Thu 19 Jul 2007
In the immortal words of Diamond Shell……”Ohh what a night…”!!
My homie and co-worker DJ Enuff hosted this Pepsi DJ Battle at SOBs. And besides the fact that Swizz Beats, Kanye West and Just Blaze were the judges, the battle itself was nothing to write posts about. (mainly because much of the battle was about who had more hits on their ipods, than real DJ skills)
But if you left after the battle, just jump off a ledge now, because….what happened spontaeneously right afterwards that made us all remember what hip hop is about.
On the tiny, cramped stage of tiny, cramped, unventilated S.O.B’s (which was so hot back in the days of the weekly Soul Kitchen parties….sigh), we the crowd witnessed a jam session like no other. I’m talking Common testifying, then Q-tip world-touring, then Talib Kweli and Mos Def just getting by, then Swizz Beats telling us she aint got no money in the bank, then Kanye makin’ em say and more…..and all the while, they’re all on stage together, chanting each others lyrics like fans of this, not just superstars in this.
Then Mos Def pipes up and tells the crowd that back when Swizz first produced “Hustler” for Cassidy, he did a remix verse that never came out….So, of course, Mos spits that lost verse off the top of the head. Acapulco, of course. Then Drag-on (yes, I said Drag-on) jumps out and straight murders “Down Bottom.” Like 8 years was a day ago. Then Rah Digga appears with full Poetic Justice braids and a B-Girl freestyle. Then Saigon shows why he and Joell Ortiz are like the only two new artists I actually think are dope. Then…..Queen Latifah comes up out of the crowd (at Enuff’s request) and even though she didnt really seem to know all the words to “Unity” just her being there was enough. (peep the expressions on Kanye etc). Then Mos Def performed again, and Consequence and Kanye did “Dont Forget ‘Em” and it just went on and on and on….
One of my co-workers Gigi said, “this was my summerjam.” Lol. amen. And I really feel like it was better than that because….it was totally organic. Unplanned. These legends werent booked for this. They weren’t paid big Pepsi dollars. Thats why it wasnt cheesy like some prepped overhyped closing segment of some BET Awards or whatever. Like, where suddenly Aretha Franklin and Lil Boosie start performing a tribute to Fred Sanford for absolutely no good reason. Nope, this was none of that. The artists were as excited and happy as the audience. The audience had as much invested in the music as the artists. It was a good night.
Here’s some of the evidence….
Mos Def’s version of Cassidy’s “Ima Hustler…
Kanye and friends performing “Can’t Tell Me Nothin…”