By Sandra Segura
The night got real old school real fast as some of the most iconic hip-hop artists of the ’90s hit the stage and shut down Wingate Field in Brooklyn for the Martin Luther King Jr. Summer Concert Series on Monday night (August 2). Fans packed into the park and filled it well over capacity, forcing the police to turn away dozens of would-be concert-goers. But the early birds were treated to a great night of stunning, energetic old school hip-hop.
Opening the concert was Mr. La Di Da Di himself, Slick Rick. The Ruler was definitely back when he hit us with old school favorites like “Hey Young World” and “Children’s Story.” Naughty by Nature followed close behind, and they easily got the crowd going wild with one of the best lines in rap: “You down with O.P.P? Yeah, you know me!” They ended their set with Treach saying, “Y’all know my baby mamas up next!”
He was referring, of course, to female rap pioneers Salt-N-Pepa. Even though Spinderella was not there to spin the wheels of steel for MCs Cheryl “Salt” James-Wray and Sandy “Pepa” Denton, the group still gave the audience a great show. They had b-boys dancing around them as they performed their huge hit songs “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Whatta Man” and “Stomp.” They even kept an ace up their sleeves for a late surprise, as they brought manic New York MC Busta Rhymes out to spit a verse or two. I may be from Harlem, but I was definitely shouting out “Where Brooklyn at!”
It’s amazing to think that the ’90s are a full two decades behind us, and yet all of these performers sounded just like they did back in the day. The concert ended with a well-deserved shout out to all the great rappers we have tragically lost to guns and violence. It capped off a night that was truly full of real hip-hop.