Rocksteady Crew 37th Anniversary Show feat Das EFX, M.O.P., Kool DJ Red Alert, Keith Murray, Slick Rick, Onyx and Special Guests
Summerstage, Central Park
July 27, 2014
It’s been a very crazy summer (in a good way) for me as i’ve been busily covering shows all across town while managing the competing demands of a full-time job and a busy social life. And as you know, with the Joy of Violent Movement being a (mostly) one-man operation based out of my apartment in Corona, I often wish I had a 65 hour day to do everything i’d like to have done; of course, that will never happen and you can only squeeze in as much as you can while trying to sleep at some point. Regardless, there have been several incredible memories this summer, but what I want to focus on right now is what may arguably be the New York metropolitan area’s best hip-hop moments of the entire year – the Rocksteady Crew Anniversary Show at Summerstage in Central Park.
Naturally, what makes the annual Rocksteady Crew Anniversary Show so special are the scheduled and special guests – and every year they manage to top themselves in ways that I couldn’t possibly fathom. The 36th Anniversary Show last year featured the Pete Rock and CL Smooth reunion, which had been talked about for weeks, and it included a guest spot by Run DMC’s DMC for a live version of “Down With the Kings.” Whoa. This past year’s show was packed with a million guests including Big Pun’s son, Chris Rivers, M.O.P., Das EFX, Kool DJ Red Alert on the 1s and 2s, Keith Murray, Slick Rick and ONYX– yes, ONYX. And there were of course, countless others whom I haven’t named.
However, there were several personal highlights for me
Watching the crowd absolutely lose their shit when the members of M.O.P. did “How About Some Hardcore?” and “Ante Up” live. I’ve seen one third of the group do it and the response was exactly the same – everyone losing their fucking minds. And it was incredible.
I was a big Das EFX fan as a boy, and hearing them do a song like “We Want EFX” live again was a thrill. But I also admired their incredible energy, which included Krazy Draze jumping into the crowd for someone’s selfie.
Seeing the legendary Kool DJ Red Alert spin on the radio brought back memories of catching his show every week and making mixtapes. God, you’d have your stereo on pause during the commercials and you’d have to perfectly poised so you wouldn’t miss your favorite songs whenever they aired.
Keith Murray did “The Most Beautifullest Thing in the World,” a song I remembered playing every single day on the radio. He also did some other stuff.
I can’t forget seeing the legendary Large Professor. I’ve seen Large Pro a number of times, and it always seems that the mainstream hip-hop radio stations do fans under the age of maybe 30 a major disservice. And i say this because every time i’ve seen Large Pro, it’s like half the crowd is completely unaware of how important the man is hip-hop. How shameful.
i’ve seen Slick Rick on a couple of occasions and he can be a mixed bag – I saw him do a free show at Jackie Robinson Park uptown and he was incredible. Sometime later, I saw him do his birthday show at Brooklyn Bowl, and that set was unbelievably awful. However, this time, he was pretty solid and brought it.
And holy shit, ONYX. They were totally unexpected. In fact, all of the photographers – including yours truly – had seen a guy with an ONYX t shirt and didn’t think much about it. So when Sticky Fingaz and Fredro Starr came storming and stomping out, everyone’s minds were blown. Somehow they did the angriest versions of “Slam” and “Throw Your Guns In the Air” I’ve ever heard.
Check a ton of photos from one of the best shows I’ve seen this summer.
This man was very popular among the photographers in the pit. He was probably the most expressive person I came across.
This boy did one of the best Michael Jackson impressions i’ve seen in quite some time.
Kool DJ Red Alert
B-boys doing their thing.
I managed to see Razhel twice in 24 hours as he was at the Chronixx Summersatge set, the previous day. But, check out that sweatsuit man!
For these photos and much more, check out the Flickr set here: