Holiday Jam brings throwback hip-hop party to Sacramento

Ludacris responds to Holiday Jam fans calling out requests.
Shaun Astor / Tahoe Onstage photos

Photo ops with performers. Midshow seat upgrades for audience members. Jokes and commentary by station DJs being broadcast on the video screens between performers. And a lineup that performed hit after hit of throwback hip-hop jams that had the guests out of their seats from the very beginning.

This was the festive vibe throughout the V101.1 Holiday Jam, which took over Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center Arena on Saturday night, Dec. 7.

V101.1 FM, Sacramento’s old school hip-hop and R&B radio station, hoated an annual holiday show lineup featuring Ludacris, Ja Rule, Ashanti, DMX and members of Digital Underground. While the performers are responsible for chart-topping hip-hop and R&B hits stretching from the late ’90s to early 2000s, it was the audience that came decked out and prepared to dance, transforming the arena’s energy level to undeniable heights.

Set lists seemingly consisted of nothing but hits and performers, including the members of Digital Underground met the crowd to pose for pictures following energetic renditions of songs such as “Freaks of the Industry” and “The Humpty Dance.”

Rapper DMX showed some of the most energy, at one point climbing atop a stack of speakers sidestage to perform the songs “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up” from his elevated position.

Ja Rule and Ashanti share the stage.

Ja Rule and Ashanti shared the stage to perform their sets together, running through the pair’s duets, while taking turns to belt out their own songs. Ashanti, noticeably walking a bit slower and wearing a Chanel logo-adorned boot, announced to the crowd that this was her first performance since going through foot surgery. However her moving along with her pair of backup dancers kept this fact hidden. And Ja Rule may have compensated by putting in the most energetic performance of the night. 

However it was Ludacris who generated the most noise in the arena. Backed by DJ Infamous, the rapper took it back through each of his albums, stopping only long enough to get the crowd yelling in a callback of some of his biggest songs. 

In all, the V101.1 Holiday Jam was as much of a party as you would expect, being that it was basically the songs that remain staples on party playlists performed live for the Saturday night crowd.  

V101.1 also took the opportunity to announce its next throwback concert, featuring Fat Joe, E-40, Fabolous, Xzibit and others and slated for March. More info on that can be found at                                                                                                                              

— Shaun Astor

DMX reached unmatched heights at the Holiday Jam.
Digital Underground

About Shaun Astor

Shaun Astor cites pop music singers and social deviants as being among his strongest influences. His vices include vegan baking, riding a bicycle unreasonable distances and fixating on places and ideas that make up the subject of the sentence, "But that’s impossible…" He splits his time between Reno and a hammock perched from ghost town building foundations. Check out his work at

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