On Saturday night in downtown L.A. the third annual “We The People” music festival jumped off with a laundry list of talent, from RZA to Primo to Les Claypool. I got there well after dark, hit the beer garden for a couple of tap-water flat Miller Lites and watched the folks who’d been there since 2 p.m. relinquish sanitary practice for a comfortable seat among plastic cups and cigarette butts peppering trampled grass. The problem with being fashionably late is you usually miss all the fun.
Nonetheless, I caught the act I came to see — Murs. The super locked MC blasted his way through a half hour set with high-fructose punch, igniting a bleary-eyed audience into crowd-surfable waves. After covering a sizable chunk of material from his new album, Murs For President, the So Cal native brought out another local, and legend — Kurupt. Folks damn near stomped each other to get a picture of the man as he regaled them with a few bars. And though that moment felt a certain climax of the night, it was during EPMD’s set the true surprise of the night got the blood a-rushing.
As you might imagine, the two long-time cohorts dropped gem after gem on the Hip-Hop heads crowding the stage — ending with “Crossover” and stretching mics over a fan base that knew every word. Then, as if manifested by rap divine right, they called for The Man. The Myth. The Chef… Raekwon.
Rae did little more than spit a few acappella bars of his classics before time ran short, but just his presence felt monumental. And it spurned conversation all the way back to the car in the dank fall night — when, when, WHEN will we actually get Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II? There’s been anticipation swirling around the album for so long it feels like a fairy tale that’s too good to ever be true. To ever really happen.
So long as road-weary, day-drunk festival goers get second and third winds from the sight or mention of Raekwon, he’ll be able to put out OB4CL to serious numbers. But we passed the 13th year mark for the anniversary of the original this August. How many second and third winds does the sequel get before we’re supposed to lose hope?
An album you can be sure to see, Murs For President, drops today. You can buy it at Amazon.com.