By Maurice Bobb
PARIS, France — Streetball and hip-hop were the perfect bedfellows Sunday (June 22) night at the Quai 54 in Paris.
As the sun was just about to set on the Eiffel Tower, Havoc and Prodigy emerged near the baseline of the makeshift basketball court on the Trocadéro site of the Palais de Chaillot wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the tourney logo, “Bring Your Game, Not Your Name.”
To the delight of the crowd, the Queensbridge duo offered up “Survival of the Fittest,” “Quiet Storm,” and their all-time classic cut, “Shook Ones Pt. II.”
The next day, Tyga made a surprise appearance before the dunk contest, quickly establishing his presence in the unconventional performance space.
Full of kinetic energy, the YMCMB rapper wasted no time grabbing the throng of tourney fans — which included NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen and current New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony — into his hands like a rebound and slamming home a high percentage of clutch hits, including “Faded,” “The Motto,” “Rack City” and his portion of Chris Brown’s runaway hit, “Loyal.”
For the grand finale, the rapper born Karim Kharbouch made his way to the blacktop and dove headfirst into DJ Khaled’s “They Don’t Love You No More” and the Puff Daddy remix of “We Dem Boyz.”
Although there was a language barrier, the Quai 54 faithful was still able to connect with the Excuse My French MC as they engaged in a call and response on A$AP Ferg’s “Work” remix, Ace Hood’s “Woke Up In A New Bugatti” remix and Rick Ross’ “Stay Schemin’.”
Before ending his set with the simple sign off, “Paris, I love you,” French managed to raise the stakes even higher with the crowd going absolutely nuts singing along to “Ocho Cinco,” “Pop That” and “Ain’t Worried About Nothin’.”