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Show Review: Ludacris, Lil Jon and Fat Joe celebrate Hip Hop 50 in Arizona

It was Luda Day Weekend at Hip Hop 50 and the club was jumping for an all star lineup at the Showroom at Wild Horse Pass. Ludacris, Lil Jon and Fat Joe closed out the festivities on Sunday with a packed venue and over three decades of hits to keep the party going.

A late night start didn’t deter The Showroom crowd as more and more people squeezed into the intimate space to catch Fat Joe’s opening set. The rapper and mogul walked the night’s red carpet with his entourage and they joined him onstage to watch the crowd “Lean Back” and lights went “All the Way Up” to the fans dancing in the balcony section. 

Lil Jon also walked the carpet with his signature swagger, sauntering onstage to “Let’s Go” and really getting the audience moving. Fans in the VIP section crowded the edge of the stage, raising more than a few glasses to their favorite songs. Lil Jon’s discography has soundtracked many a party, dance or club hopping adventure and he pulled out all the hits to celebrate his slot that’s helped to define 50 years of hip hop. The fans obeyed when he said to “Snap Yo Fingers” and “Get Low” and- unsurprisingly- we could do it all by ourselves. The energy in the room could have lifted the ceiling off of the venue as Lil Jon closed the set with a medley of his verse on Usher’s “Yeah!”, “Turn Down for What” and “Shots”.

Along with celebrating the holiday weekend and hip hop as a whole, Ludacris is also celebrating an album milestone this year. With over 20 years in the game, his catalog has more hits than could fit into a setlist but Luda was determined to ignore the curfew and party all night long. He shouted out all the ladies in the room and brought some “Southern Hospitality” all the way to Arizona. 

“I know Lil Jon already did this but he didn’t play my verse,” was Ludacris’ intro to his own feature on Usher’s “Yeah!”- a song that continues to set the bar for club bangers to this day. He fed off of the energy pouring out of the crowd, getting the fans hyped up “Rollout (My Business)” and “My Chick Bad”. 

We were well past the scheduled curfew but Ludacris and the audience refused to let that end the night. Instead, he kept going with snippets of his favorite lyrical features before finally exiting the stage to “Move Bitch” and “Get Back”, two classics that had the Showroom rumbling. 

Celebrating hip hop’s five decades of impact resonated so much more with these legends in the genre getting up onstage to tell their stories. It may have been a Sunday night but both artists and fans were ready to pop bottles into Monday morning, leading the way into the next 50 years and beyond.

Check out all the photos!

Story and photos by Olivia Khiel