Category Archives: Live Music

Concerts, Live Music and Showcases

Redman and Method Man Announce The Making Of How High 2

Article and Photography by Tyrone Z. McCants

If you consider yourself a hip-hop fan who enjoys going to live concerts then you had to have been to a Method Man and Redman performance at least once. If you have not yet seen their masterful stage show, follow them online and get a ticket to one of their many tour dates. Last month on April 22, also known as 4/20 weekend, Tucson held its first 420 Music Concert hosted by the Green Med Wellness Center and Hermes Delivery Center in Arizona.

The emcee duo began trading and dropping lyrical lines together in 1994. keeping each other’s skills sharp like neighboring verbal warriors from the hip-hop villages of Wakanda. They have developed an almost acrobatic stage performance where they bounce off each other’s energy both knowing what to expect from the other, resulting in legendary hip-hop shows.

April 22, 2018. Redman and Method Man, American hip-hop artists, actors, and music producers, perform their hip-hop classics at the 1st annual 420 Music Festival at Green Med Wellness Center in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos

Originally, John Blaze is one 10th of the Super Music Group – The Wu-Tang Clan.

April 22, 2018. Method Man, An American hip-hop emcee, music artist and one-tenth of the super music group, Wu-Tang Clan, receiving cheers fans at the 1st annual 420 Music Festival at Green Med Wellness Center in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos

And the Funk Doc is a part of another elite hip-hop music collective – The Def Squad.

Redman, American hip-hop artists, on stage rhyming at the 1st annual 420 Music Festival at Green Med Wellness Center in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos

The Within the 24 years of their numerous music chart-topping collaborations and features, the two did not only master the stage, they both went on to broaden their careers in the areas of acting and music production.

April 22, 2018. Redman and Method Man, American hip-hop artists, actors, and music producers, listen to fans recite hip-hop lyrics at the 1st annual 420 Music Festival at Green Med Wellness Center in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos

Every great concert performance is somewhat life-changing when you have the experience for the first time. It connects you to your favorite artist in a personal way. You learn that they {the artists} are really everyday people that enjoy putting on a great show just as much as fans enjoy going to them.

I will never forget my first concert. It was at the Appollo Theater in Harlem NY in 1990. The featured artists were a couple of young upcoming groups called Brand Nubian and A Tribe Called Quest, and a solo artist named D-Nice. The headlining artist was a growing hip-hop who went by the name of the Big Daddy Kane. I even kept the ticket.

Live at the Apollo / Harlem, New York: 1990 New Years Eve – Big Daddy Kane, A Tribe Called Quest, D-Nice, and Brand Nubian.

Make sure you check your local event listings and go see a show. For those hip-hop fans who get to watch these hip-hop brothers do their music live, it is gonna be a memorable experience. FYI, when you do get to go to your next Red and Meth concert and you notice their stage team bringing out loads of bottled water, be prepared for a wild show!

April 22, 2018. Redman and Method Man, American hip-hop artists, toss water on fans during hip-hop performance at the 1st annual 420 Music Festival at Green Med Wellness Center in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos

Here are 5 ways you will know that you are at a great hip-hop concert

  1. A talented artist or your favorite artist. If the music is good, you will be alright especially if the event is full of true to heart hip-hop fans.
  2. A safe location, an organized venue, helpful event staff, and an alert security presence.

    Event security staff hold barriers in place while excited hip-hop fans cheer for Method Man and Redman at the 1st annual 420 Music Festival at Green Med Wellness Center in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos
  3. Great merchandise, tees, clothing, posters, music, hats, anything the average fans can put on, eat, drink, or stuff in their pocket.

    April 22, 2018. T-shirts from the Green Med Wellness Center are tossed in the crowd during the 1st annual 420 Music Festival in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos
  4. The sounds system and deejay must be in working on point. Redman’s deejay, DJ Dice was on the 1s and 2s for the show.

