Yo! MTV Raps 30th Anniversary Experience Concert

Concert Review

Yo! MTV Raps 30th Anniversary Experience
Barclays Center
New York
Scheduled date: June 1st 2018

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the classic Hip Hop tv show Yo! MTV Raps, a monumental concert was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Compères for the night Doctor Dré & Ed Lover introduced each of the acts, all before they performed, with a story of their personal experiences with them. There was even time to introduce to the stage VJ Ralph Daniels, the host of ‘Video Music Box’ which was a rival (of sorts) TV Hip Hop show at the time.

Of course the show couldn’t have gone without Ed performing his famous ‘Ed Lover’ dance!

The performances & appearances acts from the stellar Yo!/golden era of Hip Hop included: Big Daddy Kane, Eric B. & Rakim, MC Shan, KRS-One, Das EFX, MC Lyte, Nice & Smooth, Special Ed, Dres of Black Sheep, Fat Joe, Positive K, K-Solo, Yo-Yo, Brand Nubian, Marley Marl, EPMD, DJ Scratch, The Beatnuts, Kool Moe Dee, Diamond D, Roxanne Shante, Doug E Fresh, Edo G, Flavor Flav & many, many more…

DJing duties were handled by Kid Capri & DJ Skribble, but the big surprise was that although Flavor Flav appeared, there was no performance from Public Enemy.

Back in April, along with the announcement of this anniversary concert, news broke of the intention to resurrect Yo! MTV Raps as a regular show. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen. As times have drastically changed in Hip Hop, many saying for the worse, the energy & vibe of the original show, as well as tonight’s concert simply can’t be relived or repeated. Nevertheless, there are great memories to look back on.

Kool G Rap @ 2Funky Music Cafe, Leicester, England. June 28, 2017

Show Review

Kool G Rap
2Funky Music Cafe
23A New Park Street
June 28th 2017

1992: I was but a 12-year-old. Missed an entire year of secondary education. The stories about my cousin’s cassette tapes, are legendary. To my knowledge he still has them. A lot of tunes I used to rock to but never knew who the artists were and it wasn’t all the time I was exposed to Yo! MTV Raps. Ill Street Blues was one of those tunes. The man responsible was in the UK in 1992, rocked every crowd possible, left, and was not seen in the UK again….


2017: ‘Mumble Rap’ reigned supreme. Grime is misunderstood in America as UK Hip Hop, some fans just couldn’t give a DAMN despite Kendrick’s continuous effects to push boundaries, while others were stuck in 2001 playing Ether while sleeping at 4:44am. This has called for the Don himself to return, your rapper’s favourite rapper, the man who Nas said wrote the Hip Hop bible. The people of Leicester and surrounding areas came together to witness history. Kool G Rap, new album in tow, rocking the UK for the first time in 25 years.

The 2Funky Music Cafe’s strategy of exposing as much local talent as possible are a bit hit & miss. The show started with a Polish Hip Hop group whose name I didn’t quite catch unfortunately, A lot of what they performed was in their respective language and whatever they were saying in their lyrics – they meant it. Massive props go out to them as the UK continues to become more multi cultural and those who support Brexit for the wrong reasons cannot stop the power of Hip Hop.

Trademark Blud followed alongside DJ Tricksta and dropped an impressive 20 minute set. His ferocious delivery over tongue in cheek like beats and political subject matter left the crowd wishing he could have been on a little longer. If an opening act gives you that feeling, you are going places.

Leicester’s own Shakezpeare & DJ Roll Blunt were determined to top Trademark Blud’s performance, and They did. Even with sound check problems which Shakezpeare easily overcame by dropping hot freestyles like a professional, and that is what Hip Hop is about, to be able to adapt in any situation. His mission was a simple one – make sure his performance was so on point that no one apart from G Rap could follow him. Were Galaxy High from Sweden up for the challenge?

This is the part where I shed sympathy for Galaxy High, what I saw were two talented emcees who struggled to keep the crowd rocking which brings me to my point earlier: Too many opening acts may have been hit or miss, or maybe Galaxy High were positioned wrong in the line up sequence, or maybe the crowd were just ready for G Rap, it was the middle of the week, some may have had to commute the following morning, maybe 4 opening acts might be overkill. It is understandable in one aspect, keeping the crowd waiting for the main event for too long can also be a disadvantage.

15 minutes before G Rap took the stage, it was up to DJ Anthony Mace to set it, and it doesn’t start any better with a series of Mobb Deep tracks to remember Prodigy. The time when G Rap finally jumped on stage was the time the show was scheduled to finish according to Facebook which proves when it comes to gigs you cannot believe what Facebook says by gospel.

