Almost two weeks ago several superhero types and I all gathered in Charlotte to see The Rock the Bells Tour. Tasked with witnessing some mid-1990’s awesomeness, my brother @dickyoungjr, portions of @thegoodoleboys, @MusyDoeKnow, and @Eclipz_SC (Please watch this!) all came together at the Fillmore for some fellowship. We considered ourselves blessed because the Charlotte leg of the tour featured Raekwon & Ghostface Killah with Cappadonna in tow performing the bulk of the content from the legendary Only Built for Linx while Mobb Deep did the same with their vaunted CD, The Infamous.
Needless to say it was a good time to be a fan of that rappity rap sh*t when there are so many weak offerings, masquerading as good hip hop out there. So we prepared our minds and bodies for that purple tape sh*t. Since I fancy myself a thinker, I naturally be thinkin’ about stuff so I have some thoughts and observations about the concert.
- At a concert there is still nothing remotely comparable to a large group of people singing/rapping along to a song considered a universal classic and not missing a word or a beat. I doesn’t matter if it’s Purple Rain, I Used to Love H.E.R, or Shook Ones Part II, it’s almost a spiritual happening.
- You feel completely safe going to a concert being performed by artists who are the ages of your older siblings. No beef. No side-eyes. No foolishness. When the people performing are forty and the audience is in their thirties things just seem to go smooth.
- Prodigy and Havoc are two very, very, small men. I knew they weren’t giants but they look so much smaller in person.
- Like I said a few posts back in my rant about manliness, hanging out with positive, like-minded dudes is always a great experience.
- Mobb Deep had the best set by far. They were supported by The Alchemist and something called a 40 Glocc.
- Raekwon & Ghostface were still dope but the soundman couldn’t get their ish right which was unfortunate. But hell, its Raekwon & Ghostface, they didn’t need no stinking sound. Verbal Intercourse and Incarcerated Scarfaces will forever remain dope songs regardless of a f**ked-up sound system.
- The venue, the Fillmore had the gall, audacity, and brass to charge $9.00 bucks for at 22ounce beer. Who does that? I went to the bar to get two beers for my brother and I and the barkeep said what I thought to be “$8” and I handed her a ten. She then said “$18” and gave me the “Your yellow ass better give me eight more dollars” look. Then I gave her eight more dollars.
- Hip hop is better in smaller venues. There’s just a more personal feel about the setting as opposed to a stadium or arena.
- Only Built for Cuban Linx and The Infamous were two of the best produced hip hop CDs of all time. I consider Cuban Linx to be the best hip hop album ever so I may be biased.
- I love a good hip hop show. I just wish that I didn’t have to drive to Charlotte or Myrtle Beach to see good rappers.
In all, it was good to see my friends and see two four legends perform. $25 is a cheap price to pay for some old man rap. Good times were had and I’m just ready for another show.
Vaya con Dios.