NEPA Scene Staff

Rick Ross headlines Halloween rap show with DaBaby and Lil Durk at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre

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From a press release:

Rapper, entrepreneur, and record executive Rick Ross, who recently released a new hit album, has been added as the headliner of “Halloween Massacre 2” at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.

Announced back in August, the show presented by Cruz Control Entertainment will feature two rising hip-hop stars, DaBaby and Lil Durk, as well as Funk Flex and a special guest.

DaBaby just hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songwriters chart for the first time, with 18 songwriting entries on the latest weekly Hot 100 ranking, including all 13 tracks from his new album, “Kirk,” which launched at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. On Oct. 2, Lil Durk released a music video for “Bora Bora,” a song from his latest album, “Love Songs 4 the Streets 2.”

Following up the sold-out 2008 Halloween Massacre featuring multi-platinum rapper Lil Wayne, Cruz Control has coordinated another event with in-demand artists.

Tickets, which range from $39.75-$119.75, plus fees, are on sale now at the arena’s NBT Bank Box Office (255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre), and all Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at 800-745-3000.

After 13 triumphant years served in the coliseum of hip-hop, Rick Ross has begun his victory lap towards rap legend. The catalyst for the leader of the Maybach Music Group’s longevity is consistency. After introducing himself in 2006 with a classic anthem (“Hustlin’”) and platinum debut (“Port of Miami”), the Slip-N-Slide Records franchise player spent the following decade-plus dominating as both mogul and Top 10 scribe.

While his mighty pen positioned him as peer to southern kings like T.I. and Gucci Mane and empowered him to stand bar-for-bar with the greatest to ever spit (Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Drake) and sing (Chris Brown, Usher, John Legend), Ross’ contribution to his craft and culture travels far deeper than rap. Grammy nominations and classic verses aside, “The Biggest Boss” graduated his unparalleled vision and insane work ethic from Carol City’s unforgiving corners to corner offices and corporate partnerships. Inside the music business, his MMG label catapulted the careers of future legends Meek Mill and Wale. Outside of the biz, he’s the brilliant owner of a litany of brands, from spirits (Belaire, Bumbu) to comfort food franchises (Wingstop, Checkers). But after birthing nine stellar albums, Ross, like any great, has challenged himself to outdo his greatest work. He accomplishes that on his latest opus, “Port of Miami 2.”

“I felt album number 10 is a special one,” Ross noted. “It’s a milestone period. It almost feels like Pac doing the double CD.”

Rozay’s 10th studio composition as the sequel to his debut is apropos poetry. It being the most exquisite rap album of 2019, thus far, thrusts its author back into Grammy contention. On Port of Miami 2 track burner, “The Biggest” leans into his strengths––impeccable beat selections and pocket flow––while raising the stakes with a supreme guest list and rare transparency. The warning shot “Big Tyme” is equal parts braggadocio and motivation empowered by the colossal production of Just Blaze and vocal energy of Swizz Beatz. Its follow up, “Gold Roses” is an ironic gift to the rap world as Ross and Drake deploy 24 karat rhyme bars for some expensive catharsis. “A hundred-room mansion but I felt abandoned/Love making love but where will love land me?” Double R continues speaking to the opposite sex on the album’s inevitable radio hit “Summer Reign.” The winner features a beautiful homage to SWV’s “Rain” supported by the gorgeous vocals of Atlanta songbird Summer Walker.

Yung Renzel optimizes his latest album to simultaneously flex his 15 million social media following and pave a lane for rap’s future. His guest list is grade A – the late Nipsey Hussle appears with Teyana Taylor on the scorching “Rich Nigga Lifestyle,” “Born to Kill” sees Jeezy turn things up, and Meek Mill helps his mentor separate the fake from authentic on “Bogus Charms.” Then, like any smart boss, “The Biggest” offers opportunity to the next generation like upstart MCs Denzel Curry and A Boogie wit da Hoodie (“Running The Streets”). It is Ross’ blessing of an ear that allowed the lion’s share of “POM2’s” production to be scored by exceptionally talented yet lesser known composers – for example, Harmony “H-Money” Samuels (Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande), Cardiak (Drake, Dr. Dre) and TROP, whose rotund bass drops allow Ross and Gun Play to bounce atop the car system-official “Nobody’s Favorite.”

The seamless coexistence of vets and new blood can be credited to the album’s cohesion. Over a warm Isley Brothers groove provided by legendary southern producer Toomp, Rozay opens up about the seizures he suffered. He then uses a pristine J.U.S.T.I.C.E LEAGUE symphony and a couple bars from a sterling “Vegas Residency” performance to smirk at fashion designers’ new interest in his weight loss.

“Port of Miami 2” is the current frontrunner for the Grammy’s Rap Album of the Year. It is the masterpiece of a Carol City survivor turned valedictorian who returned years later to motivate alumni, faculty, and graduating class. The opus will go down in history for Rick Ross diehards as a Top 3 catalog favorite. Top 10 best MC conversations will evolve into Top 5 debates. This is the MMG general’s tipping point in stereo.

“Everybody got a certain way to deliver their message,” Ross said. “I know I’m delivering something different, but it took me album 10 to present that. The priorities are still the same. We just had to perfect it.”

DaBaby, also known as Baby Jesus, will be headlining and currently has one the hottest songs and videos across all platforms. “Suge (Yea Yea)” has been on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the past 18 weeks and has held ground as high as No. 7. The video currently has over 127 million views on YouTube.

He released his debut studio album, “Baby on Baby,” on March 1 via Interscope Records and gained praise by Rolling Stone, which said it “stood out for its sense of urgency.” It debuted at No. 4 on the Apple Music Top 100, No. 25 on the Billboard 200, and earned him a No. 1 slot on Pandora’s Trendsetters chart.

Ambushing the music scene in 2015 under the alias Baby Jesus, DaBaby made a huge impact on the North and South Carolina music scenes before embracing his current name, explained on “DaBaby (Intro),” a short introduction to 2016’s “God’s Work Resurrected,” his first mixtape under the new moniker. Multiple mixtapes followed in the coming months, with 2017 offering “Billion Dollar Baby,” “Baby Talk,” “Baby Talk 2,” “3,” and “4,” as well as “Back on My Baby Jesus Sh!t.” 2018 continued in a similarly prolific fashion with “Baby Talk 5” and “Blank Blank.”

Chicago-based drill rapper Lil Durk recently released his fourth studio album, “Love Songs 4 the Streets 2,” via Alamo Records. According to Hypebeast, Durk has aptly infused a ground-level glimpse of gang life in Chicago’s South Side within his lyrics, prompting a fluid rise to the forefront of the Windy City’s long-standing drill scene.

Lil Durk has released and is featured on songs with notable artists such as Nicki Minaj, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Chance the Rapper, Future, and Wale.