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October 1, 2007

The Roots go old school at Rams Head Live

From Sun dating blogger Maryann James

The Roots VH1 Hip-Hop Honors Tour at Rams Head Live: Best concert I didn't sign up for.

I bought tickets to last night's concert expecting to hear classics from The Roots and songs off their more recent albums. Instead, I got an earful of hip-hop classics -- from jams that were slightly before my time to songs my middle-school and high-school selves used to listen to when my mom wasn't in the room. Add MC Lyte and Big Daddy Kane, and you've got an instant trip into a hip-hop memory lane. ...

Highlights of the night:
  • Any time MC Lyte was on the stage. She looks and sounds exactly as she did 15 years ago. She made me love "Roughneck" (which I hated when I was younger) and her free-style in the middle of the show proves that she still has it.
  • Blackthought doing Kool G. Rap's "Men at Work." His hyper-speed, non-stop rap still has me reeling 12 hours later. With the crowd and Richmond, Va., rapper Skillz egging him on, he didn't miss a word, a beat, or his breath. Every time you thought it was over, he moved on to the next verse. At the end of the song, the crowd going wild, ?uestlove added, "Through this whole tour, he hasn't tripped up once. He's a true MC."
  • All the Baltimore references, such as the Shake and Bake skating rink and a musical aside with KW Griff and DJ Booman's "Pick Em Up."
  • Skillz's "It's a Crazy World." By the end of the song, he had the whole crowd singing the bluesy chorus (the MySpace version doesn't do it justice). I'm proud to say this man is from my hometown.

Last night, I got three shows in one: The Roots, MC Lyte and Big Daddy Kane, a musical tag-team that left you breathless, hoarse and hopeful about the future of hip-hop. Surely hip-hop isn't dead if there's still rocking shows like this.

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:42 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


This was the best hip-hop show Ive been to since the one at Afram two years ago, then before that the RUN DMC show at the Capitol Center back in 1984, sprinkle a few KRS-One shows here and there but this was the one. HIP-HOP is not DEAD!!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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