Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour Takes Stage in Oakland’s Oracle Arena
On Friday, September 30th, Puff Daddy and the Family touched down in Oakland, California for their West Coast leg of the 20 Year Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour. This came just 3 weeks after the 20th anniversary of slain Death Row artist Tupac Shakur who has extremely strong ties to the city by the bay. Despite the irony of the timing (and location) of Bad Boy’s tour stop, The Bay Area came out to show nothing but love to the iconic label as they celebrated two decades of Hip Hop history.
Oracle Arena went into a frenzy as the countdown for the show brought fans moments closer to reliving Hip Hop’s golden era of 1994 to the early 2000s. The anticipation came to it’s peak, while the introduction to Biggie’s “Victory” brought everyone to their feet as Puff Daddy opened up the show. It was nothing short of a feel good vibe as Puff and Ma$e brought Harlem to the West Coast with flamboyant furs, dancing, and their signature cocky energized stage presence as they performed “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”, and “Feel So Good”.
If you ever forgot how undeniably talented Bad Boy’s R&B roster is, this tour was a clear reminder. 112 graced the stage taking the crowd back to what 90’s R&B groups were all about. Q, Mike, Slim, and Daron performed their hits “Peaches and Cream”, “It’s Over Now”, and “Anywhere” complete with white coordinating wardrobes synchronized dance routines, a crowd serenade, and even a little shirtless eye candy thanks to Q. While 112 had an impressive set, they weren’t the only ones. When Kima, Keisha and Pam of Total stepped on stage, it was hard to believe that the ladies even took a hiatus from performing at all. Their chemistry was perfect all the way through. Performing “Kissing You”, “No One Else” and “Trippin”, Total’s stage presence was remarkable as it brought a pleasant flashback to when female R&B groups successfully dominated the ’90’s.
But of all the performances, it was First Lady, Faith Evans and Carl Thomas’ collective and individual sets that brought the house completely down. Faith’s melodic voice sent chills throughout the entire arena as she performed “Soon As I Get Home” and “You Used to Love Me”. Time literally froze while everyone stood mesmerized; chanting every lyric word for word, with all eyes on her. Carl Thomas gave an unforgettable performance of “Emotional” so moving that he was able to make an arena as large as the Oracle feel intimate and soulful. Performing “Summer Rain”, “I Wish”, and “I Can’t Believe” alongside Faith, the duo brought everyone back to when R&B was truly rooted in substance.
Lil Kim brought Brooklyn to the building as she ripped the stage with “Lighters Up” and “Magic Stick”. All eyes were on the Queen Bee as she commanded the attention of everyone in the building, yet again showing us all why she is the architect of the female emcee movement. The Lox performance took us back to the grittier lyrical D-Block element of Bad Boy’s empire as they performed “We Gon Make It” and Stylez P’s infamous smoker anthem “Good Times”. As the show progressed, surprise performers took the stage. Miguel performed “Adorn”, Black Rob made an appearance with “Whoa”, and Puff brought his son Christian “King Combs” to debut his new single. French Montana kept the crowd live with “All The Way Up”, and the show progressively gave the audience a definitive look into the past, present, and future of Bad Boy Records.
Although the concert had it’s drawbacks such as starting an hour and a half behind schedule, a few mildly obvious improvisations and shortened sets; it was overall a night to remember. With so much history behind the label, it was impossible to fit everything into 3 hours but The Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour goes down in the books as not just a concert, but a nostalgic experience. The Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour finale show is scheduled for October 4th in Los Angeles at The Forum.