Thursday, October, 4th 2018 I went out to celebrate the AWESOME 2’s 35th ANNIVERSARY which took place at the Highline Ballroom (431 West 16th St, NYC). This event would show Hip Hop Love and Honor to Teddy Ted and Special K aka The Awesome 2!
The host of the evening was the one and only, Legendary Legend, Chuck D of Public Enemy. I was excited to see what other Legends would be in the building. When I arrived, I seen a ton of Hip Hop Heads who I’ve been seeing often lately with all of the Hip Hop Anniversaries happening this year.
To get things started, The Legendary, DJ Belal was on the 1’s and 2’s, going in Early with some classic hype music. Check him out: https://youtu.be/kyDYWbimWFQ
Next up, one of my favorite Brooklyn Legends, DJ Mister Cee (@DJMisterCee) aka The Finisher, jumped on the turntables and continued to hype us up. He gave shoutouts to Kool DJ Red Alert, Special K and Teddy Ted. He shouted out Marley Marl, letting us know, Marley Marl was someone he came up under. He also gave a shoutout to the late-Great, DJ Mister Magic (RIP). He then had us doing some old school dances like THE WHOOP. We all Whooped it out. Then the Finisher gave us some Brooklyn Tunes.
Mister Cee made mention that the Awesome 2 were from New Jersey. He told us that they were the 1st group from NJ to put that State on the map as far as Hip Hop was concerned. He added, every week they came to NYC and represented Hip Hop. Then DJ Mister Cee gave us some classics from other New Jersey groups like, LORDS OF THE UNDERGROUND and THE FUGEES. CHECK IT ALL OUT HERE: https://youtu.be/iHwKsTK8K8k
Before Chuck D (MrChuckD_PE) took the stage, we were treated by some other legends on the turntables but I was especially hype when another one of my New York City favorite DJ’s stepped on stage and got busy. Ted Smooth (@TedSmooth) rocked out for a bit. I love when I get to see him on the 1’s and 2’s. He has a very unique playing style. Ted Smooth warned us, “Stay With Meee!” because he will, for sure, take you on a Musical Journey like no other, hitting every NYC Boro. Promising to take you through many classic moments in music history.
It was finally time to Officially start the Awesome 2’s 35th Anniversary celebration. DJ Mister Cee gave a warm welcome to Chuck D, and when he came to the stage he promised us he wouldn’t talk long but wanted to let us know, he would present the night’s engagement by introducing the Legends then having them give us the best way to contact them via Social Media, adding, “because if they leave and you don’t know how to follow them, then this shit is no good.”
First up was a Living Legend who I was happy to see up close and in person again because after I did my Blog on Yo! MTV Raps 30yr Reunion, he hit me up under my IG post (because I tagged him since I mentioned him in it) letting me know he read it and enjoyed my blog. That was my 1st Hip Hop Blog write up. I still get hype when I get positive feedback. Check It Out here if you missed it: http://bklyntyenyc.com/yo-mtv-raps-30-year-reunion-recap/
Masta Ace (@MastaAcePics) came out and went in on his verse from Marley Marl’s classic, THE SYMPHONY to start us off. Then he went in to a track that was one of my favorites to pump out of my Volkswagen, Jetta back in the days when I lived in Va Beach, Virginia. It was normal to hear me blasting, STRAIGHT FROM CROOKLYN, BETTA KNOWN AS BROOKLYN, NEVER TAKING SHORTS CUZ BROOKLYNs THE BORO!!! It was a track used, even today, to represent the boro I’m Born and Raised in. CROOKLYN DODGES was The Shyt! It also had 2 other Brooklyn Natives, Special Ed and Buckshot on it as well. Masta Ace gave a Dope performance. He told us to represent because on this night we would be taking through the Past Present and Future of Hip Hop. He had us participate by responding with, “And now we do it like this” when he shouted “We did it like That”,,, Check him out: https://youtu.be/miiHbLgROaI
Mister Cee came back on the MIC and gave a few Shout Outs to more Legends who had stepped in the building. I was becoming overwhelmed. Felt like I was caught up in an old school episode of Video Music Box. Reliving the many nights I would tune in and wish I was old enough to be there; out at one of the parties VMB was taping Live from. And here I was. In the mist of Hip Hop at its Finest. Live and Direct. Literally standing next to Legends. Sharing the same energy as them. Recognizing how common this has been for me this year. Ironically, many of them knew who I was. Whether from them seeing me out at other Hip Hop events or from my comments on their Social Media page as I commonly Saluted them.
