|© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2004-04-29
[wimg=left]../images/news/gfk-ptoneyconcert2.jpg[/wimg]"If you're not a square from Delaware, somebody say 'Oh yeah!' " You just don't hear that anymore when you go to rap shows, maybe because we don't get a chance to see the legends as much as we used to.
On Tuesday night at Roseland Ballroom (See: [nburl=http://www.wutangcorp.com/clan/ghostfacekillah/news/show/466/]Pretty Toney release party April 27th[/nburl]), timeless hip-hop figures such as Kurtis Blow (the man behind the aforementioned lyrics), Whodini's Grandmaster Dee, Dana Dane, Slick Rick and the Awesome 2 came out to show support for possible future icons Talib Kweli and Ghostface.
One legendary performer, however, was absent from the proceedings. Rakim was arrested as he tried to enter the backstage entrance of the venue (see "Rakim Arrested Before Show With Ghostface, Talib Kweli").
Royce Da 5'9" started the show with a short set that included his below-the-radar hit "Boom" followed by a separate, surprise performance by the Coco Brovas, who let loose with their mid-'90s burners "Bucktown USA" and "Sound Bwoy Bureill." Then it was time for Talib Kweli, who was treated like a mic deity.
"One, two, three, Mos Def and Talib Kweli," the Brooklyn MC rapped on his first selection, 1998's "Definition." "We came to rock it on to the tiptop/ Best alliance in hip-hop, wyohhhhh/ I said one, two, three, it's kind of dangerous to be a MC/ They shot Tupac and Biggie/ Too much violence in hip-hop, wyohhhhh!"
Mos Def wasn't present, but Talib got backup from another person he's made an album with - DJ Hi-Tek, who came out to rap on "The Blast." Tek lyrically co-signed for his main man, rhyming, "Going for the gusto, keep getting that provo/ It's Hi-Tek and Kweli on the track like Flo Jo/ Bet you ain't even know I had flow, though."
"Get By" should have been Talib's finale, but the crowd wanted more, chanting "Kwa-lee! Kwa-leee! Kwa-leee!" Talib came back on and let them have one more offering, "Respiration."
After waiting for almost an hour for Rakim, Ra's longtime associate Bill Blass came onstage and delivered some bad news. "The police took my man, so I want y'all to say 'Fuck the police,' " he yelled to the fans.
[wimg=right]../images/news/gfk-ptoneyconcert.jpg[/wimg]Audience members soon forgot their problems when the night's headliner hit the stage, backed by his crowd from Shaolin. Ghost started off with group participation, bringing Raekwon, the RZA, Cappadonna and Raekwon onstage with him. The Clan started with a lauded flurry of classics from the Rae/Ghost/Cappa triumvirate, including "Criminology," "Fish," "'97 Mentality" and "Ice Cream." RZA then started to throw his golden darts on "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit."
"Those are my brothers, I had to bring them out," Ghost told the elated spectators. Then he asked if they'd would mind if he brought out one more person. It wasn't any of his group members, though, it was his idol Slick Rick.
"That's my nigga, yo," Ghost exclaimed as Rick came on, wearing jewelry that hung almost as heavily as Ghost's assortment of gaudy gold chains and medallions. Rick hit the crowd with a knockout blow of "Children's Story" then went on to proclaim that the Wu are the greatest group.
Another guest followed - Jadakiss. Kiss had been backstage telling everyone history was about to happen, and he lived up to his own expectations, joining Ghost for the loudly accepted "Run." Kudos for his collaborations notwithstanding, the highlight of Ghost's show came when he rocked by himself.
"When you see me onstage, fuck that jewelry," Ghost yelled after "All That I Got Is You." "I'm that same nigga as you, a poor nigga from the 'hood. I ate oatmeal. I love oatmeal with Carnation milk." Ghost also said he loved to drink water from the bathroom faucet and that he'll still wear the same clothes for seven days straight and socks with holes in them if he has to.
Later the Ironman called for the stage to be covered in red light so he could perform "Holla." "I'm from a place where fish was made," he rapped, setting up his dramatics. Ghost began snapping his fingers and slowly winding his hips like a modern-day Marvin Gaye. He dropped to his knees on the last verse before rising back to his feet and dancing.
Ghost continued to roll out the concert cameos, bringing out Masta Killa and then the ODB for a low-energy version of "Shimmy Shimmy Ya." Some plus-size women came out and danced with the Clan on "Cher Chez le Ghost" before Ironman closed out with his current single, "Tush."
The Ghostface and friends portion of the concert will be featured on a live DVD and album, according to his management. There is no release date yet. Ghostface's latest LP, The Pretty Toney Album, was released April 20 and debuted at #6 on the Billboard albums chart.
Written by Shaheem Reid for MTV