Power 106 Tops Itself At Powerhouse 2018 With N.E.R.D., Logic, Nipsey Hussle & More! REVIEW+PHOTOS: POWERHOUSE 2018
SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On a cloudy Saturday, Southern California’s number 1 Hip Hop radio station, Power 106 FM, held their yearly traditional concert, Power House. The concert was held this year at the Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California, and was scheduled to be a full day event from 1:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Although it rained in the morning, and the weather stayed gloomy for the entire day, the performances displayed by the artists invited by Power 106, from bottom to top, gave the fans in attendance an absolutely fabulous show.
If you are from Southern California, or have spent anytime in Los Angeles, you have likely heard of “Power 106.” Power 106 has been a radio staple in our community in Southern California for decades. In fact, I would not hesitate to state with confidence that the sheer majority of Angelenos have Power 106 as a saved station in their cars. Power 106 is Los Angeles.
Power 106 graciously granted Blurred Culture access to cover Power House 2018, and it was a concert Blurred Culture will not forget.
The day started out at what Power named “Stage 2,” named cleverly for Power’s “New at 2” segment. Essentially, a separate stage was set up before the main event concert began in order to showcase up and coming artists. Although the concert officially was to begin at 3:00 pm, plenty of fans began to arrive in time to see the showcase on Stage 2, and I am sure they were not disappointed in what they saw.
Scheduled to perform on Stage 2 were the following artists: DJ Medek, Uno the Activist, A.Chal, Saweetie, G Perico, Cozz, 24 Hrs, and Mozzy. As this was a 10 hour concert, I’d like to focus on artists who were the standouts of Stage 2. The standout performances were easily from Saweetie and Mozzy, who both happen to be from Northern California.
Saweetie is an Oakland based MC who broke through after a series of popular Instagram clips of her rapping. A self made woman, Saweetie also has a business and communications degree from USC. Her hit single “Icy” is currently racking up views and she came to Power House 2018 with a lot of momentum she earned through hard work.
But what made Saweetie one of my stand out performances? Her energy. And by energy I do not mean as in energetic (which she did have), I mean a positive energy that beamed through her smile and her performance. There is something magnetic about Saweetie when you see her perform with her dancers. There is, or at least appears to be, a true sense of enjoyment between Saweetie and her crew, and that resonates with fans who watch. Saweetie names J. Cole as an inspiration, and with aspirations to be on the level of J. Cole, coupled with a strong work ethic and positive energy, Saweetie is here to stay if she so chooses. I personally would not mind if she does.
If you follow California Hip Hop, then you have heard of the name Mozzy before. And even if do not follow California Hip Hop, you may of heard of the name Mozzy after Kendrick Lamar mentioned Mozzy by name while accepting the award for Best Hip Hop Album at the 60th Grammy Awards.
Mozzy is a MC based out of Sacramento who has already built up an extensive catalog of music. Mozzy might very well be the most active rapper in the game with the pace he was putting out music; and that is definitely a good thing if you love Hip Hop.
Mozzy credits his lyricism and music to California legend, Tupac, and with a mentor like that, one can only anticipate the music that an artist like Mozzy could make. Mozzy appeared on Stage 2, flashed a wide smile, and immediately ripped through a set of his hits. As a humble MC, you could tell that Mozzy was grateful for the opportunity to perform in front of Power House 2018.
Do not let Mozzy’s reality based lyrics that reference gang banging and drug dealing deceive you into thinking that Mozzy is just another gangsta rapper. That would be a complete disservice to the path that Mozzy is on. His lyrics contain that realism that is often missing from Hip Hop. Here’s hoping that Mozzy keeps his pace of producing quality music, I for one would like to see Mozzy perform again.
On the Main Stage, lined up to perform were Phora, Karol G, Kyle, Tinashe, De La Ghetto, LA Leakers, Lil Dicky, ASAP Ferg, Tech N9NE, Lil Jon, Miguel, Fell Fel, Yo Got, DJ Carnage, N.E.R.D., Logic, and Nipsey Hussle.
Catch your breath, Power 106 put together one stacked line up, and I am here to say that Power House 2018 did not disappoint. From top to bottom, bottom to top, the show was quite phenomenal.
A few stand outs worth mentioning.
I will be honest with you that I did not know much about Kyle before seeing him perform for the fans in attendance in San Bernardino, BUT, and that is an emphatic but, after witnessing Kyle perform myself, I am a fan. I was lucky enough to see Kyle backstage and tell him the same.
What made me an instant fan? One word, energy. I love Kyle’s energy. His stage presence is one of a veteran at such an early part of his career. He exudes confidence and more importantly, charisma. He flashes his smile, genuinely is energetic on stage, and the fans react. While performing his hit single, “iSpy”, you cannot help but be pulled into who Kyle is. I wish that young man the best, and I hope his parents get to see him perform again and again for years to come, as they got to see him perform for the fans at Power House 2018.
I’ve been a fan of Miguel’s for quite some time now and was really looking forward to seeing him perform for the first time live. The first thing I always check when I hear an artist sing for the first time live is whether or not they sound like they do on records. When it comes to Miguel, he exceeds those expectations and sounds better live than any studio recording to replicate.
