you gotta have paper in this land of milk and honey
I always say the best 20 minutes of hip-hop I ever saw was presented by Big Daddy Kane packed with hot verse after hot verse (even throwing in some perfectly timed slapstick humor). I’m not even sure what I mean by ‘best 20 minutes’ but it seems to capture the density and flawless presentation that Kane brought to the stage. The only problem with the show was that it was after his heyday in a retrospective Las Vegas greatest-hits context and the cocktail tables and velvety venue Joe’s Pub only added to the Vegasy vibe. But, thank hip-hop, the great Skrewball came on after Kane to scare the martini sippers out the door…
But there’s a new contender for the title ‘best 25 minutes of hip-hop.’ And as much as it was a retrospective of hits, ‘Draped Up’ is only the beginning of Bun B’s overground future. Early Sunday morning at Southpaw the Underground King ran through verses from his ever increasing portfolio of hot guest 16s. The UGK verses were there but emphasis was definitely on ‘popular’ appearances with Jay-Z, 3-6 Mafia, Slim Thug, Webbie and the like. Bun performed his verse from ‘Pocket Full of Stones’ so I wasn’t mad at anybody. His call to ‘Fuck FEMA!’ joined the more predictable but at least equally impassioned ‘Free Pimp C!’ and the surprise shout-out ‘Caramanica, Rep Your Hood!’ Flanked onstage by BK reppers Manhood I almost expected Cashmere to join Bun for their ‘Whole Hood’ freestyle… but I’m sure that would have gone over the time limit.
Also got to chill with some fools in front of the king. The Canary-Burgundy boy, Young Feezibility and Jon ‘Fly Pelican Fly’ Metalmanica tortured me with tales of ESG sightings and Catchdiesel broke the news that I missed a Peedi Peedi showcase (both possible nominees for the best 20 minutes of hip-hop I didn’t see…?) .
And, most importantly, I did the nerdy t-shirt joust with Jon Caramanica (no promo!). I felt the ubiqui-tee of the Snowman diminished it’s glittery shine especially next to the double-edged hip-shank called the Dipset/Ramones mash-up tee. JC blessed me with props because the Jeezy-tee WAS so gully in it’s bootleg glory (Chris, I was rocking it ‘officially’ but, belee dat, Korean-run Yonkers hood-wear shops are not getting ‘official’ Def Jam product… at least not the one I frequent). Hey I’ll gladly take the prize if only because MY t-shirt has those inexplicable ellipsis… (“Snow…Man”) ya know...?