WHAT IT IS...

Hip Hop is how I define myself. Hip Hop did not start in the late 70's. It started long ago, undefined, from several points around the globe culminating into what we now call Hip Hop. Hip Hop is a way, a feeling, a thought. This blog reflects my Hip Hop.

Thank you for paying attention.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Curious Case of Funkmaster Flex

This blog is late. Very. But I'm glad I'm typing it now instead of when I wanted to. I wanted to make sure I was being as objective as possible without sounding like an ass. Ya see...I hate Funkmaster Flex. With a passion. My hate is subjective though. I don't hate him enough to take food out of his mouth...but I do hate him enough not to listen to his radio show or give him any props more than he rightly deserves. Let's start from the beginning of why I decided to write this...

A few weeks ago, B.B. Kings Bar & Grill (NYC) hosted the first concert in a series of performances showcasing supposed hip hop legends. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go at first...until I saw who was on the bill. EPMD and Method Man & Redman?! Decision made. It would've taken a nation of millions to hold me back. Plus, I felt they actually got the billing correct this time. EPMD, Mr. Meth, and Redman ARE hip hop legends. As well as Brand Nubian, who were also scheduled to perform. The other acts, Lords of the Underground, Dres (from Blacksheep) and N.O.R.E...well, not so much legends. I didn't care. I was going and no one was stopping me.

I ended up going with a few friends who were just as psyched to see the crew formerly known as the Hit Squad (EPMD & Redman) as I was. I 'just' saw them last year at Rock The Bells '08 but with new albums released by all, I expected a really good show. Well, that I didn't get. What I got was, what I refer to as, Old School Shows In A New School Decade. Here's a short list of the problems:

1. We waited outside on line for two hours....for NO DARN GOSH reason! (There might be children reading this...ya never can tell). We could have easily stood inside while they set the show up.
2. The show began late. Like an hour late.
3. Funkmaster Flex was DJ'ing. Yes, that's a problem for me. He sucks as a DJ. I don't care if constantly demands respect for using vinyl. Big effin' deal.
4. N.O.R.E. was on stage way too long. Plus....he didn't deserve to share a stage with EPMD or Brand Nubian. Lyrcially and artistically, he couldn't carry their collective nut sacks. (Sorry children. This is how upset I am.)
5. A NYC fire marshal decided there were too many 'people' in the building and wanted to shut the show down.
6. Thanks to the persistence of the fire marshal (and N.O.R.E.'s long ass set) EPMD ran through their set in 15 minutes. They were trying to emulate the length of N.O.R.E.'s fame, I think.
7. #'s 4-6 above led to Meth & Red only rocking for about 20 minutes before King's management decided to rudely shut all power to the stage. They probably did that for fear of getting fined by the fire department. I'm not mad at them. I would've done the same thing. What made this a major problem is that Meth & Red did NOTHING from the new album...nor did they peform Da Rockwilder. Da Rockwilder!! ('Scuse me...I need to breathe for a moment...) The song is all of 2:30 minutes long yet I never get tired of seeing them perform it. How they got out of the building w/o performing it is beyond my comprehension...

So, for $30, I got an accelerated show, an abrupt end and no real satisfaction to speak of. At first I chalked it up to hip hop. Ya know....that thing that happens at most rap shows (i.e. family members and people you really don't care about standing on stage for no absolute reason other than to be seen by people who don't know or care about them, the expected and now comical threat to the sound man for not turning up the mic and/or sound levels, the 15 minutes of 'Where Brooklyn At?', etc.). But, I was wrong. I found out shortly after the show was over that this was a Funkmaster Flex produced concert.

Well, kick me in the head! Had I known that, I wouldn't have gone. Why? Because Funkmaster Flex is an abomination. He 'killed' hip hop in NYC after pretty much blowing it up single-handedly. He talks too much. He drops too many 'bombs' over new songs that maybe deserve half-a-bomb, if that. Did I mention that he sucks as a DJ? I've heard from some other concert goers that this isn't the first time this has happened. The truth is, most of his productions (concerts, car shows, etc.) usually end up like trash. I don't doubt it!!

After all these years of concert production, you'd think they'd all go right though. Correct me if I'm wrong, but rappers need but a few things to have a good show: A mic, something to play the damn music on (or a drum riser for ?uestlove, if you can afford him), a few bottles of spring water, a hand towel (if they're old school. They're usually fatter and sweat more) and a hype crowd. If it's one thing we know, the crowd will never let a rapper down...so long as the rapper doesn't let them down. Meth & Red was actually successful in sending the crowd into a frenzy, especially when EPMD and surprise guest (well, not really) K-Solo joined them on stage to perform Headbanger.

It was really just a shame to see all that energy literally go to waste because the production staff just couldn't get it under control. I blame Funkmaster Flex because he shouldn't have been trying to host, DJ and run the backstage all at the same time. Man up and delegate next time, fool. I don't care about your cars or rims or how fly you are because you bought vinyl. Red Alert DJ'ed that night as well...from a Mac...and still out-DJ'ed Flex in spite of all that vinyl muscle!

Whatever. Going forward, I will make sure I find out who's producing a show before I spend my money. Some say I do my homework too extensively. To them I say I'm just being critical of the concerts I attend because I'm paying for them...and I DEMAND a good show. You should never allow yourself to be shortchanged by the entertainment you pay for. Period.

As usual, thanks for reading.

Bigg Russ

1 comment:

james said...

Russ, I feel U all the way..