New York hip-hop was in full-effect last Friday at the Ghostface Klilah/Raekwon concert in at Manhattan’s Nokia Theatre. The Staten Island duo put on for New York City, shocking fans with surprise performances from Harlem’s own Jim Jones, Queens rapper Grafh, and Brooklyn reps, Red Café and Smif-N-Wessun.
The show, sponsored by Hot 97 and Metro PCS, started off with a joint DJ set by radio personalities Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg. Grafh was the first MC to take the stage, only to be out-shined by Diddy’s latest rap recruit Red Café. The Flatbush-bred artist recited his current hits, “Hottest in the Hood” and “I’m Ill.” Smif-N-Wesson then reminded the crowd of their status with their unforgettable classic “Bucktown.”
Ghost and Rae both came out together around 9:30 p.m. first running through a list of Wu-Tang staples like “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Triumph” and “Wu-Tang Clain Ain’t Nothing ta F’ Wit” The rhyme-partners then took a quick break to welcome Jim Jones onstage. The Dipset Capo blazed through “We Fly High” and “Certified Gangsta.”
Starks then ran through a selection of his solo standouts including “Mighty Healthy,” before handing the crowd over to The Chef. Shallah started his set off by asking the audience, “Is real hip-hop in the house?” The crowd emphatically replied “Yes,” chanting “Wu-Tang.” Rae then proceeded to perform a handful of his tracks from 2009′s critically acclaimed solo disc, Only Built For Cubin Linx…Pt.2.
Surprisingly Method Man was nowhere to be found throughout the night. Rae and Ghost will be releasing their collaborative Wu-Massacre album with Meth on March 30 through Def Jam. —Donovan Moore