Thursday night at the NOKIA Theatre in New York City, the Footprint in Hip-Hop Tour stomped through Times Square bringing nothing but feel good hip-hop to a sold-out crowd.
The show featured enlivened performances from Ghostface Killah and duo Method Man and Redman, with the Wallabee Champ taking the stage after radio personality Peter Rosenberg introduced him as one of the most “consistent” MCs of all time. Rocking a Coca-Cola rugby tee and a matching red fitted, Tony Starks ripped through classics from his decades-spanning oeuvre, swinging a towel around as he performed crowd favorites like “Be Easy,” “Mighty Healthy,” “One,” and “Cherchez LaGhost.” Surprise guest Raekwon appeared during the set to help him out with “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit” and “Incarcerated Scarfaces” before handing it back to Ghost, who even let his son kick a verse before snatching back the spotlight and rounding out his performance with “Back Like That.”
The air turned hazy when Red and Meth took the stage, setting off an hour-long set with the energetic “Da Rockwilder” as two DJs spun side-by-side behind them. With the crowd at their command, Funkdocta Spock and Tical focused the first half of the show on fresher material from their recently released sophomore album Blackout! 2, working the stage as they performed “Errbody Scream,” “Hey Zulu,” “City Lights,” and their Pete Rock-produced single “A-Yo.” Halfway through the set, the dynamic duo brought it back to the ’90s, taking turns running through their respective classics. Meth got the crowd hyped during “Method Man,” “Bring the Pain,” and “All I Need to Get By,” while Red flipped up his hoodie during “I’ll Bee Dat” and “Tonight’s Da Night” before teaming back up with his partner in rhyme for “Dat’s Dat Shit” and both versions of “How High.”
The two followed by paying tribute to the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, enlisting the crowd to sing the classic hook on “Got Your Money” before bigging up attendee Cedric the Entertainer and bringing out Meth’s son. And a party wouldn’t be a party without a rendition of “Rapper’s Delight,” to which the rappers exited the stage after letting the thinning crowd know that a sequel to their cult film How High is currently in the process of being finalized. But by then, the two had already left a big enough mark on the New York stage, making for yet another successful performance by some of Wu-Tang’s sharpest killer bees.
–Steven J. Horowitz
Photos by Cassidy “Sparrow” Maldonado for Rap-Up.com