After leaving Fiddler's Green Amphitheater this past Saturday I took time to observe the wide range of people exiting the venue. Even during the show I changed my focus from the main stage to the faces and eyes of those in the packed crowd; from teenagers at their first concert to married couples seeing their favorite rapper's from their teenage years. I took a moment to think about rap growing and evolving with each generation. Just like my parents shared the Motown classics and the anthems that were the soundtrack of their lives, Saturdays show had that same nostalgic atmosphere. E-40's "Sprinkle Me" and Ice Cube's "Today Was a Good Day" were some of my earliest hip-hop memories. And anyone listening to top 40 radio in 2000 remembers hearing 'throw them bows' from a then 23 year-old Ludacris. Although these songs may not hold the social value/power of the music of Civil-Rights era, each of these artists were the pioneers of their sub-genre of rap. Ice Cube's career was built on being painfully honest about the socioeconomic/cultural issues plaguing South Central Los Angeles. E-40's climb to becoming a rap legend started with his refusal to change his delivery or musical direction; sticking with a funk-based themes and Bay Area 808's instead of the musical style of his New York competitors. Ludacris put together an impressive streak of top-ten albums with his radio friendly style through the gangsta-rap dominated early 2000's. Despite the opposition they faced in their individual careers, here each of them stood. Still entertaining capacity crowds with un-altered delivery. Hip-hop's past still being a powerful voice today and hopefully tomorrow.
Great show. Great crowd. Long love hip hop. Next up: Action Bronson and Danny Brown on 9/17, then Method Man and Redman on 9/21, both at the Ogden Theater.
@mrfmjones - Instagram
@mrfmjones - twitter