Legendary 90s (Mobb Deep, Raekwon and Boot Camp Clik)

Legendary 90s (Mobb Deep, Raekwon and Boot Camp Clik)
It is 2026. Terminators did not wage a war on humans. Cars still do not fly above our heads. People are not frozen to be preserved for a few hundred years. Hip Hop is… very different. From storytelling of the1980s to drugs and violence of the 1990s to pop-style entertainment of the new millennium, it had found a way to integrate with all styles of music by 2026. There is rock/rap, country/Hip Hop, reggae/Hip Hop and even classical/Hip Hop genres. It’s really was not that difficult to do. Rock/rap had been represented by bands like Limp Biscuit, Gorillaz and even Run/DMC in their collabo with Aerosmith since the 1990s. Country/Hip Hop was introduced by Nelly and Tim McGraw in 2005. Reggae/Hip Hop turned into Reggaeton and became widespread just before 2000. Classical/Hip Hop was introduced to everyone by Kanye West through Miri Ben Ari. While country/Hip Hop was the least expected style, it turned out to be the most profitable. The Hip Hop music moguls of yesterday like Jay Z, 50 cents and Dr. Dre had no choice but to bless this genre as it brought two of the most popular music genres together. The rest was history. First Jay Z brought Rihanna from Barbados. Then it was Lady Sovereign from London. His next acquisition was a 17 year old young prodigy from Texas. His hit ‘Rest Easy’ with Dixie Chicks won everyone over fairly quickly. Before too long, there was ‘Rock-a-Fella Country’ and a ‘G Unit 210’ (210 being an area code from Texas). While Kanye was saddened that he had to stop making fun of George W., his pockets filled so quickly that he learned to live with it. There were still small fractions of admirers of the ‘old school’ Hip Hop, who were largely unnoticed. While LL Cool J was still getting some air time, Slick Rick and Grandmaster Flash were nearly outlawed from airwaves. Very seldom you would hear people say “Back in the last century…”

Fortunately for those living in 2006, there were still glimpses of the real Hip Hop on the scene. Hence there was a ‘Legendary 90s’ show with Boot Camp Click, Wu Tang and Mobb Deep.

Dirty Heartz opened the night. A three person Hip Hop combo from Baltimore, Maryland just dropped their new album and continued to claim their allegiance to the streets. They did a couple of their own songs and even did some lines from Jay Z’s ‘Excuse Me Miss’, but the crowd was consistently unhappy to listen to anything else but Wu Tang. Their lines were pouring but in a bit of a slow tempo. Unenthusiastic audience finally got a bit excited as the Dirty Heartz’s DJ jumped out with a mic and got the show going in a proper tempo. Never has a crowd received an opening act for Wu well. Still Dirty Heartz must have been happy to perform on such a tremendous night.

R.I.P. Proof was on T’s and in the words of the hosts after Dirty Heartz finished their set. The crowd yelled out R.I.P. to Ol’ Dirty. Amusing the impatient spectators, DJ Eclipse did a mini-set to break the crowd in a tad more.

Then the Boot Camp Clik finally came on. Promoting their new album, they came out one by one, getting more and more of a positive reaction from everyone. Doing a ‘Half Way Crooks’ freestyle about an hour and a half before Mobb Deep blessed the theater, they set the perfect stage for their star – Sean Price. Heltah Skeltah came on and it really went off. They had managed to create a Wu-like show with 11 people performing on stage. 9 were rapping and 2 DJing and many recognized the hits, singing along and getting super hyped up. They got the entire crowd genuinely excited, almost forgetting about Wu and giving all just plain old good Hip Hop. Never mind that most of the lyrics were about hos and drugs. As they did a piece from ‘Ante Up’ they totally brought it back to the times when Brooklyn MC combos like Boot Camp Click and MOP were making the hottest hits.

All good things must come to those who wait. There is no reason to wait for Wu without music thou. So DJ Eclipse came back to spin some classics. From Nas to Run/DMC, it is easy to be a Hip Hop classics DJ in NY.

Finally Rae came out. His usual demeanor of ‘Mr. Nice Guy’, who is full of nothing but a positive energy worked like a charm. ‘Fishscale’ may have not sold much since Ghostface didn’t adjust to the times. Even his song with Ne-Yo didn’t change that. Regardless, Wu’s core fans love that Wu style. Unwilling to change to preserve the authentic style or unable to acclimate to the times? Who cares? Those who love it always will. In the spirit of ‘old school’ music, Raekwon shared some of his mind with all.
“Here is some real shit you’re hearing here. All those fake ass rappers… I’m here to show you all how to rap.”
Although it was scheduled to be just a Raekwon show, there were a couple of other Wu members on stage. Master Killah joined Rae and they did some new stuff. GZA and Deck came out as well to support the Wu flow on a great night.
“Go get Raekwon’s new album, ‘Cuban Linx II’. It was produced by RZA and Dr. Dre” , was announced toward the end of his set.
Just to add some more spice to the show Rae did Rakim’s song from ’88. It was ‘old school’ for sure, talking about being ‘gay’ in derogatory terms. In the typical style of U-God, he also did a spoken word piece, just playing with words, rather than meanings, failing to produce a message. Then again, who cared? It was just pure and simple ‘good music’ of Hip Hop all night long. Honoring ODB with ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’, Raekwon absolutely turned the place upside down in excitement and approval.
Than just before departing, he thanked everyone for their support, pledged his own respect to the fans and announced a Wu tour coming up.
“Rae just absolutely killed it!” said Don from Live’n’Direct a few hours after the show. Being one of the organizers of the night, he simply felt good with the fruits of his work.

Then without much further adu, Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and Havoc walked onto stage. Surrounded with an immense amount of questionable publicity due to their controversial unity with 50 cents, this appearance was definitely highly anticipated. Throwing out G-Unit slogans they opened with ‘Out of Control’. Being that the crowd was there for old school music, that song was not received too well. Reminding everyone of their atypical ‘Blood Money’ hits, doing that song almost made the entire auditorium quite. Noticing that or just anticipating such a reaction beforehand Mobb quickly made it work. “Getaway”, screamed out Prodigy and this hit made everyone forget all recent changes and fall for QB’s grimy retarded music all over. In another experimental move Prod wondered: “Who got ‘Blood Money’? and got a rather weak reaction. “Who got ‘The Infamous?” and there was a roar. ‘Shook Ones’ came on and it got everyone jumping up and down. It’s really the hits of that time that gave Prodigy and Havoc their legendary names. For those still questioning the duet, they brought on the reason ‘Murda Muzic’ went platinum. ‘Quite Storm’ definitely made all the cynics and critics stop thinking of the times gone and start rocking out and singing along to one of the greatest Hip Hop classics.
“Peace out New York”, said Prodigy after a short set filled with classics and M O BB walked off the stage.
L.I.’s native Prodigy and L.I.C.’s native Havoc made their name by making people realize the harshness of life in NYC. The melodic rhymes of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest were replaced by the words of the filthy and abrasive streets of the Queens hood. In addition, Jay Z’s attack against Mobb Deep caused them to release their failed ‘Infamy’ album. Leaving Loud Records in 2003 and being dropped from Jive in 2004 due to low record sales, Prodigy’s current rhymes rightfully thank 50 for filling their pockets.
Final verdict is really a rhetoric question: will Mobb Deep’s legacy be sufficient enough to support their moves with G-Unit? Will 50 cents want to spend some more money on promoting the duet? Time will tell.

In the mean time there seems to be a great name for that night. Legendary 90s.

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