Performing the biggest tracks like ‘Take Em to War’, ‘Ill Street Blues’, ‘Streets Of New York’ & ‘Fast Life,’ the Don showed he never lost it. He takes time out to remember Prodigy in his own way by performing ‘The Realest’, in which Prodigy featured, and G Rap reveals a true story on stage of how Prodigy impacted him.

An interesting moment was when G Rap performed ‘First N!&&@’. Many of us know the DJ Premier produced version but on this night the Dr.Dre version was blasting through 2Funky Music Cafe’s airwaves before a capacity crowd.

The Don closes out his 45 minute set with one of his newest singles from the Return Of the Don album – Wise Guys which features Freeway and Lil Fame of M.O.P. The crowd response was greater than I imagined, as usually a predominately 90s Hip Hop orientated crowd look a bit confused and unfamiliar, but that was not the case here.

Admittedly Kool G Rap was not on my essential ‘see live’ list but looking at it in retrospect, I’m glad I did see him live. Leicester saw history before their very eyes on this night, and G Rap’s time was yours – he embraced his fans and engaged in full conversation after the show, taking pictures and signing memorabilia, even with Prodigy’s memorial service which took place the following day.

Massive respect and salutations to The NGE (New Golden Era) massive and crew for looking out for a brother. They are some good dudes right there, just don’t front on them! Last person who did that got BLAOW! In their mouth corner! Others talk about it while they live it and that’s the Hip Hop we support over here.

Take a bow Kool G Rap! He’s Out For That Life!
(Michael Grant of RePPiN4U)

Photo images courtesy of @Kip1979_kipp

Method Man & Redman with special guests M.O.P. @ Rock City, Nottingham, England. Tuesday December 9th 2014


Method Man & Redman
with special guests: M.O.P.
Rock City
Tuesday December 9th 2014

“Let me explain something to y’all, two things when you come to the Redman & Method Man show: The first thing is weed… the second thing is energy!!!! Where the f**k is the energy???!!” (Method Man, Dec 9, 2014)

Just don’t let Meth know that I neither drink or smoke! MUSIC makes me high like The Lost Boyz! Don’t let Red know that I don’t need to smoke weed at their shows!

November 2, 2013, Method Man & Redman stormed the Eventim Apollo. They had an hour set and Busta Rhymes was to follow them. I said then that their sets was not long enough, yet it was one of the most epic shows I had ever attended. What made it better, was that people doubted the show and found themselves regretting their ignorant ways by not attending. So how do the Def Jam legends top a show like that? It’s simple. Bring M.O.P. with you.

Before the First Family graced the stage, there is something that must be said about the opening acts on this night… I feel their passion, but I’m unsure if rhyming over certain US produced beats will get heads interested. While the unknowing in the crowd will love what’s happening on stage, others will just nod their head to the instrumental and ignore the rhymes simply because they know that beat. People in the crowd were spotted taking selfies and uploading them to instagram.

The venue became a capacity crowd, and the management stuck to the time frame. M.O.P. were scheduled for 8.45pm, and at 8.45pm M.O.P. exploded on stage by being ‘Cold As Ice’. Now the crowd are awake, and Billy Danze & Lil Fame continue their alarm clock ringing by performing their current hits like ‘Bang Time’ and the new ‘187’ from their Street Certified EP. As ferocious as these pair are, even they have to take a short time out in their performance, and by doing that Lil’ Fame went behind the wheels of steel and showed his DJ’ing skills.


A shameful highlight came about when Billy Danze asked the crowd what their first ever single was… I knew what it was, but when 95% of the crowd couldn’t answer him, I felt embarrassed. This is a crowd who supposedly loves 90s Hip Hop but they don’t know M.O.P.s first single??? Not to worry as the duo soon refreshed their memories as they went into their old school segment, with ‘How About Some Hardcore?’ and ‘World Famous’ amongst others. It just shows how the majority of fans got familiar from the ‘Warriorz’ album… which is arguably their equivalent to Wu-Tang’s 36 Chambers in terms of how many hits they performed on stage from that album: ‘Follow Instructions’, ‘Warriorz’, ‘Home Sweet Home’, ‘G-Building’, & ‘Calm Down’….

“Yeah, The Time is Now, yeah, for all n!**@$ to step up, fake n!**@$, step the f**k back, this is NOT for you…” (DJ Premier, 2000)

Considering that many fans in the building were Wu-Tang fans, was it slightly controversial when the Mash Out Posse named DJ Premier as the greatest producer of all time? Not really. Usually Premier, RZA & Pete Rock are mentioned in the same sentence, and if fans wanted to argue that point, M.O.P had no problem breaking it down why, mentioning the numerous people he brought out, such as Lord Finesse, Guru, all the way to Christina Aguilera. You wanna argue with M.O.P.??? Thought not.

