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by vivrant thang on legends of hip hop

I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts how hype I was about the Legends of Hip Hop Concert that went down this past weekend in Baltimore. As you know, I abhor much of the mess polluting the airwaves these days. So whenever I am blessed to catch real emcees blessing the mic I am all over it.

I’ve been falling back in love with hip hop one real emcee at a time this year. First with KRS One and more recently at Rock The Bells, which I’m still buzzing from. So I was more than ready to continue the love affair with Big Daddy Kane, KRS One, Slick Rick,  Whodini, and Doug E Fresh– all on one stage. Felt like the show needed a femcee though. Didn’t anyone give MC Lyte a call? Somebody was listening because a while later I got word that she had replaced KRS One on the roster. Could the line up get any tighter?

Yup, yup.

A couple of days before the show, I heard that Kool Moe Dee, Chubb Rock, and Rob Base had been added.  I started reminiscing about how so many of these emcees songs were in constant rotation on the soundtrack of my life. It’s times like these that I am truly glad to be a part of the thirty and over crowd. Can you imagine the bullshit these kids growing up today will be reflecting back on? Songs comparing some woman’s ass to a donkey and demanding that she suck on your “lollipop?” What a pity.

Enough of that rant.

The show started with a local R&B artist whose name escapes me. Apparently her album is big overseas. 

Perhaps if they are all going deaf over there.

I think it would have been better to have a local up and coming young hip hop artist who could have then gotten schooled by cats who have been in the game since he or she was a twinkle in their father’s eye.  Anyhow, her set was good for the comedic element alone. One of the background dancer’s tacked on ponytail went flying across the stage.  The DJ even mentioned it afterwords. Where was Dr. Dre on the lineup? I surely needed medical attention after that one.

Rob Basewas up first. Crowd was still sparse because you know how ya’ll do. But everyone got hype when he performed “It Takes Two.” Reminded me of how HOT that joint was. Definitely a defining song for me as I was growing up.

Surprisingly, Big Daddy Kane came on early in the lineup.  For a man about to put forty candles on his cake in a few weeks, he still got it. If this is what the old man in the club is selling, I’m damn sure buying! He performed some of my faves like “Raw,” “I Get The Job Done,”  “Ain’t No Half Steppin,” and “Smooth Operator.” When Scoob Lover joined him on that stage and they started warming it up, it was like the clock rewound twenty years.

So at this point in the show, it was very apparent that timing was going to be an issue. Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore shuts down at a certain time and with all the folks still left to perform, it was very obvious that we were going to be looking at abbreviated sets from artists that should have been on at least 45 minutes. I overheard the man in front of me remarking that this was NOTHING like Rock The Bells. At times, we waited up to twenty minutes between acts and there were no set changes! Not sure whose fault that all was but now that I’ve seen the prototype of how it should be, I know it doesn’t have to go down like that. I know a lot of drama often goes on behind the scenes but I figure if you can get artists like Meth and Red and Nas to come out on time, surely they could have kept it moving at this event.

Anyhow, Chubb Rock was up after Big Daddy Kane and he kept the party going. As many of the artists did, he interspersed tributes to the classic soul and reggae hits from the 80s and 90s in with his own songs. However, there was something just extra hype about his set. He is truly a great performer. I’d love to see him and Doug E Fresh emcee a party together.

Here’s Chubb performing “Treat Em Right,” another song playing on the soundtrack of my life. He even commented on the video!

Kool Moe Dee was up next. He told us that he’d seen the flier and knew he had to get in where he fit in even though the well had run dry. He blessed us with “Wild Wild West,” “I Go To Work,” and “Go See The Doctorrrrr.”

He made an important point that even though there was beef between him (a lyrical master) and LL Cool J (“on his sexy superstar shit”), they never talked about shooting each other. Word.

Later in his set, we were blessed to see Wild Style came alive on the stage as Kevvy Kev and Master Rob of  [Grandmaster Flash and The] Furious Five and LA Sunshine of The Treacherous Three performed. Thirty years of hip hop history right there. I was still in diapers when these cats were making music with their mouths. It was truly a beautiful thing.

Do the ladies run this mutha? HELL YEA! 

Hands down, Lyte  had the best intro. She came out to “Flashing Lights.” How fly was that? She was also the only one that hasn’t gained a pound since she hit the scene in ’86.  I’m real salty about that too. She’ll also be turning 40 later this year and probably looks younger now than she did back then. Can you believe that?

She’s still the dopest female that you’ve heard thus far – despite what some ignorant ass blogger had to say. She told us that one of them wrote, “Why is she still rapping?” Boy do I wish I knew what blog this was. Makes me wanna go and fly this fist against their lips! Or I could simply and post her performances of “Paper Thin,” or “Cha Cha Cha” or

Cappuchino, Poor Georgie, and 10% Dis

By the time Doug E Fresh took the stage, time was scarce. Slick Rick came out with him, although I’m sure he was supposed to have his own set. Very disappointing.  Doug E Fresh performed “Keep Risin To The Top” and Slick Rick did “Children’s Story.”

Vicious joined Doug E Fresh for “Freaks”(throwback!). Vicious ain’t “lil” no more. Very hot performance.  The set ended with “Lodi Dodi” and “The Show.” I wanted more! It was really good to see Rickwith his blinged out eye patch and ten pounds of truck jewelery.

Overall it was a very good show. These are the artists whose Fresh and Right On pull out posters adorned my walls – along with Al B. Sure, but that’s another post. I used to let my tape rock til my tape popped playing a lot of these songs I’ve featured here. Now here I am over twenty years later and they are still up there doing it to death.

As always, there are more videos from the show up on my You Tube channel.