Jamie Foxx is many things to many people: an Academy Award-winning actor, a Grammy Award-nominated singer and an already-legendary comedian.
The 41-year-old star demonstrated his many talents Saturday night with a wide-ranging performance at The Joint as his “Blame It” tour enjoyed its second and final night in Las Vegas.
MC Hammer and old school rapper Too $hort also joined Foxx at separate points in the nearly two hour-long performance.
More than special guests, however, the audience at the Hard Rock Hotel last night saw Jamie Foxx the singer, Jamie Foxx the actor, Jamie Foxx the piano player, Jamie Foxx the comedian, Jamie Foxx the dancer, and Jamie Foxx the romancer.
They also got a taste of Jamie Foxx the Michel Jackson fan.
Foxx attracted acclaim and criticism last week for his appearance on the BET Awards, which were peppered with Michael Jackson shout-outs, tributes and memorializing.
Foxx first came to the stage wearing a red jacket and single, rhinestone-encrusted white glove much like the ones the King of Pop made famous. He strutted to the center of the stage, then danced to Jackson’s hit, “Beat It. ”
Moments later, he moonwalked down a catwalk as Jackson’s hit, “Billie Jean,” was played.
The real scandal, however, came when Foxx, who was hosting the annual awards show, proclaimed, "We want to celebrate this black man. He belongs to us and we shared him with everyone else."
Yet it was hard to detect any similar controversies last night as Foxx again paid tribute to the pop icon, who died on June 25.
“We recently lost a legend, the one and only king,” he said. “Stand up and give it up for Michael Jackson.”
The DJ played a short, mash-up style compilation of Jackson’s hits, but this time, Foxx did not don any MJ-themed costumes.
He also didn’t sing any Jackson hits, and did not attempt to pull off Jackson’s signature dance move, the moonwalk. He did, however, do the running man.
While Foxx wore a glove onstage, he wore the other one, too, effectively completing the pair. Also of note: The gloves were made of black leather, not white, and contained no rhinestones or otherwise bedazzled characteristics.
Foxx is not the only one paying his respects to the deceased performer: Jay-Z, who performed Friday and Saturday night at the Pearl, also gave a public shout-out to the fallen King of Pop during his performance at the Palms.
In addition, DJs across the city (and beyond) have been playing more Jackson mash-ups, too, since the artist’s unexpected death 10 days ago.
Foxx also praised Jackson on Friday afternoon during a live broadcast of his satellite radio show, “The Foxxhole.” The show was broadcast live from the Hard Rock-based nightclub, Wasted Space.
In addition to his references to Jackson, Foxx wished the crowd a happy Fourth of July numerous times last night, and made several mentions of the city’s ever-popular, “What Happens Here …” slogan, as well as the current economic recession.
At one point, he motioned as if he was about to throw his jacket into the crowd, then restrained himself and explained how times are tough right now, so he wanted to hold onto the $2,000 jacket instead of throwing it to a fan. He did, however, offer to finance an improvised onstage dance contest.
“I’ve got $500 that I’m gong to give to the best grinder onstage,” he promised.
The Terrell, Tex. native encouraged the women to showcase their sexiest moves.
“I want somebody to get pregnant up here,” he joked.
“I’m going to need a shot of penicillin after this one!” he declared after one of the hopefuls bared nearly all during her routine.
“Can you get Chlamydia by just standing here?” he asked with a laugh.
However, after auditioning a handful of female hopefuls, Foxx returned to the music without ever awarding the prize.
While this might have upset some of the competitors, none of their dance moves were all that seductive or, therefore, seemed truly deserving of the prize. Meanwhile, the crowd was eager for Foxx to return to the music.
With the exception of the so-called dance contest and a few costume changes, Foxx concentrated on the music for the majority of the evening.
The multitalented and dynamic personality interfaced songs with wit and humor and acted his way through a few choreographed routines.
(The skit accompanying “Overdosed on You” was the cheesiest by far, with a fake doctor who responded when Foxx asked, “Is there a doctor in the house?” and used a stethoscope to listen to the performer’s presumably broken heart as he sung.)
It was clear that of the many roles he plays, Foxx loves to play the ladies man.
I’m looking for my Michelle Obama,” he told the crowd. “If you’ll be my Michelle Obama I’ll be your Barack Obama,” he promised.
“Every time I’m in Vegas I always find me a young lady,” he said before launching into a soulful, slowed-down sampling of his hit collaboration with Kanye West, “Gold Digger.”
Foxx used the same sort of showmanship to showcase his vocal ability and artistic range throughout the performance.
Still, after nearly two hours onstage, it remained unclear if the crowd ever saw the real Jamie Foxx.
Granted, he has done such a good job portraying others over the years (Foxx won an Academy Awards for best actor in 2004 for his portrayal of Ray Charles in “Ray”) that it’s now hard to know when the former “In Living Color” actor is, in fact, acting, or is actually being himself.
Yet while the 41-year-old may keep people guessing, and be different things to different people, his fans seem to agree that regardless of his medium, Jamie Foxx is a performer.
And guessing games aside, none of it really matters: Foxx is a performer, first and foremost – and, fans would argue, a good one, at that.
After the show, Foxx kicked back and threw himself an unofficial afterparty at Tao. Jay-Z, Rihanna, Fabulous, and LeBron James also joined the fun, as did Foxx’s mother.
A well-known and longtime fan of the Asian-themed nightspot, Foxx took to the mic and treated clubgoers to a performance of “Blame It,” and yet another Michael Jackson tribute.
Once the star seemed satisfied that the party had been sufficiently started, he settled into his spot on the VIP stage where he drank champagne and celebrated the Fourth of July in grandiose style until the house lights nearly came on at 4 a.m.