Big Daddy Kane (@OfficialBigDaddyKane) came out. I could see him perform everyday if I had that as an option because lyrically, he is Untouchable, in my opinion. The words he used and grouped up to make his point is beyond me. Lyrical Genius in his own right. I had had the pleasure of seeing him earlier this year when he gave a FREE show in Brooklyn (June 2018) at Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island. I did a blog on that too. It was actually another popular blog I did titled, “LONG LIVE THE KANE 30th Anniversary.” You can check it out here: http://bklyntyenyc.com/long-live-the-kane-30yr-anniversary/
Before BDK stepped on stage after an incredible introduction by Chuck D, Mister Cee started playing the intro to “Aint No Half Steppin'” and of course we braced ourselves. When Kane stepped out, he told his DJ to give him some “RAW” as he gave dapps out to some fans in the crowd. I have never seen him perform the same way twice and I have seen him a few times performing his Classics. He is a great entertainer. Hands Down, one of the best to see Live. *Thats Not Up For Debate* The crowd participation is always on high. He had us chanting “AWESOME TWO” before he went into “Warm It Up Kane” and as a sidebar: I became overly hyped when I was Finally able to recite, “And If I May Make This One Thing Here Clear, Thats For You Not To Come Near. PERIOD” on cue and along with him… That shyt (for me) took 30 yrs to Master. It was a Proud Moment for me. Seriously, lol. Anyway, check it out. Here is the performance Mr. Hardy aka Big Daddy Kane aka The B I G D A DoubleD Y K A N E gave us in honor of The Awesome2: https://youtu.be/Qn4mZH_DtEk
After he gave us a few classics, BIG DADDY KANE took time to express how far back he went with the Awesome 2’s. BDK let us know before he even had a record deal, he would be up at the station during the Awesome 2’s show and he’d be answering calls for them. Also on Tuesdays, at LATIN QUARTERS, BDK and Mister Cee would be in the Awesome 2’s HipHop Competitions and they always showed him Mad Love so, he said, it was only right that he came out to Salute them on this night.
We were only about 45mins into the celebration and there was a long list of Legends who were expected to hit the stage. I was praying my SideKick (my purple trusted Canon Powershot ELPH 360HS point n shoot camera) would hang in there for me. I was kicking myself for not buying an extra battery earlier that day but hopeful the 2 I had would suffice.
Chuck D came back and gave us more history regarding the Awesome 2 by telling us about the 1st time he heard them on the radio. He said he thought they were really laid back but then remembered it was 3:45 in the morning. lol. He said he appreciated the Awesome 2 for the fact that they let Hip Hop speak for itself. We gave a round of applause and then Chuck D brought out Chill Rob G. Now Chill Rob G was someone who I had major HipHop Love and Respect for. I was a Huge fan of (I Got) “The Power.” So much so, I played the single cassette daily at one point as motivation. I didn’t get a good video of him performing on this night but here is a video I snatched from youtube: https://youtu.be/Hd0aNVDOo3U
Chuck D came back out to let us know the 5 Boros were deep in the building including the Tri-State and surrounding areas (NJ, CT, PA, Staten Island) and then brought one of my favorite childhood Groups out. A group I had no problem sneaking out to a spot called Intensity’s (Sheepshead Bay, Bklyn) to see. 2 members of Leaders Of The New School came out. Charlie Brown and Dinco D came on stage and 1st gave us some new tunes they had dropping but also gave us their verses from classics like “PTA” and “Scenerio.”
As if we weren’t getting enough Hip Hop treats so far, Chuck D came out and along with the help of Dinco D and Charlie Brown, gave us one of PE classics, “Rebel Without a Pause.” The video wasn’t captured too good because I was in Hype Mode but here it goes: https://youtu.be/SHzKtUgZTPE
Next up, Double XX Posse came out letting us know they Still “Not Gon’Be Able ta’DoIt.” Before leaving the stage they gave a bigups to Chuck D, who years ago got them on a show at Asbury Park after being told they couldn’t get on stage because they arrived too late. Check them out: https://youtu.be/PBEpvPdGHAM
As if we weren’t already getting more than we paid for, Chuck D announced another Living Legend who I had never seen perform live but remembered my dad (RIP) playing “Money” (Dollar Bill Ya’ll) as if it was his soundtrack for the night at hand. It never failed, each weekend while my pops got dressed to a “T” to head out and hit the New York City Streets, this is what was played.
