Monday, February 20, 2012

PUBLISHER'S PEACE: Hooray for Hip Hop Correspondent: C/ Dwayne West

Carl West and Smooth Operator,
Big Daddy Kane

The Legends of Hip Hop Tribute to Heavy D was spectacular and monumental. The legion of fans that came out on Saturday night was fascinating. People dressed in their old school attire, it made me remember Maze Jackson's 80's hip hop birthday party last year. I wish he was there. At least I don't think he was in the building.

My two best moments were seeing my girl DaBrat backstage. We haven't seen each other in a years, but it was great to still be here doing what we both love to do, and that's rep hip hop. She was one of the first to grace the cover of The TRUTH magazine; actually she was the second cover. Common was the first cover story when I launched the publication in 2000.

She looked good and her performance was gangsta. She's softer now, but that Westside swag was in the house. She was joined by another Chicago Westside crew, Crucial Conflict who hit the stage impromptu and ripped the mic and the crowd was singing to Hay in the Middle of the Barn as though it was a recent smash record. Those were my best moments. I love those dudes, as well as DaBrat and I only wished their careers would have taken a different turn. 
Twone (next to Carl) pose
 with Parrish of EPMD

But the finale was the sixteenth letter of the alphabet, the "R". Rakim came on stage and the crowd went nuts. I didn't think folks were going to get his flow. He was the godfather of lyrics with his constant reference to the motherland, Africa and how his Asiatic roots birth him. You have to be a real Rakim fan to feel his smoothness, because most of his tracks are not danceable, so you have to know his style and love his beats to sing along with him. And the crowd proved worthy as true hip hop heads didn't sweat his technique.

It was a fun night had by all. I didn't make the after party at Park 52, but I'm sure the beat didn't stop. I went home very pleased and feeling hip hop renewed. Rest in peace Heavy D, the legends did you proud. Peace and one love.

NOTE: Each artists paid tribute to other falling rap icons and they saluted Whitney and Don Cornelius. Chicago's rapper and radio personality, Teefa, was extremely excited as she disclosed that her husband Twone Gabbz just signed with Erick Sermon's record label. She expressed that EPMD is all over the new mixtape, Breath of Fresh Air.

NOTE 2: All photos: Teefa (Thanks homie).

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