Once upon a time there was a Dynasty. I’m not talking Blake Carrington but actually more like Ming. The legacy carved in the hip hop game by Jay-Z, Dame Dash, and Karriem Biggs can never be forgotten. However, with Jay off performing with Coldplay, Dame sitting in his art gallery and Biggs sitting in jail (hold ya head), it’s up to the young bloods to keep the name alive. For one night in NYC, Memphis Bleek; Freeway; and the Young Gunz did just that.
From the beginning, this night was all about the fans. Voice of the Roc “Pain In The Ass” set it off with his well known Robert De niro impressions to make it an official ROC affair. Young Guru who DJs for Jay-Z these days, and producer Just Blaze took turns on the decks keeping the party going. The Young Gunz hit on all cylinders with joints for the guys like Never Take Me Alive and No Better Love for the ladies. The energy was bouncing off the walls for their entire set. The Young Gunz benefit from amazing production on their tracks along with seasoned stage presence. The real star of this show however unofficially was Freeway. Free and his beard had the whole place shaking with joints like “When They Remember” and “What We Do.” The latter had to get a restart from Just Blaze because so many people lost their minds simply by uttering the first line.
Freeway seemed to have the most hits out the crew as well as the biggest belly, but this new weight didn’t keep him on the ground at all. Free was on 10 the entire night. Showing love to all the Rocafella fam, Free brought out Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) for a performance of the Kanye West song 2 Words and Beanie Sigel’s eldest son Shakur (who had all the mannerisms of a NON rapper) to join him for Roc Da Mic. Another insane moment of the night was Peedi Crakk coming out for Flipside and 1 for Peedi Crakk. Why this guy is not a superstar is anyone’s guess.
At this point the bar was set extremely high and who do we have to bring it home? None other than Brooklyn’s own Memphis Bleek. I would like to say Bleek killed it, (I would) but that would not be factual. His overly excited hype men and overall mellow song choices (Holla, Get Ya Mind Right) did not keep the movement moving. He did have his moments though. Songs like Got My Mind Right, Is That Yo Chick and Do My… got the diamonds in the air, but at that point the damage was already done. By the time he brought out surprise guest NORE to do his classics SuperThug and Nothing the crowd was feeling pretty lethargic.
Unfortunately this reunion did not end as strong as it started, but with some fine tuning it could be great, even without Jay leading the way. Maybe next time Bleek will remember the lyrics to It’s Alright and Beans will be home.
Words: Dashaun Simmons | @13Rose