By SOHH Senior News Writer Cyrus Kyle Langhorn
Even as I type this "experience" up, my eyes are droopy and I can see the sun trying to creep up on my shoulders as 5:04 a.m. slowly changes to 5:05 a.m. However, if I told you SOHH was On The Scene (get it?) for a packed Nokia Theater, New York City venue with a 'special' opening act, 88-Keys and the legendary Mos Def and Talib Kweli forming as Black Star for one-night in the Big Apple...the "insomnia"-like re-cap may be slightly justified, right?
I can't even begin to scrap up my thoughts and detail every last aspect of a night filled with hip-hop essence and raw rhymes all capped into one room. From the waiting in line (which media, at times, must do) to hitting the open floor to scramble towards the front, it was a great night and one I will likely use to carry me over throughout this upcoming summer.
As you can tell from the below video, (laugh), the line was a bit packed...in other words, getting there 15 minutes before the doors opened at 7 p.m., I was shocked to see a line going across the entire 45th street building, past the 'Lion King' entrance and a few parking garages...needless to say, if you were a die-hard hip-hop head in New York City on Saturday, May 30th, you were somewhere in the line.
Upon getting inside though, errything (and I mean errrything) was something out of a fancy NBA after-party setting. Very nicely decorated, bar and drinks galore along with a ton of merchandise available for purchase. With the recession in the back of everyone's minds, a handful of folks kept it moving to the open area (which quickly became a closed area with so many hip-hop heads) as the deejay spun records of Biggie Smalls, Nas, Rakim, Jay-Z, House of Pain, KRS-One, Q-Tip and anything else you could call "quality" hip-hop.
Now although by the time you read this I would have double checked, the video below features the evening's opening act.....which I believe were called "Black Violinists." Now while I am just re-capping my experience, I cannot stress the importance of what they brought out to the crowd...imagine a heavy fella and smaller guy, urban look and two violins....no need for a description, watch 'em work their magic below....I need an interview like yesterday....They did their own versions of Keri Hilson's "Turnin' Me On," Kanye West's "Heartless," and countless other tracks include T.I.'s "Dead & Gone."
I won't lie....never had the chance to fully listen to 88-Keys, but when he came out and spit a few bars here and there...I was impressed. Now while there are only two slight clips from the show I have provided below, don't get it twisted. He went "IN." From tricking fans by saying he was bringing out Yeezy (Kanye West to newly converted hip-hop heads) and instead coming out with his shirt open, black glove and lip-syncing to his lead single, 88 battled a handful of boos, a wad of paper thrown at his story-telling assistant which came out in-between tracks and poor microphone sound problems. I was impressed...but grumbling stomachs and aching legs had me agreeing with the rest of the crowd pleading for the show's main feature. (On a side note, he did, however, bring out Bilal...)
Eminem told you to "take some Big and some 'Pac, mix 'em up in a pot, sprinkle a lil' Big L on top, now what the f*ck do you got," well, let me do you one slightly better. You take some hip and some hop, pour it all in a pot, surprise fans with Mos and Talib and fo' sure they gon' pop......' (laugh) Okay, maybe I'll stick to the re-cap and news covering....but when I tell you the place exploded with energy upon the arrival of Black Star's front men....well, men lie, women lie...videos don't.....check 'em out....
Confession time....even though the rap duo killed the stage with so many cuts and vintage records they've been known for in the past....the place was so demanding and controlling that even a die-hard hip-hop fan (myself) had to pay my respect with a final song and sneak out. Still breathing hard from probably one of the most energy-filled, rap spurred and satisfying concerts I have had the opportunity to cover heading into summer.....oh, and with "Mom Dukes" alongside for the vintage hip-hop feel, too! (That's another blog posting....not here....) (laugh).... If you ever thought hip-hop fell off, you were just looking in the wrong direction...it's here and it's in full effect baby....
Product Placement: Mos Def's new album coming soon!
Talib Kweli's Reflection Eternal 2 coming soon!
Exclusively written by SOHH Senior News Writer Cyrus Kyle Langhorne.
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