Miguel ran through a set of his hits, and the crowd, sang with him. When Miguel sang his smashing hit single, “Adorn”, the ladies in the crowd serenaded Miguel right back. Well … the ladies and myself. I love that song.
I also really enjoyed Miguel telling the story of how he got his big break. He recalled how he used to call into one of Power 106’s talent competitions and how that launched his dream into a reality. I cannot wait to see Miguel perform again, and here is hoping when I do see him again I am still single, because Miguel steals all hearts.
I have seen Lil Jon perform before, so I knew what to expect coming in. Fortunately, for the fans and I in attendance at Power House 2018, Lil Jon did what I expected, but exponentially more. It is no secret that when it comes to major radio concerts, hardcore fans in attendance always hope and pray for special guests. Those unannounced artists that blow the roof off the joint. At Power House 2018, Lil Jon gets the award for Blowing the Roof Off the Joint, YEAAAAHHHHH Edition.
Lil Jon has produced, and been involved with, a string of certifiable hits. And so, Lil Jon proceeded to go through his string of certified hits, which for the most part are all get-crunk party bangers. With that being said, Lil Jon had the fans in attendance having a blast, dancing, getting low, and having a great time.
Out of no where, introduces Bay Area LEGEND E-40. The crowd goes nuts. Even all the photographers in the press pit go nuts. I am going nuts. What an unbelievable surprise guest! E-40 – a legend – does his thing, and we all LOVE it. Lil Jon continues with his set after giving E-40 a hug. Not even 60 seconds later, Lil Jon says he has another guest. Music stops. Music starts. Crowd starts to get a hint from the music selection. And BOOM, TOO SHORT!
Lil Jon not only brought Bay Area Legend E-40, but arguably an even a bigger Legend (if there is such a thing as degrees of legends) Too Short. The fans went nuts. I went nuts. Unbelievable. Lil Jon put on a set that not one person in attendance will forget.
Tinashe. I just wanted to point out how difficult it is for an artist to not only sing live, but, to dance and sing live, while sounding good. Tinashe checks all of those boxes and then some. Years ago I was fortunate enough to watch Janet Jackson during her All For You Tour. I know this will sound blasphemous to some, but I rank Tinashe near Janet in terms of the ability to put on a performance. She’s simply great. The voice, the choreography, and the energy is magnetic.
N.E.R.D. was slated to kick off the final block of the night that consisted of the final three performances of the night. The energy was building and the crowd was ready to see cultural legend, Pharrell Williams, lead his band and bring the fans along with him.
N.E.R.D. was amazing! There were two really awesome moments during N.E.R.D.’s performance that I’d like to mention. The first was Pharrell bringing out the Icon Jaden Smith out as a special guest. Jaden hung out during the performance and danced along with Pharrell. Was really cool to see them standing on stage together.
The second moment was Pharrell bringing onto stage three fans from the audience. The fans seemed to be real legitimate fans of N.E.R.D., and it was real cool to see how happy those fans were. They were geeked out.
As soon as the lights went out for N.E.R.D., a chant started. Logic, Logic, Logic, LOGIC, LOGIC, LOGICCCCCC. Not once throughout the day, had the fans chanted for an artist, but they did for one, Logic. The amount of momentum behind East Coast MC, Logic, currently is extreme. Extreme, and well deserved. I’d like to point out two memorable moments (other than Logic bringing out Jade Smith to perform “Icon”) during Logic’s performance that stood out. The first was Logic deciding he wanted to freestyle during his set. What Logic accomplished by going off the top of the head was reminding the fans in attendance that even though he has now reached the pinnacle of commercial success, he is still an Artist. Still a rapper. Still a MC. He takes his craft seriously as a representative of Hip Hop, and that is something I can truly appreciate.
The second moment occurred spontaneously. During his performance Logic noticed a young boy sitting on his brother’s shoulders, watching Logic perform. What made Logic notice the boy though was not the fact that he was sitting on someone’s shoulders, but rather, the young boy was crying, quite profusely. Logic proceeded to stop the music and address the boy in the crowd.
Logic asks the young boy what his name is. The boy, who could hardly speak, is overcome with emotions but says that his name is Anthony. Logic at this point had walked as close as he could to the boy, by standing on speakers, and reached out to shake Anthony’s hand. Anthony cannot believe what is going on, and it appears the situation caused him to cry even more! Logic tells Anthony to shake his hand. Anthony responds by apologizing to Logic for crying. Logic immediately tells Anthony that real men know how to show their emotions. The crowd erupts in approval. Anthony finally is able to get himself to shake Logic’s hand. Upon doing so Logic tells Anthony that he is going to hang out with Logic backstage after the performance.
That is Logic. And that was an unforgettable amazing moment. Power House 2018.
The closer of the night was Los Angeles native, and rap power house himself, Nipsey Hussle. One word describes a Nipsey Hussle: Authenticity.
Nipsey Hussle represents Los Angeles and through his lyrics, he paints a picture of what life on the streets of Los Angeles is like. As a person born and raised in Los Angeles myself, seeing Nipsey perform hit after hit from his recent album Victory Lap, made me proud to know that Nipsey Hussle is currently holding the crown of Los Angeles’ Hip Hop King.
In conclusion, Power House 2018 was a phenomenal show. Can we fast forward to Power House 2019?