Crossfade's Guide to Day One at Best of the Best 2011 With Chris Brown, Rick Ross, and Others

It's almost Memorial Day weekend. And as any backyard playa who's ever organized a badass barbecue block party will recognize, you can't honestly call it a holiday blowout unless you hold strong and fast to the following checklist: (1) The guest list should be designed to draw a crowd that's about two to three percent beyond max capacity; (2) The food's gotta have soul, e.g. ribs, chicken wings, fried fish, corn on the fucking cob, and some greens; (3) The drinks should be strong enough to knock you out and there's gotta be some kind of nice, spiked, fruity punch for the ladies; and finally (4) the entertainment must include a rapper, a diva, and some slow sexy shit.

Needless to say, the Best of the Best fest has got it all on lock. From the mob to the grub to the booze, you're covered. For real, this annual Memorial Day bash at Bicentennial Park never misses a beat, especially when it comes to the music.

Saturday, May 28

Chris Brown

Indeed, C. Breezy has struggled mightily with rage issues over the past couple of years. But as the superhot single off his new-ish slab F.A.M.E. says: "Look at Me Now." He's back at the top of the game, chilling and spitting with straight street superstars like Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes. Plus, "Look at Me Now" isn't just a song that happens to be as infectious as ebola. Turns out, it was a prediction for the future too. 'Cause when Brown sang, "Oh, I'm getting paper/Look at me now/Oh, look at me now/Yeah, fresher than a motherfucker," he wasn't kidding. All through 2011, he's been counting cash and racking up platinum. And just last week, Breezy scored a leading six nominations for this year's BET Awards. Lil homie even beat out Weezy. That's major.

Rick Ross

Now, as high and hot as Chris Brown might be riding right now, there's only room for one Boss in Dade County and that's Ricky Rozay. Still cruising at 120MPH off the fumes of 2010's Teflon Don and its massive singles "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" and "Aston Martin Music," Ross is already eyeing his next hustle and it's called God Forgives, I Don't. The first banger, "Made Men" featuring Drake, off this still-unreleased record came out back in March. And already, the Don has followed up with another bigger, badder blast: a collab with Lil Wayne named "9-Piece." It's hard, icey, and mean. Totally befitting the Boss.

Keri Hilson

As mentioned at the top, every party needs a diva and Ms. Keri Hilson qualifies in almost every way. She writes her own songs. She's punch-you-in-the-face pretty. She knows how to smoke a cigarette. She can rock a leopard-print shirt, leather jacket, and a tangle of gold chains without looking skeezy. And she's got the pipes to pull off "I Will Always Love You" à la Whitney before the crack.

Travis Porter

No, Travis Porter isn't just one guy. He's three. But if you listen to the radio, own an umbrella, or watch 106 & Park once a week, then you don't even need an introduction 'cause you already know these rainmakers by name (Ali, Quez, and Strap) and you've already got a mixtape of their bounciest party tracks ("Bananas," "Bring It Back," "Make It Rain," etc.) popped into your Explorer's pimped-out stereo and set on loop.

Trey Songz

Yes, when we asked for "some slow sexy shit," we were talking about Trey Songz. He's R. Kelly, if R. Kelly somehow shed 20 pounds, 17 years, and his reputation for peeing on people. That's a joke. But Songz's irresistible R&B jam "Love Faces" isn't. Despite the fact that it's a song about making strange facial expressions during sexual intercourse, you wanna sing along. And strangely, when Trey croons them, even lyrics like "Wouldn't it be nice if all night I was in you" seem romantic.

Best of the Best 2011. Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29. Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Single-day general admission tickets cost $52, two-day passes cost $95, and admission is free for children under 12. Visit

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S. Pajot