Flashback to 1991.
I was a junior in high school. Hip hop was busy making headway in the music industry and growing its fan base year after year; however it was never a genre I gravitated towards (that has since changed).
Sure, I liked Run DMC and LL Cool J, and a few songs by Big Daddy Kane and Kool Moe Dee, but R&B was the only music I listened to day in and day out.
I’m not quite sure how Death Certificate came into my life; all I remember is it never really left my tape deck once it was in my possession. My life in no way mirrored Cube lyrics – I lived in a nice house in the suburbs and went to a pretty good high school – yet I found myself being drawn into his South Central world.
I still consider No Vaseline the best diss record EVER.
So imagine my surprise that Ice Cube’s 45 minute set during The Kings of Mic Tour at The Shoreline Amphitheater did not include a single song from Death Certificate.
Not a one.
He (along with WC from Westside Connection) rapped his was through Check Yourself, We Be Clubbin’ and Bow Down. Cube even went back to his roots and performed two songs from his NWA days (Gangsta, Gangsta was so hot!), but as I eagerly anticipated any song from my favorite Cube album, I was left utterly disappointed when the final notes of It Was a Good Day ended and he wished the crowd a good night.
I found myself having a “what the hell” moment that has yet to pass. My friend speculated he was trying to stay with his “positive” songs.
Again, what the hell!
LL Cool J quelled some of my disappointment with his performance. Having already seen him at The Essence Music Festival in 2010, I knew his show would be high energy. Running back and forth across the stage, the crowd rapped along to Doin It, Jack the Ripper, I’m Bad (my favorite), and Love You Better.
Several women lucky enough to be close to the stage were handed a rose during this song and I Need Love.
LL was on for a mere 45 minutes as well (he cited a curfew as to why he had to end his show, but if the concert would have started on time . . .).
I must say, I feel cheated. I didn’t get to hear No Vaseline, Steady Mobbin’ or I Wanna Kill Sam, and only had LL in my presence for less than an hour. De La Soul also didn’t do Me, Myself and I, which was odd since it is one of their best-known singles. They did perform Potholes in My Lawn, Stakes is High and Buddy.
You expect a great show from Public Enemy and they didn’t disappoint. Flavor Flav ventured into the crowd and walked right by my seat. Shame I missed it because at the same time I had to contend with some jerks who came from nowhere and decided to stand right in front of me like they were made of glass.
Interesting fact according to Ice Cube: Back in 1989 he toured with De La Soul, Public Enemy and LL Cool J as a member of NWA. Talk about a full circle moment.
He also switched up a few lines in It Was A Good Day; instead of “Freaking brothas everywhere like MJ” it was “Kobe,” and “The Lakers beat the Super Sonics,” became “What happened to the Super Sonics?”
A few lowlights:
The screens weren’t on during the entire concert. What was up with that Shoreline? I feel bad for the people on the lawn because I’m sure everyone must have looked like ants on stage. I know this because in 2001 – the last time I purchased lawn seats – I had a difficult time figuring out where Sade was on stage because she looked like what? An ant!
My camera died right after I took my first photo of De La Soul. The backup rechargeable batteries I always carry were of no use, so only one photo and no videos of this concert. 😦