When a hip-hop show is done well, it can get the crowd bopping its collective head along to some thumping beats. But when a hip-hop show is done really well, or even perfectly, it can turn into a giant party where seemingly everyone's invited.
Saturday night in Atlanta proved the latter as hip-hop collective Goodie Mob turned a rainy fall evening into a wild summer backyard party. The fact that the show was Goodie Mob's first official performance together since 2006 only sweetened the pot.
With thousands of people dancing below a cloud of marijuana smoke, as well as appearances by fellow Atlanta rap boss Big Boi (of OutKast), Goodie Mob made it clear that three years gone didn't mean a thing.
Like The Roots in Philadelphia, Goodie Mob is an Atlanta hip-hop institution. And in a city known so well for hip-hop (Ludacris, T.I. and Lil Jon ring a bell?), that's truly saying something. The group, which includes Cee-Lo (of Gnarls Barkley fame), T-Mo, Big Gipp and Khujo, seemed just as ecstatic to be performing together as the crowd was to bare witness - a veritable who's who of Atlanta's Dungeon Family collective (which includes Outkast, Killer Mike and Sleepy Brown, among others) popped onstage hugging each other, elated that the Mob was back together.
Cee-Lo wailed through his Gnarls hit "Crazy," the Mob crushed its 1995 hit "Cell Therapy" and Big Boi jumped onstage for his verse in "Get Rich to This."
The show came loaded with not only big-beat, good-vibes hip-hop, but teasers for the future.
"Who's ready for another Goodie Mob album?" asked Cee-Lo to the rapt audience. And it was a good question - the Mob hasn't released an album including every member since 1999.
"Also, and I'm a fan myself," continued Cee-Lo, "who's ready for another Outkast album?"
Unsurprisingly, the crowd, staring straight at half of the iconic rap duo onstage, broke into atomic bomb cheering.
As the show, which often felt more like a big family reunion, came to a close, Cee-Lo pushed to keep things going.
"It doesn't have to end. Well, it does right here. But we can take this party elsewhere," he said before inviting the crowd of thousands to party with him in downtown Atlanta.