June 4, 2013 - Tuesday evening, Atlanta's Fox Theater hosted LL Cool J's King of the Mic flashback hip-hop tour. Kicking off the East Coast leg in Atlanta, LL Cool J brought along classic hop-hop artists De La Soul, Public Enemy, and Ice Cube. All acts played from almost three decades of hits to a roaring crowd of every demographic.
Starting promptly at 7:30 p.m. De La Soul welcomed patrons of the Fox to the Kings of the Mic tour, featuring Public Enemy, Ice Cube, and LL Cool J. The show has been on the road since May, making Atlanta the eighth stop on the 26-city tour.
As expected, the self-refuted but often stereotyped "flower children" of hip-hop, De La Soul, took to the stage with nothing but good vibes and high energy. Wearing an Odd Future kitten T-shirt, Trugoy (or Dave) probed the crowd for their ages by asking how many 25-year-olds he had in the building. Myself, along with 99.9 percent of the Fox, didn't flinch, but my reasons for doing so were the inverse of the rest of the patrons. Already feeling dwarfed in age, it wasn't until he shouted out the 35 and older crowd that the venue exploded in cheers. From that point forward it was indisputable that this tour would be a sonic love letter to those that grew up with the music of the headliners.
Building on the energy of De La, Public Enemy marched to the stage with a bombardment of sound, perhaps too much for the Fox's sound system. Sound discrepancies aside, Public Enemy powered through their set hitting all the classics. Chuck D and Flavor Flav were in full bravado, putting on a consistently raucous set, sound problems included.
West Coast legend, Ice Cube, checked the mini-van driving persona at the door and brought back the era of gangsta rap in full force. With towering inflatables made to look like hands throwing up the iconic West Coast "W," simulated helicopter spotlights and an enormous video screen projecting a myriad of his music videos, Ice Cube definitely had the most visually interesting portion of the show. Aiming to not end up muffled like Chuck D in the Public Enemy set, he angrily demanded that the sound man get his sound together stating that "these people paid too much damn money for you not to have the sound right."
Last, but not least, LL Cool J closed it all out with what seemed to be the largest crowd of the night, as a cacophony of screaming women emerged when LL rose out of the stage on an elevator. Definitely living up to the name, Ladies Love Cool James, it was clear that his performance was meant for the females in the crowd.
This wasn't a night of deep cuts or new material, it was each artist highlighting their hits and reciprocating the love that fans have showed them at their individual beginnings. Without question it was a testament to the longevity of love within the hip-hop world.
The tour continues through July ending in Los Angeles.
LOL. Get off my lawn you crazy kids!!!
Phoenix though! LOL. That's aiight though Kwanza; you're still good with me.
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