Words By Khalid Strickland
EPMD’s goodwill tour finally touched down at a sold-out Nokia Theater in New York City. Much like the Super Bowl-winning Giants, the legendary duo of Parrish Smith and Erick Sermon received a heroes’ welcome in their home city. But before EPMD stormed the stage, the fired-up crowd was treated to performances by the members of the D.I.T.C. crew (Lord Finesse, O.C., Showbiz & A.G.), Lords of the Underground and a kinetic set courtesy of Naughty By Nature. Each act had hits aplenty and the packed house seemingly knew every classic record line for line.
Once the fans were worked to a fever pitch by the seasoned vets, the legendary EPMD took center stage and proceeded to rip shit. Erick Sermon set the tone from the jump, making the crowd roar as he proclaimed, “There will be no Laffy Taffy in here tonight!” It was a sight to behold. Midway into EPMD’s set, DJ Scratch got his customary spotlight moment and brought the house down with his feats turntable manipulation. No matter how many times I see Scratch do his thing, I always walk away amazed; he’s mastered the turntables the way Jimi Hendrix mastered a guitar. From start to finish, the entire concert was energetic.
Thanks to the big homie, Gotty, I was able to chill backstage and politic with the many celebrities on hand and Hip-Hop legends were in abundance. Freddie Foxxx, who I had the pleasure of interviewing before, chopped it up with Marley Marl. Craig G, a member of Marley’s famed Juice Crew, was in the house. DJ Premier strolled in and kicked it with The Alchemist. Ed Lover rolled through to holla at PMD in his smoky dressing room. DJ Honda rolled with Treach and the NBN crew as they hit the stage. But my standout moment was meeting actor J.D. Williams, known to fans of “The Wire” as Bodie Broadus. I’ve been a die-hard “Wire-head” for years and I’ve interviewed Gbenga Akinnagbe, who plays Chris Partlow on the show. Yeah, I know the man’s name, but as soon as I saw him I was like, “Oh shit, it’s Bodie!” That was my first reaction; as if he were a dead man walking. J.D. wasn’t offended though; in fact, he was cool as hell and very down-to-earth (be on the lookout for that future interview). With the sweet aroma of Kush in the air (would it be a Hip-Hop show without it?) and the curvaceous honeys in attendance, backstage was definitely the place to be. Membership has its privileges.
View the rest of the pics in the Flickr Photo Set. Pics courtesy of Sachiko Kato.
Previously Posted — “Still In Business” – EPMD. Columbus, Ohio. 4.22.08