Review/photos: Lil Kim, Trina set bottles flying, booties shaking at Channelside IMAX in Tampa
I got to the Channelside IMAX at about 1 a.m. Friday, knowing that Lil Kim and Trina probably wouldn’t be arriving until 2 a.m. I was right — they arrived about 10 minutes apart in separate entourages around 1:45 a.m.
Trina arrived first and went straight to a dressing room, which was actually a closed theater called Dolce Vita; then Lil Kim arrived and went straight to her VIP table. Once Kim got to her table the crowd went crazy for her. And being “Lil” Kim she had to stand up on her seat to wave and blow kisses to fans that had been waiting hours to see her.
Just as Trina was about to hit the stage a fight broke out, causing Trina’s security to delay her from hitting the stage until security got things under control, which they quickly did. One song into Trina’s performance, another fight broke out near the stage, which was quickly broken up, with offenders tossed out of the venue. At that time Trina’s security tried to take her off the stage, but Trina refused and said she was okay. She calmed down the crowd and resumed her performance.
Then about two songs later, another fight, this one much larger than the previous two, erupted towards the back of the club. Bottles, cups and shoes went flying in the air — none of which were directed towards Kim or Trina, but once again, IMAX security staff stepped in to toss out those involved.
Lil Kim’s security surrounded her with their bodies to protect her from flying objects — which were never thrown her way, but just as a precaution. Trina’s security pulled her from the stage and exited out the back of the IMAX and left.
About that time DJ Shotgun calmed down the crowd and called Lil Kim up to the stage, and she performed like a champion! Now, I know it is only two weeks into 2012, but I’m gonna have to say that this performance was awesome and the best one of 2012! It’s really going to be hard to top Lil Kim’s performance — she performed some of her classics, with an occasional subtle dis towards her “haters.”
By this time the tiny stage was completely surrounded by fans, and it actually looked like she was performing in the middle of a moshpit. It was only her and her two huge security guards watching, just in case someone got a little too touchy, but everyone behaved, giving Kim just enough room to rap, dance and do some booty-shaking in the middle of the crowd. At one point Trina, along with her entourage, came back to the IMAX and stood backstage. Hearing that Trina came back, Kim invited her to the stage. Trina hung out behind Kim for the remainder of her set, bobbing her head and singing along with Lil Kim’s lyrics.
It was not a huge sellout crowd, and it wasn’t dead either, but those moments with Kim and Trina onstage, completely surrounded by fans, was something I haven’t seen before. It was amazing. Usually female rappers such as Trina and Nicki Minaj and others have very strict security procedures in place and keep fans far out of touching distance, but this wasn’t the case here. It was sort of like a huge house party with the Queen B rapping and dancing. It was something I will remember for a long time.
Kim then ended her set saying, “Damn, Tampa! I didn’t know you all go hard like this. I love you all; thanks for coming out!” Then her huge bodyguard picked her up and walked her backstage She then posed for me and hung out backstage signing autographs and taking photos, along with Trina, for fans that had VIP passes. All in all, it was a crazy performance and something I did not expect. I’m glad I had the chance to cover it.
Review/photos: Luis Santana, tbt*. Get a full gallery of pics at tbtpics.tampabay.com.