumbo screens played a montage video set to the music from Excalibur featuring clips from Scarface, Supa Fly, Shaft and shots of Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre fucking shit up. The crowd went wild as explosions rolled out and Snoop Dog appeared, like a big puff of purple kush. He dressed in his best west-coast style; all black except for some long white gloves and his diamond encrusted Snoop mic, glistening in the spotlight. “The Next Episode” had everyone on their feet. He kept them there with “Gin & Juice.” The crew of ‘booty-rich’ dancers writhed over chairs for “I Wanna Fuck You” and he then cruised through all his hits, “Sexual Eruption,” “Lodi Dodi,” “Bitch Please,” “Beautiful,” “Signs” and covers of Eazy-E’s “Boyz-N-The-Hood” and House Of Pain’s “Jump Around”. His slippery new single “Wet” warmed everybody up. Popped, “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” the juicy bass, clicked and clapped, filling the arena. The crowd went crazy for his classic track, “What’s My Name” and he ended his set and the day with a relatively new track, “I Wanna Rock.” As a long time fan of Snoop and one of the only people I know who has never seen him before, he definitely fulfilled my expectations. It’s easy to understand why he continues to keep everyone interested even though he has been to our shores multiple times. He clearly loves this country and we certainly dig him. He is definitely one of the all time heroes of the game, and has managed to stick around for us all to enjoy.