A reinforced concrete foundation was laid for the Harlem-based hip-hop groups, with teams the likes of Master Don & The Death Committee, the Disco 4, The Crash Crew, The Fearless Four and The Treacherous Three leading the way.
With such a strong lineage, it’s crazy that when hip-hop really exploded, a wave would be poised to carry the torch of those pioneers and further establish another Harlem trend. As of yet, it hasn’t occurred. It might be closer, however, than we think. The Diplomats, aka Dipset still can get that off. The fact that one of the premiere artist in music, Drake, bought out Cam’ron and Julez Santana in his show at Madison Square Garden, is a testament. The ovation they received was a further boost. The streets and the industry want to see it happened. The ingredients are in order; we just hope a plan is in place.
As it appears now, the key is Capo, Jim Jones. As the first breakout star, along with fiancé Chrissy Lampkin, of the infamous “Love and Hip-Hop” franchise on VH1 (Seasons 1 and 2), and a second series entitled “Chrissy & Mr. Jones,” Jones amassed fans that were into him. They want to see him win. This fall, television comes calling once more with an all-new docu-soap, “Jim & Chrissy: Vow or Never.” The new show raises the stakes a little. With the couple now setting up shop in Miami, marriage is not only in the plans, but also if things move properly, a televised wedding is proposed.
In this new series, Jim and Chrissy move to Miami and decide it’s finally time to tie the knot after 11 years. The show is set to debut Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. on WE TV—another new set of eyes. If/when this show pops off, new material should be locked and ready to unveil. That looks to be the case. Jones on stage at the Apollo revealed that he was indeed back. “How many gangstas in the house?” he asked. “The real gangsta that take care of their families? The most gangsta thing you can do is keep the bills paid and your family fed. I have a little man that I love being around so that’s where I been, but I’m back!”
Jones, who was part of the co-headliners of the Originators show at the Apollo, showed that he deserved the spot. As the table setter for the night, he set the tone with fan favorites, “Certified Gangstas,” “Summer Wit Miami” and “Byrd Gang Money,” but another level was reached when the Ron Browz assisted “Pop Champagne” and “We Fly High (Ballin)” initiated the first room-shaking moment of the night. What the set lacked was the moment that the fans wanted to see, Jones, Cam’ron, Freeky Zeke and Juelez Santana together on the Apollo Stage. Hopefully that moment will come along with a new album.
As for the rest of the Originators Show, the subsequent acts N.O.R.E. and Jadakiss had no problems bringing out members of the groups that helped launch their careers, as Capone (with N.O.R.E) and Styles P (with Jadakiss) appeared and made prominent contributions, including the classic posse cut “Banned from TV” on both sets. (That served as a reminder of just how much Big Pun is missed.)
Closing the night with the same energy and exuberance he had when he was introduced to the masses, Dark Man X, along with his Ruff Ryders compadre DMX, turned back the clock and morphed into his prolific self. Good to see hip-hop back in major way, where it needs to be.
I would be remised not to mention that Jill Scott made her debut at the Apollo this week. One word: fire! Brooklyn, you’re next as she hits the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Sunday Aug. 14.
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife.
(RIP John Saunders.)