With a city full of exciting events on any given Saturday night, Atlantic City’s House of Blues at Showboat was the place to be last night.
Around 9pm, Biz Markie (above) helped kick off the first-and-only Legends of Hip-Hop show, which, along with the Biz’s party-starting set, included appearances by fellow old-school rappers Kool Moe D., Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh. The latter blew minds with his unparalleled ability as a beat boxer — he’s the original. Slick Rick’s diamond-and-gold-studded set, although brief, included “Hey, Young World,” and, of course, “Children’s Story.” The crowd, many more over-30s then under as the artists concluded during their mid-set polls — went nuts as soon as Slick Rick (”the Ruler”) took the stage of the Music Hall, dressed in yellow, black and blue denim — and monster gold chains and medallions, a diamond-studded eye patch over his right eye (below).
We hoped to get backstage to interview some of the artists – namely Slick Rick, who was supposed to be down for an interview after the show – we just had to confirm with Chill Will, Doug E. Fresh’s DJ (and long-time cohort) and agent for both he and Slick Rick. We had been communicating for days trying to set this up. He didn’t promise, but was very helpful in trying to make it happen.
Biz Markie hosted an after party at the House of Blues. I headed to the Foundation Room for a couple drinks, thinking about the death of Michael Jackson (Biz Markie tried for a moment of silence towards the end of his set), Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh’s version of “The Show,” which they performed together at the HOB as well as back in 1984 when it was a monster club hit and Biz Markie’s stellar version of “Vapors.”
Chill Will texted from the stage that Slick Rick had to rush to the airport after the show and that Doug had to catch a flight to Los Angeles for the BET awards. Therefore, our planned video interviews with this pair of hip-hop royalty wasn’t going to happen after all.
But the show was awesome. The entire place was packed and clapping and singing along; the floors were shaking to the evening’s bouncing beats. It was a celebration and then some. I doubt if anybody left the Music Hall disappointed. Doug E. Fresh and the others brought ‘em back to the 1980s, calling up old songs (even TV theme songs) and memories — including those of the late King of Pop.