raekwon release

Raekwon featuring Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa - 'Kiss The Ring'

If Hip-Hop had a victory lap then I took that joint yesterday. I finished my day job in Manhattan and then met up with Chocolate Snowflake at the Whole Foods in Chelsea. Tuesday night used to be our 'date night' where we would go to a movie for free thanks to her Optimum Rewards card while we smuggled food into the theatre. I had to break our date though in order to put myself in position to be part of rap music history. Raekwon's album release party at Santos Party House was the most talked about event I can remember in a while. The vibe at the EMI rooftop listening session was so dope that you knew everybody that didn't make the cut wanted a taste of this concert.

The scene was something that reminded me of the Tunnel in its heyday. The energy I meant to say. Back when rappers used to hang out to show love and just chill hard. And when the groupies and rap fans came out in Full Force. Speaking of Full Force, Kangol Kid was in the building too. It's impossible to put into words what I felt being at this show and I write down my feelings as if my life depended on it. The show wasn't just Raekwon. It wasn't just Raekwon and Ghost either. It was Raekwon, Ghost and Cappadonna. It was the rawest elements of the Purple Tape, on stage, on the microphone. In a phrase, it was Hip-Hop.


more pix @ VillageSlum

From the Only Built For Cuban Linx show(I call the new album 'The Deuce' in homage to the karate movies I used to watch on 42nd Street when I was a teenager) I still had a tank full of Hip-Hop energy I needed to burn off. I checked my watch and it was just the right time that the Roots would be putting their spaceship into the upper atmosphere so I motivated over to the Highline Ballroom to take flight with the most legendary hard working. Shouts to ShamzOKP for making sure I get on the spaceship before takeoff.

The Roots change genres in the Jam Session like a street hustler switches white tees. The music went from rock to rap to jazz to reggae to almost house and then to gospel before coming back into the roots of the Roots. There is no band that can navigate any genre of music like the Roots. It isn't simply Quest on the drums or Black Thought on the microphone. The entire band is a collection of vertiable virtuosos who band and flex but never break. Actually they do breakbeats. O-Ski Love on the bass is becoming my favorite player of recently. He is one funky white. Study the bassline on this joint. Sonn is nice with his.

The Roots featuring Chrissette Michelle and Wale - 'Rising Up'

The thing I love about the Roots shows at the Highline Ballroom is that they have featured up and coming musical talent to complement their outstanding musicianship. Keep an eye and an ear out for DANA J. HAWKINS. Dude is affectionately called the son of ?uestlove but during this Jam Session he picked up the bassline and spelled O-Ski Love for a few. From Raekwon to the Roots crew the beat doesn't stop. Hip-Hop is growing older and wiser and still teaching the truth to the young Black youth. The white youth too. But y'all already knew that.