Thursday, June 16, 2005

Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick Show

According to the rules of Fred, a great hip-hop show should have some of the following to be considereto be considered a great show:
a group who’s music is well know by the crowd in attendance – check here - I think most of the crowd was older speaking relatively, probably between 23-35. Generally speaking, a younger crowd may not have been as familiar with their music
artist who can get the crowd involved either through lyrics or dance or props (think 2 Live Crew here) – check here – Doug’s MC’ing and old school dance moves and Slick Rick’s persona and lyrical delivery knocked this one out
a venue well suited for the event - check here – a music festival, the crowd already heard some traditional music, reggae, dancehall, old-school R&B, everyone was in the mood to really get down to some hip-hop, and in the front I saw a few “cigarettes” that emit a definitive odor being passed around.

Basically the crowd was great, the weather had cooled down, and I had a great time.
This show was probably the best hip-hop show I’ve attended. The crowd wasn’t really huge, maybe a thousand or more with a few hundred up front near the stage. First Doug E Fresh came out with their two DJ’s. He was great at working the crowd; he did some of his early stuff, including “Greatest Entertainer” and “I’m Gettin Ready”. Then it just got hotter. He freestyled with ease and played homage to groups like Earth, Wind, and Fire and Gap Band by playing samples from their songs. And then he spent about 5-10 minutes playing old TV themes, Fat Albert, The Jeffersons, Good Times, etc, even Cheers, and the crowd ate it up. I enjoyed that he kept everything old school. He also did some beatbox which was unbelievable; he had a reggae artist whose name I do not remember come out to sing with only Doug’s beatbox as background. Then Slick Rick came out about halfway through, just like you would imagine, wearing a Kango, eye patch, big chains and rings, the whole deal. They broke into “The Show” and “La-Di-Da-Di” with no music other than Doug beatboxing (by the way Snoops version pales in comparison to the original). They did another song or two then Slick Rick ended with another classic “Children’s Story”-- He was only seventeen, in a madman's dream, the cops shot the kid, I still hear him scream, This ain't funny so don't ya dare laugh, just another case 'bout the wrong path, Straight 'n narrow or yo' soul gets cast(?) Good Night.--

I know I probably enjoyed this show more than most people would, but it brought me back to day when I first heard hip-hop as a young kid. Hip-Hop doesn’t carry my affections the same way it once did, in fact I don’t even refer to myself as a hip-hop fan anymore to be brutally honest, but for an hour or so on Saturday, I was back.

1 comment:

The Underdog said...

I definitely do not claim to know the ins and outs of hip hop. I do know what i've heard and what i hear now. With that said:

I think true hip hop started it's slow death to me, probably around the time "Self Destruction" came out. Now i'm not saying they still didn't have any live MC's during that time, nor am i saying "Self Destruction" is not a classic. It'll be one of the best rap songs to ever hit the air. What i'm saying is, pre-Self Destruction the hip hop i know was more light hearted. It was about telling some random stories and dancing in the club. It was fun and fun loving. It was about dancing, bobbing your head and thinking you could flow because you knew some of the songs.

When Self Destruction hit (and probably others before) rap had a message. That's where things changed. While that song carried a message telling the youth that what was going on would prove costly in the future, other songs with different messages would follow.

The message of positivity would lead to the message of the streets in gansta rap (if my timeline is somewhat correct). Sure these were guys telling stories about the streets, but these weren't songs you danced to. These songs got people hyped, but for diferent reasons. Still classics, but different. Then down the road, instead of talking about the streets in general, rap got personal. I don't think hip hop was ever personal. East coast versus West coast. All with their own message, but not much positivity, not much dance. More ass shaking and ass grinding. More bobbing. "People don't dance no more, all they do is this," you know what i'm saying? Now we have the bling era of rap. It's still personal, but now its about look at me, look what i've got. I've got all this bling and you don't have any. I don't think true hip hop would have ever get that personal. Not dissing people like that.

But i think MC's like Common, and Kanye are getting it back. Pumping storytelling with positive messages. Yet, it'll never be as carefree as back in the day. Too much has changed in society. But i'll just listen to what i think is good and leave the other crap on the shelves.