Ludacris and friends take Red Rocks back in time

Close your eyes and let me paint a picture for you. It’s a beautiful night at Red Rocks and you’re hiking up the stairs to the ticket gate. You finally reach the ticket attendant, collect your stub and proceed into the venue. But as you walk through the gate, something mysterious happens. You’re suddenly teleported to a time when FM radio reigned supreme. When your clothes couldn’t be baggy enough and everything had to match. A time when Fat Joe, Nelly and Ludacris ruled the airwaves and the culture. Now, I need you to open your eyes, take a deep breath, and register that it actually happened. On April 27th, Luda and friends transformed Red Rocks Amphitheater into a time capsule making for an unforgettable experience.

Red Rocks Goes All the Way Up

The night opened up with the crowd ready to “Lean Back” as Fat Joe took to the stage. Hailing from South Bronx, Fat Joe came with an engaging presence, laughing and conversing with the audience. Multiple times throughout his set, Joe would crack a joke that would have me dying in laughter. Humble enough to be an opener, the big man performed all the favorites from “All the Way Up” to classics like “Twinz.” The real beauty of Fat Joe‘s set was when he took time to honor fallen greats such as Big Pun and DMX. You could tell it was important to him that he did that, resulting in it becoming important to us.

Next up, the “Country Grammar” King exploded onto the scene ready to give us a show. Like Fat Joe before him, Nelly came ready to interact with the audience. Hugging fans in the front row and messing with security guards, Nelly made sure everyone was having a good time.  While Nelly played favorites such as “Air Force Ones” and “Grillz,” I couldn’t help but notice his drip. My man was wearing a chain that had to weigh at least 20lbs, shining brighter than the lights on the stage. Honestly, it was ridiculous but both performers came ready to fire up the crowd and set the tone.

The Luda in Ludacris

I’m gonna level with you guys, I have no idea where to start. Ludacris strolled out simply dripping in swagoo, and I was starstruck.  I mean, we as an audience were not prepared for what was in store for us. So Ludacris kicks it off with some hits and features, “Rollout” and “Act A Fool,” I mean the works. Next thing you know he’s performing “Holidae In” and in the middle of the song he cuts the record. Ludacris turns to the audience and says, “Nah, If we’re gon’ do this, we’re gon’ do this right.” 

Out of nowhere, Chingy erupted from backstage and the crowd went nuts. Like a true icon, Luda yielded the stage to Chingy who of course performed the chart-topping hit “Right Thurr.” Throughout the night, Luda brought multiple artists up giving each one their time to shine. It was legendary to see Ludacris take on the rocks and bring so much entertainment. Rapping until the show literally couldn’t go on any longer, the lights cut on with an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction.

A Nostalgic Conclusion

I think it’s fair to say that for myself, and a lot of other people, this was a “Hip-Hop Mecca” moment. It was so amazing to see all these artists that I grew up with at the greatest venue in the world. Just like you, these legends have been a part of my life for what seems like forever. Fat Joe has been in our ears since the 90s, and now he’s part of the internet culture. Nelly is the reason I began my own music library and started scouring the radio for tunes. Ludacris was one of the first rappers that I saw from my generation translate from music to movies. Each one of these Icons has proven that they’re the best at what they do. Throughout the years, they have continued to find success and have become moguls in their own right. Like the big man says, “yesterday’s prices, are not today’s prices,” and yesterday’s kings are still conquering today’s stages.

Photos By: Casey Raser

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