Photo: Hot 107.9
  /  06.19.2016

On Saturday (June 18), Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 hosted its annual Birthday Bash at the city’s Philips Arena. As the sun set, the A-Town’s younger generation flocked to the venue to celebrate the station’s 21st birthday, ecstatic to see people like YFN Lucci, Future and Rich Homie Quan hit the stage. The older heads were in the place as well, ready to watch Jeezy and T.I. close the sold-out show.

“I think this is like, my eighth, ninth Birthday Bash,” T.I. later shared with Revolt TV. “And to remain relevant, to be able to just have longevity and be able to perform on such a magnificent stage. It’s outstanding.”

And the stage was absolutely magnificent. From beginning to end, there were surprise appearances and pop-ups. Lloyd brought Ashanti out. Kevin Gates graced the stage also. 50 Cent came with his reconstructed G-Unit — including Young Buck. The Migos were on the bill along with Mike WILL Made It and his entire Ear Drummers crew from Eearz and Rae Sremmurd. Future performed a number of songs from his own collection of hits. The Freebandz general appeared to be in great spirits, running through “Where Ya At,” “Commas” and “Jumpman,” sans Drake.

T.I. ran through a medley of the smash songs that put him on a national platform years ago — including “Rubberband Man” from his debut project Trap Muzik. Jeezy followed the same formula, taking his setlist back to Thug Motivation 101. The opening chops of “Bottom of the Map” sent fans into a fury, so by the time Jeezy had actually reached the first line of the first verse an echo could be heard throughout the venue — his fans were reciting every word and ad lib.

There was one glaring absence though as Gucci Mane did not perform a set — especially since he’s been adamant about getting on his grind since his release from jail earlier this month. Longstanding stiffness with certain other headliners aside, there was an air of anticipation at Philips for Guwop to show his face. One young woman was overheard considering the possibility: “Gucci gon’ come out with Drake to do that one song they got.” Her homegirl offered a more pragmatic idea. “Oh yeah. Gucci coming for sure but Drake ain’t hitting the stage here to do a hook.”

Fallen Street Execs rapper Bankroll Fresh was honored all night, and there was the nagging feeling that had he still been alive, the Life of a Hot Boy creator easily would’ve hit the stage. Mike WILL Made It sported a customized Braves jersey with “RIP Bankroll” on the back. A video montage screened on the main stage showcased the Atlanta native in his element. In one clip, Fresh and his Street Money team gathered, and in complete exuberance, hollered their signature tagline. On Saturday night, over 18,000 people screamed right along with them, from the rafters to the floor of Philips Arena, “Streeeet!”

“I think of us as elder statesmen,” Tip offered. “But once you assume that responsibility, one of your jobs is to introduce the next generation to talent that is where you once were.” It’s the essence of Birthday Bash from year to year — bridging the gap between the up and comers and the veterans. Whether here or gone, if they made an impact on the city, Birthday Bash welcomes them all.

Watch REVOLT’s exclusive interview with T.I. below.:

Real Talk | T.I. talks elder statesman status at Birthday Bash

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