You wouldn’t know that from the turnout Thursday night at DAR Constitution Hall, though. The number of attendees was greater than the beefy MC’s weight . . . but it was a shockingly close call. This presented an interesting predicament — how would this king of excess, fresh off being named MTV’s “hottest MC,” function when performing in a mostly empty venue? Playing in front of all those vacant seats couldn’t help but shatter the illusion of Ross as invincible icon, and during his brief, perfunctory set, Ross balanced out his larger-than-life persona with a bit of down-to-earth likability.
This was not a high-production concert: Its glitziest element was the personal pan pizza-size medallion draped around Ross’s neck. He has a limited-but-effective arsenal and it was fully deployed after the first handful of songs. “Ima Boss” and “I’m Not a Star” feature plenty of supersized boasts delivered in Ross’s slow-paced growl. He’s not a particularly dexterous rapper, but his singular focus and style serve him well.