Jimmy Spicer came out looking Hip Hop’d out in his Money Green, Adidas Track suit and some classic kicks. He kept it traditional by throwing single dollar bills out to the audience which he said he was known to do when he performed the “Money” song. He also let us know he was living with Cancer. There’s a GO FUND ME Account where you can make a donation to him: https://www.gofundme.com/gztqe3-i-need-help-fighting-cancer
*Here is his performance: https://youtu.be/7LKZtOyghz0
Still Hyped up, on to the stage steps Keith Murray. He had on a Pink DEF SQUAD jacket and when he took it off, he had on an AWESOME 2 T-shirt. He gave us a mini concert of some of his classic hits and the energy he came with had us wylin’out hard. Check It Out here in 2 different clips: https://youtu.be/s3uhvFOOLeE / https://youtu.be/EGj4nawLjcU
Black Rob came out and was like “WHOA!”,,, https://youtu.be/V_h4f7jc6I4
What’s a Hip Hop Celebration without JamMaster/GrandMaster, DJ Scratch stepping to the 1’s and 2’s and goin’ Ham?! If being a Turntablist was a crime, he’d have many charges against him! No cell could hold him because he’d raise the damn roof on that too! Needless to say, he got busy on the turntables with a mind blowing set where he blended a few songs to warm up a bit. Not that he needs it since its always clear, he could slay turntables in his sleep! I was Mesmerized.
At some point he had us put one finger in the air for B I G and then asked what local NYC Boros (and surrounding areas) was in the building… Biggie Smalls “10 Crack Commandments” played as he spoke over it. We were all there! Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and BROOKLYN, Yea, we were in there DEEP! Including Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut and even further than that. To Spread Love, because That’s how We Do in B-K, The Turntable Whisperer used Biggie to help recite the Area Codes by turning the Ten Crack Commandments into the New York City Area Codes. He said to make noise when we heard our code but I think we were all in amazement. For about 35 seconds we were just STUCK in a zone! Now, I’m sure, all of us who were there will Never hear that Classic Hit the same ever again.
Then he went into making EVE & Gwen Stefani’s “Let Me Blow Your Mind” into ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb” which broke us out of one trance and put us in another. Then DJ Scratch demonstrated skills as he broke down LL Cool J’s “Rock Tha Bells.”
Aren’t you guys glad I captured video for you?… https://youtu.be/1oX1fFuDIio
After his set, DJ Scratch took time to say some words, First about How and Why he launched SCRATCVISION TV/Radio Network (www.ScratchVision.com), and letting us know it wasn’t until After he started his own Station, he was given an opportunity to be on NYC Radio. How Ironic is that.
DJ Scratch’s goal was to get all of the Legends who had been pushed out of (mainstream) radio, onto his network. Currently, the Awesome 2 can be heard Every Friday at 8pm EST on ScratchVision so be sure to check them out. Please note, there’s a FREE Scratchvision app Avavilable on AppStore & GooglePlay.
Ralph McDaniels came on stage with Chuck D and gave examples on how they get mistaken for one another. I laughed because I Too use to get them mixed up.
Uncle Ralph then called the Awesome 2 and Red Alert on stage for a picture which would be a Classic shot because they were All Celebrating 35 years.
When uncle Red Alert took the Mic, he let off so much history regarding the Legacy of Hip Hop, letting us know, the Awesome 2 use to do their radio show in the basement of a tenement building. Uncle Red said 35 years was an important year. That’s why they were all celebrating to the fullest.
I went bizirk as usual when M.O.P stepped on stage. Brooklyn was definitely in the building. They gave us a few classics and of course I lost it when they did HOW ABOUT SOME HARD CORE… and ANTE UP! Here is some footage. https://youtu.be/66PXCHWU1tY
A representative from Remy Martin came out and awarded The AWESOME 2 with a Special bottle of XO and said, “it stand for Extra Old but in this case it would stand for, Extra Ordinary!”
The Men of the evening said a few words, giving shoutouts and words of Love and Respect to everyone who hit the stage and those of us who were in the crowd that came out for the celebration. Then as a Special surprise, they announced Keni Burke, a Legend who is responsible for a classic that’s played, at least once at all black family functions. We all harmonized along with him as he performed, “Keep Rising to the Top” https://youtu.be/WHU_Z5vQOUM
To end the night, another surprised guest, who let us know he had literally just came from the hospital from having surgery stepped on stage. Greg Nice (@DaRealGregNice) said the awesome 2 were his brothers and he had to be there. He told us he was about to rock out from his soul. The performance he gave, you would have never known he was stitched up underneath his outfit. Heres the video: https://youtu.be/TnxQKXdi_ts
Needless to say, this Celebration of the AWESOME 2 was more like a party. There were many Hip Hop Heads of ALL ages in the building. We were taken on a musical journey that allowed some of us to travel back into time to where we were when we 1st heard the Classics played by the DJs and performed by the Legends. What a Dope Night it was. HIP HOP U THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! Forever!
*If your were there, comment below some of your favorite moments*
SPREAD LOVE ITS THE BKLYN TYE WAY!