Their 45-minute set ended pretty much as it began, calling forth a mosh pit for Ante Up… it was refreshing to hear the original, as great as the remix with Busta Rhymes & Remy Ma is. M.O.P.’s mission was to warm up the crowd, not set it on FYYYYYYYAAAAAAH!!!! See what I did there???

Shout out to Das Efx’s DJ – DJ Dice who kept the crowd pumping through the seemingly lengthy 15 minute interval with those 90s Hip Hop classics. And just as scheduled, at 9.45pm, the capacity crowd heard the words of the Iron Lung… “Do you wanna get high man???” At this point, the law for smoking indoors had been broken, and the police wasn’t called. That’s what you call great vibes!!!

The Blunt Brothers performance near mirrored what they did last year, but the energy in this performance seemed to have been multiplied 10-fold!


Highlights included Redman’s comedic antics… Redman brought his How High movie cheating strategy into the chorus of ‘City Lights’… That run around the stage though!!! That run he does is straight hilarious! Method Man pulled out his most energetic performance of ‘Fallout’ from the 4:21, The Day After album… Meth was so close to breakdancing I thought I was watching a live action version of ‘Step Up to The Streets’! Shame on Def Jam for not promoting this album, We may have had a video for Fallout from arguably Meth’s most solid solo project.

There is a lesson to be learned: If you are a female, and you are at the very front of the crowd, be ready to fight. That goes for the supporting partner. Females WILL pick a fight with you (and your partner) just to see their favourite Wu-Tang Ticallian Stallion perform ‘All I Need/There For You’… that’s what I saw.

As much as Meth & Red love performing the current sh!t, they love to go back to the old sh!t! God bless the classics like ‘Time 4 Sum Aksion’, ‘M.E.T.H.O.D. Man’, and ‘How High’ to name a few… maybe I need to see Redman live on his own, because this is the second time I’ve seen Red & Meth, and while Muddy Waters is arguably his greatest album to date, apart from ‘Pick It Up’, Red didn’t perform any of those tracks on this night.

Just like M.O.P., there was an embarrassing incident that happened. As Wu-Tang affiliate StreetLife was introduced, fans actually questioned who he was… granted people hardly saw him in Wu-videos, this man has been with the Wu from Meth’s first album, appeared on one of GZA’s biggest hits (Cold World), was dominantly featured throughout Meth’s Tical 2000 Judgment Day LP and on Wu-Tang Forever, Nottingham fans need to go back and do the knowledge. Fans wanted that 90s Wu-Tang sound from A Better Tomorrow, but don’t know who StreetLife is? I’m guessing they don’t know who Tekitha is either…

It’s been 10 years since the tragic death of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, so Method Man unzipped is emotions as he asked the crowd if they miss ODB like he misses him. Fans at the front will tell you that tears left Method Man’s eyes at this moment. Meth knew that Dirty would want him to keep going in his memory, so Meth called for the mosh pit as ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ was blasted through the speakers. The energy was so intense that my health condition actually kicked in! Haemochromatosis told me to retreat to the bar to get that glass of water before the worst could happen… Redman traded in his shirt for a Wu-Tang shirt as he and Meth acknowledged the creator of the clan logo – Allah Mathematics on the wheels of steel as he showed his record scratching skills going head to head with DJ Dice.

If there is one thing that hip hop heads love, is when the artists put today’s hip hop on blast… check it – Red & Meth – neither of em wearing chains, and they cussed today’s artists for walking round on stage showing off their necklace, and got 100 hype men behind em and the songs are not even good… Redman told the Nottingham crowd to boo them off the stage! Method Man takes off his shirt, gets the girls wild as he wrings out his shirt… that could never have been sweat… that was like a bottle of water been emptied out on the floor! THAT’S HOW TO ROCK THE CROWD! And Meth didn’t even go into his 36 Chambers segment of the show!

Admittedly, for the life of me I cannot understand how Da Rockwilder is their most successful single… but the show cannot be ended any other way with Red & Meth literally flying into the crowd… something I didn’t see with Redman the first time I saw him live.

This show surpassed last year’s… and that is saying something. If my health came into play, THAT’S HOW GOOD it was. So good, that Meth promises Nottingham that they were so good to him that next year, he’s bringing the entire Clan with him… don’t take this as mere words… a few days later it was announced that Wu-Tang are coming back to the UK in June 2015… two dates are revealed so far, expect more dates to be added. All Nottingham can do, is wait impatiently….
(Michael Grant of RePPiN 4U)

Photograpy courtesy of Wu-nited Kingdom