Show date: June 28, 2008
New York, NY
The fact that it’s after noon and I’m still up from last night’s show — after having gone three days without a full night’s sleep — is a testament to how energizing it was. It’s no secret that New York crowds are often dull. Instead of throwing their hands in the air and wilding out, they often show their love by nodding their heads and, if you’re especially lucky, unfolding their arms. It takes a special kind of performer to achieve the results seen last night in midtown Manhattan. But it would be dishonest of us artists to take all the credit. Perhaps the most important ingredient to a successful show is a competent promoter, and AD Skolar certainly is that. This dude made me submit my set list for the show a week beforehand, because he wanted to make sure everything ran smoothly. He was on top of things from the jump. As a direct result of his meticulous planning, everyone who was fortunate enough to be a Blaggards on W. 38th Street last night got to experience something magical. It felt like the seeds were being planted for a revitalized New York Hip Hop scene. The kind we’ve been dreaming about, but have yet to see manifest. Until now.
Despite the venue itself failing to display the flyer on the outside of the establishment (a common flub) and the show starting over an hour late (a Hip Hop prerequisite), everything was handled exceptionally well. The sound was on point, the talent was deserving, and the crowd was plentiful and open to the idea of enjoying themselves.
I was actually booked for this show solo, but I had to bring EJ and Timid through to make it a Fam set. With all the focus on the upcoming Fam album Family Business, it only made sense. After the crowd failed to answer his question correctly last week in Queens, EJ tried again last night in Manhattan. He pulled money out of his pocket, and bet the audience they couldn’t tell him which platinum artist appeared on the hook of the song we just performed. This time, someone answered quickly and snatched the money right up: Mr. Porter of D12.
E had reservations about performing the slow “Mother Said Son” (another song on The Fam album), but based on how hard it hit in the club and how the crowd reacted to it, I maintain we made the right decision to include it in the set. For my money, it was easily the highlight of the show. On the other hand, “Homegirls” may have been too crude for the surprisingly female-dominated audience.
I’ll stop talking about the performance here, and let the video speak for itself.
It was an added bonus to get to build with Random, whose award-winning album I appeared on last year. He himself rocked a short set earlier in the night, and killed it. Truthfully, everyone did his or her thing. I will look back at this show as a proud moment in my career.
Special shout outs to Koko, Nashirk, April, and the rest of the crew.