By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – Country and rap collided at the BancorpSouth Arena on Thursday night, and rock ’n’ roll made a bit of a cameo.
Country band Florida Georgia Line brought 8,926 fans to Tupelo. The concert sold out weeks ago and was the highest number of country tickets sold in 20 years, said the arena’s director, Todd Hunt.
“They told us Tupelo’s gonna throw the biggest party of the year,” said Florida Georgia Line lead singer Tyler Hubbard after the band performed “It’z Just What We Do.” “Mississippi, we’ve been waiting for months to play this show for y’all.”
The band’s biggest hit, “Cruise,” skyrocketed to the top of the charts last year after it was remixed to include rapper Nelly, and rap was tossed in with twang throughout the night’s concert.
Opening act Chris Lane performed a rap medley that included lines from TLC’s “No Scrubs” and Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson.”
Country-rap artist Colt Ford kept the audience on its feet with his patriotic tunes, and he included a cover of rapper Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” He also sang a verse of a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song in his own track, “LIke Me.”
Lacey Hicks of Pontotoc snapped a picture of three young fans, her daughter Reannon, 7, and family friends Emma Cartwile, 12, Tanna Moody, 13, with their own Florida Georgia Line T-shirts.
It wasn’t Reannon’s first concert.
“She’s seen Miranda Lambert and everybody,” Hicks said.
Reannon was excited for the show.
“What song did we hear on the way over here?” Hicks asked her daughter.
She jumped up and down and answered with one of her favorite Florida Georgia Line songs: “Stay.”
“We’re fixing to have fun,” Hicks said.