Just when you thought the house couldn?t get any more packed, Busta Rhymes, Eve and MC Lyte show up to join Biz Markie for their tribute to Slick Rick. Eve lounges on the steps as she and Ghostface Killah chat, and Biz and Busta joke around up until the minute the Slick Rick medley starts.
Once the bass kicks in though, it?s all business. MC Lyte struts out on the stage, lyric sheet in hand, announcing that the ruler is back. Moments later, Busta Rhymes and Spliff Star run out, launching into ?The Show,? and nearly miss the exit once their segment is over. Ghostface Killah and Biz duet on ?La Di Da Di,? with Biz?s chest-hollowing bass backing up Ghostface?s gloriously off-kilter vocals.
Next to us, our lovely online host, Gym Class Heroes? Travis McCoy fields emails from his special lady friend, the girl-kissing Katy Perry, and Busta?s sons, the next generation of hip-hop, tag along with their dad.
The buzz about Hip Hop Honors is spilling into all sorts of quarters these days. The respect that contemporary rap artists have for the musicians that paved the way is obvious. Here are a couple of blogs getting primed for the show by punditizing on the past.
First up, Rhapsody. Here’s Devin the Dude on Slick Rick:
“Every time you heard [his music], you laughed, danced, and at the end, it had a storyline. A lot of rap didn?t have storylines back then, but Slick Rick was real good at that. Anybody can just say they?re a story teller, but there?s an art to it and he figured it out.” Read the whole interview at Rhapsody.
And over at The Smoking Section, they’re kicking an overview of Cypress Hill‘s ganga sensibilities.
“Potheads wrapped Mary Jane in cigar skins long before Cypress Hill endorsed it, but the first Latino rap group to go platinum helped introduce blunts to the mainstream. In 1991 Cypress Hill dropped a self-titled debut album celebrating L.A. gang culture and, more prominently, marijuana. They weren?t the first rappers to talk about weed, just as N.W.A. wasn?t the first to spit gangsta shit. But B-Real?s nasal vocals, Sen Dog?s gravelly ad-libs and DJ Muggs? stoned, off-kilter beats set off a revolution.” Read the whole piece.
Check out the list of hip hop’s greatest weed songs. Did your fave make the cut?
Read what DJ Drama has to say about the glory of De La Soul at Rhapsody. Full interview here.
Watch our Hip Hop Honors show on VH1 on Monday, October 6 at 10 EST.
Jim Jones, Mack 10 and Gym Class Heroes are just a few of the artists who’ll hit the stage to salute Cypress Hill during this year’s Hip Hop Honors (airing Monday, October 6 at 10/9c). We caught up with the honorers to hear their thoughts on the mary jane-praising group, and to get to the bottom of a highly important question: do you have to be high to enjoy Cypress Hill’s music. Answers below.
Check out our Greatest Weed Songs list.
We caught the Gym Class Heroes hero getting a shape-up in the bathroom of the Hammerstein Ballroom. Backstage at Hip Hop Honors, the glamor never stops.
Watch Hip Hop Honors 2008 on VH1 on Monday, October 6, 10 pm ET.
Above, one of Dipset’s finest talks about Naughty by Nature, the group he’ll take the stage to salute at this year’s Hip Hop Honors (airing Monday, October 6 at 10/9c). He also lets us in on why one of NBN’s most loved anthems is particularly near and dear to his heart…among things.
Below, check some shots of downtime during Naughty by Nature’s rehearsal.
The gang’s all here this beautiful Wednesday morning as the second day of rehearsals for Hip Hop Honors kick off. Some say hip-hop runs on its own time, but Fat Joe, Jim Jones and the Gym Class Heroes are all here, right on time, to honor Cypress Hill. To have such a collection of talent under one roof is amazing, and that’s not lost on the honorees themselves. While walking around surveying the set, B-Real happens to whip out the same digital camera your loyal bloggers have to record the moment, as a decidedly less portly Fat Joe walks over to pay his respects.
It’s obvious Fat Joe’s been doing his homework, as he tears through a flawless rendition of “The Phuncky Feel One.” Jim Jones has a little work to do before the show, as he seems more interested in watching the dancers than the words to “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That.”
Appropriately, plumes of smoke wreath Cypress Hill as they run through “(Rock) Superstar.” Moments later, Cypress Hill, Jim Jones, Mack 10, Gym Class Heroes are up on the mezzanine, answering our questions about Cypress Hill and a particular herbal remedy the group are fond of (coming soon…). Mos Def swings by and tells us which honoree he’s most excited to see, which we’ll have for you later today.
Check back for tons of updates from hip-hop’s front lines, and be sure to tune in Monday, October 6th at 10 p.m.
There’s about 60 or so hours until the 2008 Hip Hop Honors show kicks off, but you?d think it was this afternoon by the looks of the stage at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom. Lit up like an arcade, it?s a truly worthy temple of hip-hop.
But the stage is icing ? a nicely wrapped present compared to the action going down on it. After a brief interlude, Naughty By Nature emerge from their 7th floor rehearsals to check out their upcoming performance spot. Sitting on the steps, posing for pictures in what will be their honorary thrones for the evening, Vin Rock and Treach look genuinely excited. As the group sits out on the balcony while some middle-aged production dude awkwardly dances and lip-syncs on stage during a run-through of the group?s hit ?O.P.P.?, you gotta wonder what?s going through their heads.
After a brief technical difficulty (Treach: ?This sh*t has to be hot so I can do the intro!?) the guys launch into ?Uptown Anthem,? the forever celebratory ?Hip Hop Hooray,? and then a sick version of an acapella, which we happen to have a little footage of above. We’ll be posting on the action from the show site all day Wednesday and Thursday. Come back for more news and video.
Check Naughty by Nature’s story, and watch their videos.
Watch Hip Hop Honors on VH1 on Monday, October 6 at 10 pm.
When we get with our Hip Hop Honorees before the big show, we ask ‘em to spill some of the wild stuff that goes on when they’re touring. Sex antics is a typical response, but a lot of times it’s old fashioned silliness they go on about. Maybe you could predict that from De La Soul, one of the music’s most whimsical crews. They like to have fun with everything they do. Read their story here. Listen to their music here. And find out what they do with powder and pillows by clicking the clip above.
Tune in to our 2008 Hip Hop Honors show next Monday night at 10 pm ET. Check the entire site now for videos, photos and favorites lists.
Watch all of the Tales from the Road interviews.
Too $hort recalls his first rhyme session, and explains how he came up with characters like “Jiggle Jenny.” Naughty By Nature jumps back, telling us how Reaganomics stripped their East Orange home and made kids develop with their own kind of entertainment – rap. Slick Rick tells the world that he wasn’t down with battling; he was always into stories – and (ahem) name-brand fashion – from the jump. De La Soul talks about how the skits on their records were generated by squandering rehearsal time. The guys Cypress Hill explain how they considered their style as “Public Enemy inside out.” Whew, that’s a lot of info, right?
Fans are going to learn quite a bit from the interviews we did with our Hip Hop Honors royalty.
Check our entire “With Honors” clip fest to grab some insights about the way the old school rolled.
Check back here on Wednesday for news items and photos of the rehearsal sessions for the big show, which airs on VH1 on Monday, October 6.