The rescheduled Def Squad/Wu-Tang tour-date sets the scene for a night of pure madness. Even though Keith Murray is absent due to an imminent court-case, there are treats aplenty for gathered hip-hop heads.
An almost inhuman level of energy is established and then sustained by all concerned. With DJ Allah Mathematics and DJ Diceeach on twin turntables, massive beats easily rattle your ribcage in a mix that’s as clear as a glass of Cristal champagne. The cross-cultural crowd get to experience the fabled telepathic rhyme interplay between Redman and Method Man firsthand.
Few recognise Eric Sermon at first, most too youthful to remember EPMD, but when he freestyles over ‘You Gots To Chill’, and drops verses from ‘So Whatcha Sayin”, the audience respond enthusiastically to bona fide hip-hop classics.
Method Man clatters through ‘Bring The Pain’, ‘M-e-t-h-o-d Man’ and ‘What Da Bloodclaat?’ with resolve and the patented deep-voiced flow that has made him an MC’s MC. Redman in turn replies with a mirthful ‘Tonite’s Da Nite’ and an explosive ‘Da Realness’. The Cheech & Chong of hip-hop then join forces to extol the dubious virtues of marijuana on ‘How High?’
Three upcoming MCs are also introduced, including Wu-Tang affiliate Street Life, and even Washington DC Go-Go legend DJ Kool jumps aboard for a rambunctious rendition of ‘Let Me Clear My Throat’.
There’s an extended RIP session for fallen hip-hop icons – Freaky Tah, Big L, Big Pun, Roger Troutman, Marvin Gaye, Biggie Smalls and 2 Pac – conducted by Eric Sermon, whilst DJ Dice plays tribute to the late Jam Master Jay with a lethal cut-up of Run DMC’s ‘Pied Piper’. Then comes a full posse version of Redman’s ‘Let’s Get Dirty’. Strangest of all, when the plug is finally pulled, the penny drops that the guys had only just got started. Wow.