The Bay Area got treated to some hip hop history in the making the other night [Thursday Sept 25 1997] when everyone's favorite duo..EPMD came out to perform..A hype sold out crowd rolled through Maritime Hall to watch Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith put it down... And folks let me tell ya.. they did just that..The crowd was left in a frenzy.. According to Parrish.. it was the group's third or fourth performance since they reunited and by far their best..|
Erick Sermon after the show explained that it was important for EPMD to get back together.. He noted that for too long rap artists have been getting over by releasing 'destructive' material.. He said you can only sell crack and do drive bys for so long before people start yearning for a change.. He also noted that today's rap artists aren't going out of their way to try and be distinctive.. He recalled the days when the audience knew the difference between an EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and a Public Enemy.. Nowadays everyone sounds the same...
On a side note.. props to Mr Busta Rhymes for hitting the mark.. that same nite.. He actually headlined the EPMD show.. and he let the Bay Area know he can definitely get down.. He literally tore the roof off the place.. I just hope he got paid... The word on the street was Busta gave up 50 gs to perform at the EPMD show.. Apparently a local Bay Area promoter had lined up two shows for him.. But once Busta showed up on the EPMD bill he pulled out...There's some ill stuff going on with the Wu-Tang Clan... The word is they've bailed from their tour with Rage Against The Machine.. Thus far the tour has been hugely successful as the two groups have performed before near sell out crowds.. They were due to perform here in the Bay Area on Monday.. September 15...at the Shoreline Amphitheater ..Unfortunately it didn't happen.. Taking their place were The Roots.. who unfortunately have performed here in the Bay Area about 6 times this year..This is not a dis to the roots mind ya.. but damn you can only see them so much before they get played out... Their most recent date was two weeks during the Wake Up Show Tour at Maritime Hall... Here the group got off..although their set went on for over an hour... Props to Common Sense for joining the stage and helping add some major flavor to the performance...
Back to the Wu-Tang thang... not only is it bad that they won't be performing, but some of the members are accused of assaulting one of their record label reps in Chicago.. One story says that the Loud record rep got a beat down for questioning the Wu about not showing up for a scheduled interview.. The other story circulating around town says he got fired on for going on the radio and telling folks where the Wu secret after party was gonna be taking place... You all go figure that one out... That's some foul shit if you ask me.. The identity of the Wu members handing out beat downs has not been revealed yet..
Another unfortunate incident involving the Wu.. has them pitted against Busta Rhymes.. Sources say that Busta, Method Man and another Wu kid had some physical drama with each other outside the Palladium Nite Club in New York.. Maybe it's best that the group not roll through the Bay Area.. Two or three years ago when they rolled through..the group got pulled over by SFPD.. Guns were drawn and the group was made to lay face down on the ground.. They were accused of robbing a bank... Of course it was later revealed that the 'PoPo' was wrong...
With the one year anniversary of 2Pac's untimely death.. lot's of folks found ways to some how connect with this Hip Hop icon.. I recently got a chance to interview his mother Afeni Shakur and his sister Set.. Both were very spirited and very passionate when speaking on Pac.. During the interview we were visited by 2Pac's Godfather.. Geronimo Pratt.. Talk about living legends sitting in the same room.. Afeni let it be known that her son spoke truth fully and without fear.. She admitted that she at one time had a drug addiction problem and her son was truthful when he spoke about it in his music.. She also maintained that there was truth in his perspective on the beef he had with Biggie... She noted that her and Death Row Records have reached a settlement the differences they had over the handling of 2Pac's music and the money owed to him..
Afeni let it be known that she isn't with the new Vibe Magazine Pictorial Book which was recently released.. She noted that she has had several conversations with Vibe Magazine owner Quincy Jones and not once did he ever reveal that such a book was gonna be released.. She definitely wasn't feeling that.. She thanked artists like Scarface, Richie Rich and Naughty By Nature for the tribute songs they did for Pac.. and their continued respect... FYI.. Naughty By Nature just dropped a new single called 'Mourn Ya Till I Join Ya'.. Here Treach chronicles his 7 year friendship with 2Pac.. The song is kinda dope....
Pac's sister Set.. cleared up a lot of the rumors surrounding him.. First she let it be known that he is gone..Sorry folks he ain't gonna be poppin' up at a concert or anything like that...He was engaged to Quincy's daughter before he passed.. and he has no kids.. I repeat 2Pac has no children of his own... He has nieces and nephews.. 2Pac before his death was just beginning to understand how to optimize his incredible influence.. He was going to start to get folks more politically active.. He was gonna start using his talents toward that end.. The interview with Afeni can be read here:
Go To Interview With Afeni Shakur.
In other 2Pac news. there's a bonafide class being offered at UC Berkeley that deals with 2Pac.. I met the teacher who's name is Arvin Elihu.. I also looked at the course material.. The class is dope.. They analyze 2Pac's music.. and his poems.. The man wrote so many poems it's ridiculous.. They study is 'contradictory' actions.. They do the whole thing.. Arvin feels that 2Pac's work is on the same level as a Shakespeare and other great writers.. He managed to accurately capture the emotions and sentiments of the today's Hip Hop generation..Afeni and others connected with 2Pac will be guest speakers during the semester
Arvin was feature on a talk show I recently hosted where we asked listeners the question 'Why was 2Pac and Princess Di heroes and heroines to so many people.. Afeni noted that people admired her son because he spoke the truth.. Arvin concurred..Editor and Chief of Vibe Magazine.. Danyel Smith noted that 2Pac was your classic rebel.. It was his willingness to face up to things that most of us feared that got so many to admire him.. Smith noted that 2Pac said what so many people think.. Caller after caller echoed these same sentiments... Other added that 2Pac represented the young African American male in today's society..
There's some persistent rumors floating around about Ms Foxy Brown.. She was supposed to perform at KMEL summer jam.. with Dru Hill.. She never quite made it out to Cali.. At first the word was she missed her plane... Her brother and her dancers were at the show.. Later it was revealed that she was too lazy to get up.. Folks from the Big Apple began dropping dimes to let us know that home girl didn't make the show because she was laid up in a hospital. She had started some drama a couple of weeks prior and it finally caught up to her.. The story goes as follows.. Fox Boogie was hanging at the Tunnel Nite Club in New York.. She was kicking it with some 'Queens' [Lesbians..] Fox herself is not.. She and a couple of girls went back to her room to chill and some funk broke out.. The result was Foxy's body guards regulating on these girls... Two weeks later Ms Brown got caught slippin' and these women's folks caught up and handed Ms Brown a Bad mamma jammin' beat down.. Officially folks are denying this.. But inside sources close to Ms Brown are letting it be known.. that it went down like that.. I hope she's ok.. These sources are saying that Ms Brown may also be pregnant.. We'll know for sure in a few months.. now won't we?
Props out to Treach and actor Omar Epps for their fine performance in the HBO movie special 'First Time Felon'. Treach did a good job as the stuttering Disciple Gang member.. He's definitely grown as an actor.. My question is..whatever happened to him.. He punches out this correction officer and we never see or hear from again.. C'mon HBO, how about a follow up.. Also props out to the Black Panther of Hip Hop.. Paris for the great production he did on the brand new Spice 1 single entitle 'The Thug In Me'.. The word is for now that P dog has put down his microphone for a minute and he's doing lots of producing.. He also ran into a little problem with the law.. He was accused of robbing a studio and was supposedly arrested.. The real deal was he was had a dispute and was caught taking back his own equipment.. I haven't caught up with P-Dog to find out the official scoop..