By: Nydja Hood
In wake of local crime and violence surrounding the inner city, Philadelphia is fighting back. “Peace on the Streets” is a free annual concert sponsored by Power 99, that promotes non-violence and positivity throughout Philadelphia. This year, the show was held at The Dell Music Center and had performances from 2017 BET award winner Lecrae, Cash Money artist Jacquees, and viral sensation Matt Ox.
Power 99’s DJ RL mixed the beats for the night, playing the hottest hits in hip hop along with some classic favorites. Everything from “Back That Thang Up” by Juvenile to Philly’s unspoken anthem “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill had everyone in the crowd on their feet dancing and hyped up from song to song, long before the show even officially started.
The show opened up with a dance routine from Power 99’s dance team “Power Squad” who set a positive and upbeat tone for the rest of the show. The squad brought the house down with explosive energy and choreography that lived up to the team’s name.
Philly artist Reco Havoc performed one of his most popular hits “Lucas” which garnered over one million hits on Youtube. The crowd was well familiar with the song and didn’t hesitate to sing along word for word, a true “brotherly love” type of support system. A Philly native, Reco evidently felt at home on the Dell stage, and the crowd embraced him with open arms.
The speaker of the night was Aaron Yates, the father of one-year-old Mason Brown who was allegedly raped and murdered by his mother’s boyfriend Saleem Salaam this past June. Yates gave a moving speech urging all of the parents in the audience to be conscious of the people they were trusting around their children.
Next up was kid rapper Matt Ox, another Philly native who has gained a lot of attention for his music online. Ox has received recognition from publications like XXL Magazine, and is taking the internet by storm. The 11-year-old is tiny but mighty, and was in motion the entire duration of his set. He closed his set with “Overwhelming” a song that went viral with over 8 million hits on Youtube.
After Matt exited stage, fans seemed anxious for one artist in particular…Jacquees. The crowd excitedly chanted his name as DL RL kept them entertained while they waited. When Jacquees finally came out, the crowd went wild. The Atlanta native performed his hit song “B.E.D.” that was released last year. The singer signed to Cash Money Records in 2014, and has been grinding ever since. He’s worked with some of hip hop and R&B’s top artists like Chris Brown, August Alsina, and Rich Homie Quan. He is no stranger to success, with his first EP 19 having debuted at number 15 on US Billboard R&B Albums. The ladies loved him, and several of his fans eagerly swarmed the stage, itching to get closer to the singer and practically reaching for him as he finally walked off at the end of his set.
“Peace on the Streets” 2017 closed out on an optimistic beat with a performance of “Blessings” from rapper Lecrae. “Blessings” is Lecrae’s latest single that was released earlier this year and features Ty Dolla Sign, highlighting the little blessings in life that the singer is grateful for. Everything from the clothes on your back to your family and loved ones are worth celebrating, and on that note, “Peace on the Streets” was a show that will hopefully leave a lasting impact on the streets of Philadelphia for months to come.