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Best Of The Best 2010

Best Of The Best 2010

Best Of The Best 2010

By on - Photos by Susan De Leon - Comment

Miami's Best of the Best joined reggae to hip hop but everyone seemed satisfied by night's end.

Charles Dickens wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” That pretty well summed up the Best of the Best 2010 (BotB). One has to wonder if the preponderance of hip hop artists at BotB was the result of so many reggae artists having their visas cancelled recently or if this is the direction the annual festival wants to go. Either way, the show has blossomed out to be a very long weekend event with many of the artists appearing at local clubs from Thursday through Tuesday.

The “official” fun started on Friday with a Welcome Party at Club Opium, followed on Saturday at either the Official Bahamas Pre-Party at Bayside Hut on Key Biscayne or the stylish All White on White Pool Party at the Art Deco Deauville Hotel on South Beach. The official After Party at MIA Lounge made Sunday a late night before finally winding down at ATL vs. MIA (Gucci Mane vs. Rick Ross) on the 30th and ending on the 31st with NYC vs. MIA, featuring a number of artists. So much fabulous music to hear at so many places in so little time for so much money! I guess the “Best” is never cheap.

I had stopped at the Hilton where the artists were staying on the previous day to say hello to a friend and as soon as I stepped out of the elevator was surprised to run into Lady Saw heading out to the mall to shop. A little later Gyptian passed through the lobby on his way back from the mall, laden with bags from Macy’s. Everyone wanted to look their best for the Best and they certainly did.

The day was hotter than hell at the outdoor Bicentennial Park venue and the MC thanked the early audience several times for their perseverance until the day clouded up and got a little cooler. Lady Saw was rude as ever (in a good way), Mr. Vegas “tek weh’d myself” and Machel Montana kept the energy high. Gyptian was well received by the crowd and people went absolutely crazy when he ended his set with Hold You, his smash single. But the best was yet to come as Anthony B took the stage. His majestic presence riveted the audience as he opened with his signature Raid the Barn, followed by several of his other roots classics and everyone cheered for his hit single Tease Her, complete with some rather graphic moves on the artist’s part. Although he was on relatively early in the show, Anthony B was the only artist to get called back to the stage twice because the crowd just couldn’t get enough. This was Anthony’s first appearance at BotB but it surely won’t be his last.

A whole heap of hip hop and rap artists followed but the only two standouts for me were Flo Rida’s and Nicki Minage’s sets. As for the rest of them, I can’t understand why it takes a whole stage full of rap artists jumping up and down, shouting mother f*cker every other line to perform when one reggae artist can hold the crowd spellbound alone.

When the show switched back to reggae, the first to appear was Barrington Levy, whose set was marred by the band’s lack of knowledge of the songs he was to perform, creating a lull in the crowd’s attention. Poor judgment on someone’s part had Cocoa Tea follow that lackluster performance when he should have led the late night reggae. Always a crowd pleaser, those sweet, sweet sounds of Cocoa Tea brought everyone back, as he offered a string of his many hits. Capleton closed the show with a powerful roots set and was the obvious choice to do so. I’m sure a lot of people kept the party going at various locations around Miami but that ended a long day for me and my biggest concern was remembering where I parked the car.

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