    April 22, 2018. DJ Dice, An American deejay and music producer, does a music soundcheck for the upcoming performance by American emcees and artists, Redman and Method Man at the 1st annual 420 Music Festival at Green Med Wellness Center in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos
  5. A bunch of excited fans. It’s an amazing thing when an entire crowd recites the lyrics to a song. Believe it or not, the artists can tell if you into them and their music.

    April 22, 2018. Redman and Method Man, American hip-hop artists, actors, and music producers, announce to the fans they are working on their anticipated movie prequel, How High 2 at the 1st annual 420 Music Festival at Green Med Wellness Center in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos
  • Bonus. If you are lucky, some artists will present additional features to their show especially for their fans like a surprise guest artist, or new exclusive announcements about their music and special projects. Some may even toss out some gifts like free music, clothing, and other merchandise.

Method Man and Redman brought a guest emcee to the show. Staten Island’s own emcee, Streetlife joined them on stage to perform their 2015 collaboration, Straight Gutta.

April 22, 2018. Redman and Method Man surprise the hip-hop crowd by bringing out Staten Island’s Artist, Streetlife to the stage at the 1st annual 420 Music Festival at Green Med Wellness Center in Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Tyrone Z. McCants / @ZirePhotos
The music duo also announced the making of their longly awaited prequel to their four-and-a-half star 2001 movie – How High. They Redman told the crowd the project is now in development for part 2 – How How 2! Needless to say, the Tucson hip-hop fans at the 4/20 music concert were hype to get the news.

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11 Years Running! The Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival 2015

Photos and Article by Tyrone Z. McCants / Zire Photography

July 11th, 2016 marked the 11th annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival—a celebration of not only music but the progress of the culture in entirety. I had the honor of being present at the event, which for me is another box checked on the list. The festival was birthed in 2005, integrating some of the most revered names with a background in hip-hop.  It is vital to understand that this gathering is not merely artists gracing a stage.  This year’s Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival include the first Hip-Hop Institution conference, the Juice Hip-Hop Exhibition, the Dummy Clap Film Festival, Beats and Eats and the Big Show. The number of attendees increases every year, and the energy of the events reaches immense levels.

For those of you who have never had the privilege of attending BHF, allow me to recreate the scene.  If ever you have dreamt of a fantastical realm in which conscious hip-hop rules, let it be known that this dream exists in BHF.  The headliner was none other than Common—the renaissance man himself.  Other appearances on the set list included Mobb Deep, Freeway, John Robinson, Brooklyn natives Stro, Skyzoo, Rob Swift, and video pioneer Ralph McDaniels.  You simply cannot err with such a cast of greats.  Each performer contributed to the colorful atmosphere of the occasion. From Torae freestyling about What is Hip-Hop, to Lion Babe kicking it with the crowd, to live instrumental by the PVD band and Sean Taylor, every time the stage was blessed, the festival-goers showed nothing but admiration and respect. It was a musical love fest to the fullest.

The highlight of the 2015 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, for me, was Foxy Brown as a surprise performer.  Foxy remains to be one of the most respected contenders in the game. Common brought out the reigning rapper himself, which he explained to AllHipHop:

“I feel like its fly to bring her [Foxy] out because she’s fly. You can picture certain people that Common may bring out but, Foxy Brown is no another level, it’s like something unique and fresh and different.”

I concur, Common.  Known for her great panache, Fox Boogie put it down for us with “Oh yeah”, a favorite of mine.  Imagine the tide of nostalgia that descended the crowd (definitely over myself) at the commencement of that unforeseen bestowal.

Besides Foxy Brown, other surprise happenings included Consequence, large professor (another favorite of mine), and Sean Taylor taking the stage.  BHF 2015 embodied the true essence of “Hip-Hop’s Birthday in July”.  Overall, the event has become a benchmark for the continuation of striving for a cultural celebration.

The founder, Wes Jackson, received a proclamation from the Borough President of Brooklyn, Eric Adams presented by Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo.  What better testament to progression? I’d give this year’s gathering a solid “Starquake” on the Richter scale.

