For those of you that don't know, pre-cable, Video Music Box pioneered what we've grown accustomed to in MTV, BET, and Vh1. It was definitely a New York thing, so alot has to do with locality, but without doubt, the show basically raised me. In the same way tons of kids are now growing up with YouTube, you'd be hard pressed to find a 20-30 something from NYC that didn't run home from school to catch it at 3:30 every afternoon. Whether it was Crazy Sam on Nervous Thursdays with his outrageous antics or just Ralph taking me clubbing through my tube, the show was the "end all be all". I 1st discovered Big Daddy Kane, Kid N Play, Black Moon, and just about every other influential rap act through the program. So its absolutely wonderful that they're celebrating 25 years of being a staple of NY television
As for the show in Central Park, it was B-A-N-A-N-A-S!! Though my boy and I got there late, we g'd our way inside despite the door people rejecting hundreds of folks. We heard but didn't see Naughty's performance, and could have only imagined how ill it was. By the time we found a spot to cool out at, O.C got on. I can now officially say, as much as I loved Word Life, I'm tired of seeing him perform to a lukewarm reception. Then Chubb got on and bodied it, but I couldn't help but feel a hint of deja vu. Maybe its because I had just seen them both at Prospect Park for the Crooklyn Dodgers reunion. Schooly D got on next and moved the crowd, but he should have not rocked after the Chubbster...bad line up call Ralph. Then Milk Dee came on and crushed with "Top Billin"...no surprise there. The Lost Boyz, who I had completely forgotten about, rocked out too.
Nice & Smooth closed the show, but it was somewhat of a disappointment. Not because they're not dope, but because they played around too much. BTW, when did Smooth B grow dreads? They brought out dancers, Greg Nice came out with tons of energy, Smooth B came out with a crown and cape...so they recaptured the pageantry that Hip-Hop once had. The problem was, they didn't perform their hits. Why would you headline and not perform "Sometimes I Rhyme Slow" or their verses from "Dwyck" or any of the other classics. It baffled my dome. Furthermore, why would they close the show anyway? I mean if Naughty by Nature, who were the definitive 90's Hip-Hop group, was on the bill, shouldn't they headline? Honestly, were there any records bigger than "O.P.P" & "Hip Hop Hooray". Not to mention all their other hits like "Feel Me Flow", "Everything's Gonna Be Alright", and "Uptown Anthem".
Well I'm just nit-picking at this point. The show was dope, but even better was the crowd. I haven't been to any event all year that had such an incredible feel good energy. For a few minutes, I definitely felt like a youngster back in 92.
Don't forget to subscribe to my new mixtape/podcast, The Instant Classic, which pays homage to all of this great music.