The Illmatic Show And Prove Super Bowl
Friday, July 2, 2010
Nine hours and forty-four minutes ago, Wes Jackson’s Jameson sipping assistant, @johnnywalkersf, blasted an email to Bodega staff with the following Subject line:
“Show and Prove just got real brolic”
One-hundred and fifty-eight Twitter characters later and word was out that Large Professor, DJ Premier and Pete Rock will all spin at the Show And Prove Super Bowl on Monday.
That’s right, 3/5 of the production masterminds behind Nas’s omnipotent debut album, Illmatic, will simultaneously descend on Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Bowl like Golden Era Greek Gods — setting off BHF week with a multilayered Clash Of The Titans for the underground and for the ages.
The Show And Prove Super Bowl marks the culmination of Brooklyn Bodega’s underground competition series to select opening acts for the 2010 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. The six winners of the 2009 and 2010 S&P’s will rock in front of a panel of celebrity judges, culminating six months of throw downs. Whether MikeFlo’s mic command and controlled aggression prevails over Ms. Black Dynamite, Kalae All Day’s lyrical soul stylings; or Poetic Republic’s live band and bullhorn projections outshine The Crowd’s brand of acoustic Emceeing; or St. Joe Louis’s dread-locked rugged lyricism wins against Ash L Bowz comedy-infused live set will be determined on July 5th. The two winners will rock the largest Hip-Hop festival in New York City, sharing the stage with BHF10 headliners, De La Soul.
Stakes is high.
Quick note on Ash L Bowz: Other than clearly having the most hysterical name in the competition, Deeno Snuff and Triple X reached the S&PSB by winning the June 2010 Show And Prove — the most odd-ball Show And Prove yet.
“Odd-ball” for three main reasons.
1.) The June S&P went down the same night as the NBA’s most storied rivals, Lakers and Celtics, clashed in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. In the past thirty years, only four NBA Finals have gone the full seven games, and anybody with even an inkling of interest in basketball checked to see if Kobe would collect his second sans Shaq chip. So that night’s crowd was smaller than the average S&P audience and many in attendance (The Company Man included) had one eye on stage checking the talent and one eye on the handheld checking the score. The anomaly was in the air straight through the Public Assembly gate.
2.) Performing on the stage in the next room from S&P was hard-core heavy metal band, Hell Bent Hooker, showcasing a gawking live show complete with bags of piss tossed into the crowd and a vocalist receiving on stage cunnilingus. I’m not making this up. It doesn’t matter if Biggie just brought out Tupac, the spectacle around the corner would still be enough to circulate through the atmosphere.
“Yo! Did you see Biggie come back to life and bring Tupac out on stage with him???!!!!”
“You know I did! That ish was crazy! But did you see the chick next door throwing piss into the crowd????”
3.) Four of the five acts competing that night rocked with some type of gimmick.
We Stole The Show opens each show by freestyling off index cards with words provided by the audience, and that night was no different. Stone Forest Ensemble is a four piece instrumental acoustic group with a violinist, celloist, Congo drummer and beat boxer/emcee. Mid way through it’s set, the violinist asked different sections of the crowd to toss out three different words and the beat boxer/emcee would freestyle off of. He did. It wasn’t impressive. Johnny Voltik is the first act in S&P history to have a smoke machine and strobe lights. And Ashy L Bowz kicked off by freestyling off pages in magazines.
Some of the gimmicks played well with the audience, others not so well. But eighty-percent is a staggeringly high ratio of performances that pull out props in one showcase. The acts were so different from each other that it became hard to compare. Everyone impromptu polled after the S&P had a different favorite. Either Stone Forest Ensemble or Johnny Volitk. Either We Stole The Show or Ashy L Bowz. Nothing in between. Even the acts themselves contributed to the odd-ball nature of the night.
Despite the historical NBA Finals going down live in HD, the carnal knowledge going down live next door and the mad parity going down live on stage — Ashy L Bowz prevailed with massive amounts of personality, a weed song so potent that the crowd held lighters in the air, and a solid display of lyricism. Nicely done.
After six rounds of S&P showdowns, two winners will finally be crowned, winning the right to rock BHF10. And then, after the haze settles and the stage clears, Large Professor, Pete Rock and DJ Premier — three of the most defining producers in Hip-Hop history and 3/5 of Illmatic’s beat miners — will roll out BHF week in legendary fashion!
This past May, Rap Radar posted a video of ‘Premo and Pete Rock battling it out in Tokyo. This past Thursday, HHDX reported that Pete Rock and ‘Premo “will unite on a new project”. Now, a mere four days after PR’s Twitter confirmation that a joint album is in the works, ‘Premo and Pete Rock will rock together and wreck shop for Hip-Hop. Toss in Large Pro, aka Extra P, aka Mr. Main Source, aka the man who discovered Nasty Nas and placed him on the classic “Live At The BBQ” and produced his debut single, “Halftime”, “One Time 4 Your Mind” and “Ain’t Hard To Tell” — and now Brooklyn Bodega is just bragging (considering that Q-Tip will join the panel discussions with Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey as part of the BEI on the legacy of J Dilla — the only thing missing Illmatic is…well…Nas*).
In one-hundred and fifty eight characters, S&PSB just went from the possibly the most skippable event of BHF week, to another history making occasion.
And only for $5. Bergdorf Hip-Hop at Bodega prices.
* And LES…and AZ…you catch my drift.