Great month for Hip Hop as some of the greatest of all-time where coming through town left & right including one legendary show I thought I'd never see:
Erik B & Rakim - April 25th - The Bomb Factory - Dallas, TX
Touring for the first time in 25 years, Eric B & Rakim brought a little mic-to-mouth resuscitation, some rhythm with radiation to the masses once again.
Let me illustrate why Eric B. & Rakim remain one of the genre’s greatest acts:
Rakim exploded previous conceptions of what it meant to be a rapper with an arsenal of verbal hand grenades. It’s hard to overstate his influence on the form as one of the greatest MCs and lyricists ever. In terms of sheer delivery, Rakim was a game changer, one of the genre’s first true technicians.
Rakim brought a jazzy presence to hip-hop with his unbounded, free-form approach to the music, deviating from the straightforward rhyme patterns favored previously. Moreover, he just sounded different. Steely yet laid-back on the mic, Rakim rapped deliberately, with poise and command, eschewing the let’s-get-the-party-started energy levels of so many of his fellow MCs — we’d call ’em peers, but really, Rakim had few.
Now on to Eric B. - I personally am a DJ today because of Eric B.he has much impact on what it meant to be a DJ and producer as his partner did on MCing. Like Rakim, Eric B. possessed prodigious technical skills — dig his robo-wristed scratching on any of the three instrumentals on their 1987 debut Paid in Full. But it’s as a producer where Eric B.’s influence is most deeply felt.
For starters, he played a significant role in popularizing sampling in hip-hop. About those samples: Eric B. favored old-school soul sounds, a then-novel approach that would quickly be absorbed by everyone from A Tribe Called Quest to the Wu-Tang Clan.
In both sound and content, Eric B. & Rakim moved the genre forward, influencing a broad swath of descendants, from future indie backpack rappers who marveled at the duo’s musical progressiveness to the next wave of gritty New York City rappers who found stardom the following decade. All these years later, the music remains resonant.
Don't Sweat the Technique
Guess Who's Back
I Know You Got Soul
In the Ghetto
I Got It Made (Special Ed cover)
One for the Money (Horace Brown cover)
Hip Hop Junkies (Nice & Smooth cover)
Move the Crowd
As the Rhyme Goes On
Eric B. Is President
I Ain't No Joke
Paid In Full
Fortress Festival - April 28th-29th - Kimball Art Museum - Fort Worth, TX
Man the lineup for this year's Fortress Festival was stacked, especially if your a fan of Hip-Hop & R&B.
I was very excited to see some of my all-time faves on the roster for a perfect weekend in the sun. This fest was so chill & easy - think about that - When you think of multi-day festivals your excited to see so many acts but you think about what a complete pain in the ass most festival experiences are. Not here, parking was easy, staff was friendly, there was only two stages to nagivate & they even had a sampler bar area. Good times.
Day 1 brought the noise hard with of 2 the GOAT in Hip-Hop
The RZA (Wu-Tang Clan)
Shabazz Palaces - 745pm
De La Soul - 830pm
Lee Fields - 345pm
Jocelyn with Wyclef
- Naughty By Nature