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sledding

Ghostface Killah, Asheville NC, Oct. 27, 2010

First of all I have to admit that I'm not a member of the hip-hop cognoscenti. I have a mere 500 hip-hop songs in my itunes. My favorite groups tend to be old school, like Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, The Jungle Brothers, Geto Boys, the Roots, MF Doom, Dr. Octagon, Gang Starr. I haven't seen a lot of live hip-hop: I saw De la Soul years ago, and now Ghostface Killah. I like rappers with "Oh shit," lyrics, by which I mean, "Oh shit, did he just say what I think he said? ... That's good." I like free association (MF Doom, Kool Keith), a great flow (Q Tip, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dog) and smart, angry lyrics over killer beats (Public Enemy - which also features the great straight man / comic relief chemistry of Chuck D and Flava Flav).

Another thing about a hip hop performance: it's not a "show," in the sense that a James Brown concert was a show. There is no show biz component of build-up, climax, etc. Basically the rappers get up there in their baggy tees, their low slung jeans, their boots and their ball caps, they walk around the stage and they rap... to deafening beats.

While I enjoyed the show, I was disappointed by the sound quality. For the most part I couldn't hear the words. I don't know if it was simply too loud, or the sound people were inept, but the sound was so distorted that I couldn't understand what was being "spit," as they say. And if rap is rap, then the words should be the thing.

I'll post some photos of the night later on Mondo Marco.

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