Wale and K'naan kicked off their co-headlining East Coast tour at New York City's Fillmore auditorium on Wednesday, March 31, with some help from special guests J. Cole, Nas and Damian Marley.
After opening performances from John Forte and West African rapper Tabi Bonney, Wale took the stage performing snippets from his debut album 'Attention: Deficit.' With beats provided by DJ Omega, instead of his usual live band setup, the D.C. rapper breezed through numerous tracks including 'Triumph,' 'Mama Told Me' and the Bun B feature 'Mirrors' before slowing things down with 'World Tour,' a nod to the A Tribe Called Quest 'Midnight Marauders' track 'Award Tour.' As he continued rolling through the album, Roc Nation's hype machine J.Cole -- fresh off his sold out show at SOB's the prior night -– hopped on stage to rap his verse on Wale's 'Beautiful Bliss.'
K'naan later re-energized the crowd with an upbeat set from his latest album 'Troubadour.' After spiking energy levels with his hits 'ABCs' and 'Dreamer,' Wale returned to the stage to perform the duo's 'Attention: Deficit' feature 'TV in the Radio.' When K'naan finally paused to catch his breath, he recounted a humorous story to the audience about the first time he heard Nas' 'N.Y. State of Mind' ... during an attempted robbery with a group of friends. The Somalian emcee said it was Nas who had inspired him to document his tough upbringing, before dropping the beat and rhyming over the Queens rapper's classic street anthem. No more than one verse later, Nas himself dropped in to finish up the song, sending the crowd through the roof.
The room was still buzzing from the unexpected appearance when K'naan summoned his next guest, Damian Marley, to perform their 'Troubadour' collaboration 'I Come Prepared.' After a rousing performance, both Nas and Marley took the stage once more to debut their new track, 'As We Enter,' from the upcoming album 'Distant Relatives.' And with energy levels peaking, K'naan finally winded down his set with classics, 'Strugglin'' and 'What's Hardcore?' from his debut album 'The Dusty Foot Philosopher,' then sent fans packing.