Artist: Kings of the Mic Tour
June 23rd 2013, Soaring Eagle Casino (outside amphitheater)
By: Philip Moreno
Opening act DJ Chuck Chillout
Ushered to the stage by De La Soul, DJ Chuck Chillout threw down an classic hits filled DJ set. Reminding everyone in the crowd what DJ’ing used to be he used his 25 minutes to get the crowd whipped into a frenzy with timeless Hip Hop songs like “My Adidas” and “Paul Revere”. Although he only made one album, DJ Chuck Chillout is a legend in the hip hop genre by being one of the first DJ’s regularly playing hip hop in New York on KISS FM starting in 1982.
De La Soul
Founded in 1987. De La Souls first and most critically acclaimed album “ 3 Feet High and Rising” came out in 1989. From the crowds response when they hit the stage it felt like Michigan had been down with them from day one. All of the call and responses were answered enthusiastic by the still growing crowd. (the concert started at 6pm….). Yet by the time “Me, Myself and I” kicked in almost all of the seats had been filled and the lawn was starting to fill. Good set, good vibes, every De La Soul show is worth the price of admission.
Last time I saw PE was when they headlined the Smoking Grooves tour in 1998. While some would see being down to the third position on the bill to be a curse. Chuck D and Flavor Flav didn’t let that slow them down one bit. The one two punch of “Welcome to the Terror Dome” and “911 Is a Joke” got the crowd jumping with fists in the air and we didn’t stop during their whole 45 minute set. Chuck D’s voice is style as powerful as ever and sounded especially brilliant during the classic track “Time-bomb” accompanied by only Flav on the drums (yes they played with a live band) the two Rock and Roll hall of fame members showed why they two included inclusion into to that fraternity. Closing with “Fight the Power” Public Enemy showed that after over 25 years why they are in fact still kings of the mic…
“Oh you thought I sold out to do that Coors Light shit” Well I am no sell out I am a motherfuckin gangsta!” and with that any children, who there were enough to be noticed and parents curious about what the family friendly Ice Cube was up to these days had their eyes opened. Playing hits from every stage of his career, Ice Cube reminded everyone that yes he in fact help create and define Gangsta Rap in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Songs like set opener “Natural Born Killaz”, “Check Yo Self” “Go To Church” reminded the crowd how many influential songs he had. Then with a shout out to the super-group N.W.A. Ripped into his verse from “Straight out of Compton” and “Gangsta Gangsta”. He owned the crowd. The energy he was projecting was being returned ten fold. You could tell he was really into the set. Then came set closer and probably the best song of the night “It was a Good Day” the vision of the perfect day for a young gangsta back in 1993. Easily the loudest crowd singing of the night came during this song. After the show there was some chatter that maybe it would have been better if Ice Cube closed the show, but hindsight is 20/20. One this I know for certain is that Ice Cube is back to his amazing gangsta rap ways and the world is a better place because of that
LL Cool J
It has to be hard following Public Enemy and Ice Cube every night on tour. LL tried everything in his repertoire to keep up the energy. Kicking off his set with one of his biggest songs “Momma said Knock You Out” and following it up with another classic “Jack the Ripper” LL Cool J reminded any skeptics in the crowd why he considers himself the G.O.A.T. And then he brought out Chuck D (who along with Flavor Flav stood stage side for everyone’s set after theirs) for the new song “Whaddup”. Normally new songs bring a rush to the beer lines, but this song was not to be missed. A killer beat and hook delivered by Chuck D, This new song is bound to be a hit sometime this summer/fall whenever it is released. Following up that was one of two “rose” ceremony’s by LL. Slowing things down he threw roses out into the audience. The women at the show ate it up. Many yelling for the buff actor/rapper to take off his shirt, yet he never did. I know the women behind us especially went home a touch disappointed in that. All in all a good set by one of the most influential figures of hip hop. Closing the night with “Rock the Bells” LL Cool J brought the near sell out crowd to a frenzy then disappeared below the DJ booth ending the show on the highest of notes.