Photography by Tyrone Z. McCants / Zire Photography

Sir Mix-A-Lot, Tha Dogg Pound, and Biz Markie are Coming to Phoenix AZ!

The Arizona Oldschool Block Party is coming to Rawhide Event Center on October 7 with many your favorite hip-hop artists from back in the day such as Sir Mix-A-Lot, Tha Dogg Pound, Biz Markie, Digital Underground and more!

Lineup:

• SIR MIX-A-LOT
• Tha Dogg Pound
• Biz Markie
• 2 Live Crew
• Digital Underground
• Planet Patrol
• JJ FAD
• The Original Mary Jane Girls
• 2nd II None
• Rodney O & Joe Cooley
• Baby Bash
• Newcleus
• Trinere
• Candy Man
• Nu Shooz

Buy your tickets online here:

https://www.seetickets.us/event/Arizona-Oldschool-Block-Party/351671

RECAP: Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Summer 2014

PHOTOS by ZIREPHOTOS / Words BY SENORKAOS – THURS, JULY 24, 2014 

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DJ Rob Swift on the 1s and 2s at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

2 weekends ago I was honored with the chance to attend the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Tickets were provided, so I had to make the pilgrimage to NYC to check it out.

The festival similar to the A3C Fest in ATL is celebrating it’s 10th year in operation this year.

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The Legendary Brand Nubian at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

Hosted in a vacant lot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (right off the East River) it was a beautiful sunny day for an outside concert for sure. When I arrived Tanya Morgan joined by Spec Boogie were getting on stage. I dipped out and missed a few acts including Brand Nubian, Beatnuts, and who knows who else. Luckily I looked at the BKHHF website that morning and noticed that Jay Electronica’s set time had been moved up to an earlier time. The post mentioned his set would be epic, and there would be special guests you didn’t want to miss. 

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Video Music Box, VJ Ralph McDaniels at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

30 minutes after his initial set time though, his DJ was still spinning his actual songs to the crowd. The host Uncle Ralph McDaniels and other staff looked like they were stalling, the sound engineer kept checking mics (as if the mics weren’t crispy already from the last performance). I started thinking to myself did this just turn into a Jay Elec listening party? Is he here? Will there be a show? 

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Jay Electronica at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

And FINALLY… Jay graced the stage flanked by a crew of brothers dressed in F.O.I (Fruit Of Islam) garb. Once he appeared, I must say he definitely gave the crowd a show.

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Jay Electronica at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX
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Jay Electronica, Talib Kwali, and Mac Miller perform at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX
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Jay Electronica and Mac Miller at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX
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Talib Kwali, Jay Cole and Jay Electronica at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

The hour-long set featured all the joints you would probably expect to hear in a Jay Elect set: “Eternal Sunshine,” “Exhibit A (Transformations)”, “Exhibit C,” etc. Special guests included Mac Miller (who straight forgot whatever verse he was supposed to be spitting) which turned into freestyle session between the two. There was also Talib Kweli and J-Cole who seemed to appear and disappear rather quickly. The show was going great and had no one else appeared on stage with Jay, I would have been perfectly fine with that.   But being the magician Jay Elect is, of course he had a trick up his sleeve and that was none other than Jay-Z himself.

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“It Feels Good To Be Home!” Jay-Z says to the crowd at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

Hov didn’t just pop up to rock the couple cuts he has with Jay Elect, he set it off by his rendition of “Young, Gifted, and Black,” and even gave the crowd a treat of “P.S.A.” as well as his joints with Jay Elect including the latest “We Made It.”

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Jay Electronica and Jay-Z perform live at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX
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Spike Lee talks to the community at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

I took a bunch of camera phone pics and even got some video. Then I saw all these fly pictures and HD video, and put my stuff in the archives. HA. 
Oh… and before you see these videos, I must mention I ran into Spike Lee who had a 40 Acres Pop Up Shop set up at the fest. I treated myself to a T-shirt and a “Do The Right Thing” behind the scenes book which Spike actually signed… Not too bad considering where we were a few years back! HA.

