Legends of Hip-Hop Showed the Enduring Power of a Classic 

The Joint, August 2


Photo by Erik Kabik

“You ready to time travel?” shouted Vin Rock of Naughty by Nature, and the crowd whooped in the affirmative. The Joint was packed with old-school fans taking a trip to somewhere back in the day. Rob Base threw down with the “Joy and Pain,” and Slick Rick recounted the “Children’s Story.” Black Sheep had ’em bouncing; Biz Markie roused the crowd with beatboxing and, of course, “Just a Friend.” Naughty by Nature had everyone chanting with their hands in the air for “O.P.P,” and a Tupac tribute gave Treach an opportunity to prove that he’s kept his abs in shape. Another smooth, quick transition and Big Daddy Kane took the stage, suave as ever. He brought on dancers Scoob and Shawn Lover, who flipped into outrageous popping and locking that had the crowd screaming and hollering before being joined by the Big Daddy himself for a last round of badass moves. DJ Scratch did a mini-set ahead of his colleagues in EPMD, a set of gymnastics just as thrilling as the break dancing that preceded it, a throwback to the days when a DJ only had vinyl and turntables. Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith charged onstage and launched into rapid-fire rhymes—golden-age hip-hop wasn’t just about quick hands on the decks, but also verbal agility. Sermon decried “McDonald’s rap … it’s making the kids dumb!” Sometimes it takes an old dog to remind us that the new is just tricks. ★★★★✩

Photos by Erik Kabik/ ErikKabik.com

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