*T.I. invited a few friends on stage Monday to launch AXE Music’s “One Night Only” concert series at New York’s glamorous Capitale.
The rapper performed his first full live show since his release from prison with guests Mary J. Blige, Cam’ron, Keri Hilson, B.o.B. and Swizz Beatz, among others. . Flanked by a five-piece backing band, T.I. exploded onstage in a dark-blue hoodie near 11 p.m. and rocked furious renditions of “I’m Back,” “Top Back” and “Rubberband Man.”
“I don’t care where you’re from — North, South, East, West. You gotta be real if you wanna ride with me,” T.I. snarled before running through “Ride Wit Me.”
As the music died down for a few minutes during his two-hour set, T.I. thanked the fans in the New York area who wrote him letters while he was serving a prison sentence for gun charges last year.
“I appreciate all the love y’all showed me,” said T.I., “but there’s still people behind that wall, with the same struggles every day. Give it up one time for my n***a Lil Wayne.”
Sporting his second different polo T-shirt of the night, T.I. finished the show by tackling his two Hot 100 chart-toppers, “Whatever U Like” and “Live Your Life.” Although he reminded the crowd that his crime drama “Takers” will be released Aug. 27, T.I. only vaguely alluded to his much-anticipated seventh album, saying that “King Uncaged” was simply “coming soon.”
T.I.’s next scheduled performance is at Baltimore’s Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2010 on Sept. 25.