Bold statement: Old school rappers have caught up with 1960s relics on the casino circuit. It makes sense and so it should.
Tone Lōc recently had a seizure on-stage in Des Moines.
This was notable not just for medical reasons but because:
– A bulk of the public probably wasn’t aware that Tone Lōc still toured
– He was playing on a bridge during the collapse.
Smash cut to the message boards and you’ll see various cheap shots imploring him to lay off the “Funky Cold Medina” and such.
So anyway… YES, Tone Lōc still tours in Iowa and elsewhere. During his big bridge gig, he was joined by Shock G (he of “The Humpty Dance“) and Rob Base (he of “It Takes Two” and “Joy and Pain”). The trio unleashed their collectively garbled flow aboard the Court Avenue Bridge, which is certainly not Madison Square Gardens but is functional and was renovated in 1982 according to Wikipedia.
It seems like a decent bridge overall.
Hip-hop is young enough that an old timers’ circuit is still a relatively new concept. The shelf life of hip-hop is typically far shorter than other genres, which makes even a contemporary track like DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win” seems quasi-retro due to its abundance of 1990s and 2000s vintage MCs.
This is veering into dog years territory.
Nostalgia being what it is, we are seeing the first generation of middle-aged people raised on hip-hop who are waxing about their N.W.A. and Slick Rick records in a similar fashion to how yuppies in the 1980s must’ve felt about the Beatles. Check the math. It’s later than you think.
Accordingly, there are no shortage of hip-hop acts playing “alternative” venues (like bridges) around the world. Here are a few recent examples:
– Biz Markie and Coolio playing after a Miami Marlins baseball game
– Naughty by Nature playing the Miami Zoo
– Public Enemy, Ice Cube and friends playing a casino in nowhere Michigan
– Run-DMC (or a variation thereof) playing an Atlantic City casino
– Salt-N-Pepa playing the Toronto Festival of Beer
I also have it on authority that the aforementioned Rob Base (alongside dear, dear friend DJ E-Z Rock) recently played an Xmas party for a leading multinational accounting firm in Toronto. C+C Music Factory may or may not have also made an appearance. Actually, I guess it’s public domain.
Reunions as pay cheques are typically frowned upon by music purists and the casino circuit catch-all is effectively a retirement home for one’s credibility.
However, old school ballers rehashing hits at zoos and on bridges is, in general, far more consistent with original M.O.s than geezers like Crosby, Stills and Nash singing about “getting ourselves back to the garden” four decades after the “Summer of Love”.
A majority of hip-hop is about starting parties, getting paid, macking on ladies (or fellas… not that there’s anything wrong with that) and throwing your hands in the air, eventually waving them all around like you just don’t care. Again, in general terms, the agenda of the genre seems consistent with extending the shelf life and having fun.
The one problematic band is Public Enemy who’s militancy has been completely compromised by Flavor Flav’s reality TV antics of the past decade. Otherwise, the casino circuit seems like a legit means of getting paid in full for everyone else and a logical spot for Tone Lōc et all to grind out their midlife.
End point. I guess.