Jay Z Joins Jay Electronica For “Young Gifted… by BKHipHopFestival

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Raekwon The Chef performs live at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

After this… CJ Pro Era rocked, and Raekwon did his thing with a few Brooklyn guest including AZ, Masta Killa, Troy Ave, and Papoose. But to be honest, nothing quite surpassed the energy of the moment seen above.

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Masta Killa joins the stage with Raekwon The Chef at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival BHFX

Pics courtesy of Tyrone Z. McCants of Zire Photography. See Full Gallery Here

Shouts to the homie Navani, Suce, Dillon, E Holla, and everybody else I got a chance to connect with during my brief stay in NYC.

Until next time… 

via: http://www.thekaoseffect.com/recap-brooklyn-hip-hop-festival-summer-2014

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Hip-Hop History when Marley, Kane, Kool G, Craig G and Masta Ace performed the Symphony Live at RSC38

The great Big Daddy Kane also headlined the 38th Annual Rock Steady Crew concert at Summerstage Central Park. The smooth operator emcee, whose rich baritone ensures you pay attention to his unique rap lyrics, nearly caused a stampede when he brought out his fellow pioneers and artists Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, Craig G and legendary producer Marley Marl to perform the ‘Symphony’ which is a classic hip-hop hit.

Kane had more surprise guests for the hip-hop fans, he invited Hip-Hop Pioneers Rodney Stone of Funky Four Plus One and Easy A.D. from the Cold Crush Brothers.

Remembering the Late PH – Tribute to Pumpkinhead

The excitement was toned down a bit when time was set aside to solemnly pay tribute to Robert Diaz, or Pumpkinhead. This great rapper from New York City passed on at 39 years on June 9th. He released numerous solo albums and his most outstanding was ‘Orange Moon over Brooklyn’ and ‘Dymanic’

Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration pays tribute to Pumpkinhead on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration pays tribute to Pumpkinhead on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

In his remembrance, his wife, sons and family and fellow emcees put on a honorable show. Featured artists included Pack FM, Mr. Metaphor of the Brooklyn Academy,  Jean Grae, Blitzkrieg, GMS, Tonedeff, Bad Seed, WildChild and DP One gave a performance with Pumpkinhead’s son, Raiden. There was a surprise tribute performance by Immortal Technique, Poison Pen and Diabolic.

If you are a fan of his music and contribution to hip-hop, you can support his wife and children and Legacy here

– http://www.youcaring.com/shawntay-ocasio-366664

RSC38 was the Best Live Hip-Hop Concert of the Year

I was excited to attend the widely anticipated Annual Rock Steady concert at Summer Stage Central Park, on July 26th.  The best part about this wonderful event was that entry was free, like the block parties back in the days! Some of the greatest names in Hip-Hop came out to celebrate the elements of Hip-Hop.

There was a Whole Lot of Stars Who Blessed the Stage Sunday Night!

Hip-Hop Legends Whodini and UTFO give a Live Performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
Hip-Hop Legends Whodini and UTFO give a Live Performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

Whodini, the world renowned hip-hop brick layers, brought their veteran stage show to the annual hip-hop event. The group consisting of Jalil Hutchings and John Fletcher “Ecstasy” and Grandmaster Dee really lived up to their fame of being great hip-hop & rap legends.

Originally from Brooklyn, the R & B Rap group put on a polished and masterful performance while giving tribute to the late great DJ Mister Magic. They even shared the stage with hip-hop’s first back-up dancers known as the Keystone dancers, later known as U.T.F.O. They had the crowd dancing energetically to their hip-hop classics.

The great Big Daddy Kane also headlined the show. The smooth operator emcee, whose rich baritone ensures you pay attention to his unique rap lyrics, nearly caused a stampede when he brought out his fellow pioneers and artists Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, Craig G and legendary producer Marley Marl to perform the ‘Symphony’ which is a classic hip-hop hit.

