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Kanye West, Nas and Mos Def Join Common for Benefit Concert

When Common decides to do some good, he really goes all out. Last Saturday night at the Hollywood Palladium, the Chicago MC threw a giant benefit concert for his Common Ground Foundation — a nonprofit dedicated to helping the urban youth in America. Now, of course, you’d expect a solid lineup for an event of this magnitude, but what went down borders on one of more ridiculously deep bills of 2009. Performers included Kanye West, Nas, De La Soul, Ludacris, The Roots, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Heavy D, DOOM and Queen Latifah.

The biggest highlight of the evening apparently came when Common announced that Kanye was unable to attend because he needed some time off after his meltdown at the VMAs. Temporarily let down, the audience was then surprised as Ye proceeded to enter the venue from the back and launched into a version of ‘Get Em High’ with Common, Mos Def and Talib Kweli. By all accounts, West received an ecstatic reaction and tore the place down.

Notable moments were plentiful throughout the night. Mos and Kweli banded together for a Black Star reunion, De La Soul collaborated with DOOM, and Nas and Common ripped through an insanely-amped version of ‘New York State of Mind.’ Ludacris allowed the crowd to pick his set, while Heavy D kept the crowd in a full-scale dance frenzy.

After Kanye performed, he stayed onstage with Mos, Common and Kweli to form an unstoppable cavalcade of hype men for Queen Latifah. The Queen closed out the night by ripping through a few classics like ‘People’ and ‘U.N.I.T.Y.’ Dang. Sounds good to me.

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