Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hip Hop Legend Nas Live at Emo's

Sunday night at Emo’s Austin got their first live look at hip hop legend Nasir Jones, aka Nas. He did not one, but two back to back shows in which he sold out both. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket to the second show. You really missed out if you didn’t catch either show.

Opening for Nas on this tour was popular Brooklyn MC Talib Kweli. Now Talib is no stranger to Austin. I remember him opening for Common a couple of years ago at Stubb's. Austin loves him and he gives a good show. He doesn’t come with hype men or an entourage, which I love by the way. As much as I love hip hop, I often find too many rappers often bring too many unnecessary people on stage. Now Kweli only comes with a DJ, but it works and works well. Usually I only enjoy hip hop shows that bring a band such as RZA, Common, and of course The Roots.

There is really nothing quotable or profound to I can say about Talib’s performance. He was solid as always and was a good opener. I didn’t hear anything new from him that I didn’t hear two years ago, but I enjoyed the tracks just the same. I really just wish him and Mos Def would do another Black Star album and tour.

Oh, I almost forgot. The actual opener for the show was this poor young girl from the California Bay area named Eva (I could be wrong on the name, so feel free to hit me up in the comments). This girl came out with some tired ass bubble gum R&B (I use the R&B classification loosely) and four back up dancers. I swear she was singing to a tape anyway. The You Tube comments and my fellow bloggers are already commenting on her.

This time, those few comments represent what the whole crowd was actually feeling. She lasted all but two songs before she got booed off the stage. No joke. Two songs and her dancers were the first ones off the stage before her. They knew when it was time to quit. I wonder what geniuses thought it would be a good idea to book her for this show or tour. I mean, did they want her to fail? You can’t throw some teeny, label manufactured, mediocre talent girl to the lions at a Nas show. Nas fans are hip hop purists and won’t even tolerate whack rappers. Still goes to show those in the industry still don’t all get it.

After Talib, Nas finally came out. I was wondering what he was going to have left for this second show. People coming out of the first show were already singing his praises, so I was anxious. That, and I have been waiting since I was like ten years old to see Nas. Those who were there already now…he came with it. He “killt” it. He owned it. He’s Nas.

As hard as it is for me to say anything negative about the greatest rapper alive not named Mos Def, I have two gripes. 1) I heard during the first show he did some Tupac covers. He didn’t do those during the second show and 2) Even with the crowd screaming and yelling for him to do “Ether”, he only gave us a few seconds of it.

Addressing Nas directly here:
C’mon Nas! We know you and Jay are BFFs now. We know this. We read the magazines, the interviews online, etc. We know. Still, you asked us what we wanted to hear and then teased us with it. Why? “Ether” was your best track of this decade. It is a remnant of the best battle hip hop has ever known. It was a battle you won. You said so yourself Sunday night.

Oh well, Nas is still one of my all time favorites. His new CD is in my truck right now and I haven’t taken it out since I got it. In case you want to see clips of the second show, check out this clip a dude by the name of “mashfest” uploaded. The Emo’s people told me I couldn’t take my camera in there, so I left it in my car. Thanks Mash, for being a renegade and giving the people a memory of the best hip hop show this year.

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1 comment:

Larry Kubin said...

Hey there, your site is really nice. I'm actually the one who recorded that Nas video, so it's cool to see that you used it here. My friend and I are working on a site called Mashfest which aims to make a large music festival database. Your musical taste seems very similar to ours (big fans of RATM, White Stripes, various hip hop, etc). It'd be awesome if you could link to our site ( or sign up for an account. We only started this summer and still have a lot of work to do, but plan to have a pretty huge site by SXSW next year. We're trying to integrate a lot of data sources into one site that has all music festival info past and present (lineups, scheduling, video, maps, pictures,

I've also taken a bunch of other concert videos which you might enjoy, many of them from concerts in Austin:

Just thought I'd say your site has some great writing and plug our sites as well :).