Big Daddy Kane invites Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap, and Dj Polo to perform Marley Marl's hip-hop classic the Symphony live at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
Big Daddy Kane invites Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap, and Dj Polo to perform Marley Marl’s hip-hop classic the Symphony live at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

Kane had more surprise guests for the hip-hop fans, he invited the original members Funky 4 + 1 and the Cold Crush Crew.

The event also features artists such as EMC, Your Old Droog, The  Queen Herawin and Ea$y Money.  The element of Deejayin was in full effect when DJ Scratch, DJ JS-1, Evil Dee got on the 1s and 2s.

One of the main highlights of this memorable event was the marking of 38 successful years of boyism and breakin by the Rock Steady Crew. This group was first set up in New York City in the Bronx by Jimmy Dee and Jimmy Lee. Crazy Legs and numerous members of the RSC carry on the traditions of the culture.

Atsushi Ats Kono Live Performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
Atsushi Ats Kono Live Performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

They are renowned for their innovative break-dancing moves which leave one gasping in wonder! In this event, they provided us with a taste of their great moves which left each of us in breathtaking awe!

Big congratulations to them on their great achievement!

The excitement was toned down a bit when time was set aside to solemnly pay tribute to Robert Diaz, or Pumpkinhead. This great rapper from New York City passed on at 39 years on June 9th. He released numerous solo albums and his most outstanding was ‘Orange Moon over Brooklyn’ and ‘Dymanic’

PH’s wife and two sons thank the crowd and fans at the Pumpkinhead Tribute performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City
PH’s wife and two sons thank the crowd and fans at the Pumpkinhead Tribute performance at the Rock Steady Crew 38th Annual Celebration held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at Central Park in New York City

In his remembrance, his family and fellow put on a honorable show. Featured artists included Pack FM, Mr. Metaphor of the Brooklyn Academy,  Jean Grae, Blitzkrieg, Wilechild gave a performance with Pumpkinhead’s son, Raiden. There was a surprise tribute performance by Immortal Technique, Poison Pen and Diabolic.

If you are a fan of his music and contribution to hip-hop, you can support his wife and children and Legacy here  – http://www.youcaring.com/shawntay-ocasio-366664

All in all, this was the most well organized musical event I have attended all year! The greatest part was getting to listen to my most favorite artists do what they do best!

I surely look forward the next concert!

Boogie Mics in the Bx

I was amongst royalty last Friday Night when I visited my old stomping grounds in the Bronx. If you are a upcoming emcee in the Bx, you may know of an open mic series in hunts Point, BX called the Boogie Mics. This month event is presented by a new generation of hip-hop pioneers named The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, grand master emcee was John Mega of G.T.P. and Warren Britt and features DJ Illanoiz and DJ Charlie Hustle.

A wide collective young and aspiring emcees artists hit the stage with natural and radiant energy performing their original songs to a crowd of hip-hop heads and fellow artists. For some artists it was a first time experience performing in front a live audience. “We’re just gonna have fun and do what we love…” said a new upcoming duo.

The night was closed out by Bx’s lyrical Mike Tyson, Chris Rivers. The heir to the Hip-Hop’s P.R. Ambassador, Big Pun.

The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDAC-BX) is a group of Bronx based Hip-Hop artists and educators. Running a performance and multimedia space that aims to utilize Hip-Hop culture as a means for education and self-empowerment in our community. Check them and support!

Photos by Tyrone Z. McCants / Zire Photography

Videos by The Hip Hop Crib

John Robinson and PVD @ the Brooklyn Museum

John Robinson and PVD @ the Brooklyn Museum

Target First Saturdays at The Brooklyn Museum jumped off with an incredible performance by John Robinson and PVD.

John Robinson is quite simply one of Hip-Hop’s gems. Lyrically blessing the halls of the museum with hip-hop, melodies and live instruments. There were also some surprised guest appearances. Some hip-hop heads will remember him as a artist from the group, Scienz Of Life. They were a part of Bobbito’s Fondle ‘Em Records label and an integral part of the late 90′s early 2000′s Golden Era.