Last night we had a chance to check out the “Masters Of Ceremony” concert at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. We were really excited to cover this event with the line up of legendary Classic Hip Hop artists. Unfortunately, being media at Nokia does not have its perks and access that a show’s publicity should have. Regular patrons had better access than the media did. We were told that we could only cover 3 acts, 3 songs from those acts. They corralled the media next to the sound board which was almost 200 feet from the stage. There were also no backstage access for artist interviews and photos…no media room. We were told the artists began at 9:12pm, however the actual show started at 7pm, which caused us to miss the first 3 acts of the evening, which included Special Ed, Naughty By Nature and Biz Markie. The venue has lot of empty seats and the entire upper deck was closed. We were lucky enough to score some tickets from a industry friend and got to watch the show in the orchestra.
The show itself was lackluster to say the least. Being a die-hard fan and connoisseur of classic hip hop I expected more with artist on the bill. All the artist got about a 20 minutes set, which is crazy considering the amount good music they have. The first act we saw was Slick Rick without Doug E Fresh. I was looking for them to rock together and it was disappointing to only see Slick Rick by himself. He performed some of his hit songs but his performance was less than great, he even had a moment in his 20 minute set were he had a young lady bring him his old jewelry.
The next act we saw was EPMD and they did the same exact set as the night before at a club appearance in Costa Mesa. They have a great catalog of music, but the highlight of the groups performance was DJ Scratch. Scratch put on a DJ’ing exhibition that was second to none.
After EPMD, the GOD MC Rakim was up next. If you’ve ever listen our show, you know how I feel about Rakim. I think he is a terrible performer but is one of the greatest lyricists. His performance on this night was no different, but he added insult to injury by choosing songs that weren’t his most known. Rakim has tons of hit songs, and with a small 20 minute set, I expected for him to come out with bangers and continue that throughout the performance. Unfortunately, he did his normal “Too Cool” performance with poor song selection. He ended his set with an imaginary shake of the dice and rolling the mic across the stage, as if he just killed it.
The headliner of the night, “Dark Man X” aka “DMX”…were do I begin? First off, they should have never let him perform, let alone headline. I’ve seen DMX in the height of his career and he is one of the only artist’s I have ever seen kill a performance by himself without a hype man. So to see him slurring his words and looking like a complete shell of himself was sad. The performance from the beginning to the end was BAD. Between songs he was mumbling, barking and randomly growling. I hope that DMX gets help because he was and still is very talented and as a fan, it’s troublesome.
To sum it up, there is just no way that EPMD, Rakim and cracked-out DMX should’ve headlined over Big Daddy Kane and Naughty By Nature.
Overall the the concert was not very good, and it was extra disappointing since the show at Radio City back in January was off the chain.
Here’s a dope video (Not From The LA Show) of Big Daddy Kane bringing out the original artists on Marley Marl’s “The Symphony”…One of the greatest posse cut ever!!!
– Melloe Won