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Ja Rule and Ashanti Jammed in Austin At HEB Center

JingleJam, Ashanti, Ja Rule,

Dec 12, 2022

Posted By Tracy Fuller

I am a music enthusiast with a deep love for the energy of crowded venues, loud music, & passionate fans. I have a diverse background that includes private security, talent buying, festival security planning, & media relations. I've also worked as a camera operator for various projects, including music videos featuring notable artists like Bernz, Tech N9ne, & Krizz Kaliko. Additionally, I am a camera operator for Full Moon Features, where I contribute to the production of horror movies.

Ja Rule and Ashanti Jammed in Austin

Sunday night’s Jingle Jam brought out all folks “Mesmerized” by late 1990s/early 2000s R&B and Rap. Acts such as the Ying Yang Twins had the crowd “shaking’ it like a saltshaker.”  While the New Orleans rapper Juvenile made everybody “drop it like it’s hot.” Trina, Lloyd, Ja Rule, and Ashanti all managed to transport me to Jr. High and High School singing along to lyrics I had yet to experience.

Fans were dressed to the nines at the H.E.B. Center at Cedar Park Sunday, December 11, 2022. They eagerly grooved and sang along as the DJs played old-school classics such as Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk”, Soul For Real’s, and “Candy Love” and crooned to slightly newer classics such as Keyshia Cole’s “Love”. The DJs and crowd showed love for newer artists like Glorilla.

Opening act Gemtunes had a ton of energy and moved the crowd. Ying Yang Twins came on the stage with great presence bringing their booty-shaking music, smiling.  Forgot how many hits they had. Definitely had everybody testing the strength of their knees with songs like “Salt Shaker “and “Say I Yi Yi”. Of course, when “Get Low” began the audience drowned out Kaine and D-Roc. 

Next Trina graced the stage and proved why she owns the moniker “The Badet Bitch.” As an introduction to her performance, the DJ played some female rappers that are clearly the direct descendants of Trina such as the 305’s own City Girls and up-and-coming Memphis, Tennessee-based rapper, Glorilla. Trina looks amazing and was so grateful for the love she received. Of course, she performed the hit that introduced her to the world, “Nann.” The crowd sang along with that specific Miami twang and confidence.

Lloyd walked through the crowd before jumping on the stage. Easy to tell he loved performing. He displayed great physical and vocal talent. Dancing around the whole stage while singing hits like, “You” and “Get It Shawty.” His infectious energy made the crowd rock with the Young Money hit “Bedrock.” Lloyd’s high tenor sounded great live. After his set joined Ashanti and Ja Rule for separate numbers. He even graced the audience with an acapella number.

Juvenile came outpouring the brown liquor of brown liquors, Hennessy. He was one of my favorites of the night. As soon as I heard that New Orleans drawl, I knew I was in for a treat. Juvenile “Set it Off” has so many bangers. It was hard to keep up. From songs like “Slow Motion” to his first hit, “Ha” everyone had a great time. But of course, when the beginning violin notes of “Back That Ass Up” floated through the air everybody went wild. There is something about the magic of Manny Fresh that causes involuntary movement among the masses. I wish I could bottle that level of energy up.

Ja Rule and Ashanti came ready to perform. They haven’t lost a step since the early 2000s. Still love his gruff version of the sing /song rapper. Amazing that some made fun of him at the time for his “thug love” anthems but some of the biggest rappers now sing/talk/rap. It appears to be done with significantly less heart. Both looked great Ashanti sported a multicolored body suit, a rhinestone-studded microphone, and sweet, angelic vocals. At some point, Ja Rule took his shirt off to showcase a well-maintained physique. The rough-voiced rapper and Princess of R&B started their combined set  with their hit song “Mesmerize.” Ashanti performed “Happy”, “Foolish”, “Baby” and so many wonderful hits. With her beautiful backup dancers. Ja Rule performed some of his songs such as “Down As Bitch”, and “Put it On Me” as well as a snippet of “Can I Get A…” his debut to the world with Jay Z and Amil. The crowd was truly pleased and made a great show even better. Overall, it was a great show, and I was pleasantly surprised. 

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