Photos By: UrbanPartyLife.com
Many times in hip-hop, if an artist takes a four-year hiatus they usually struggle to get the following that made them a hot commodity. This is not a problem for D-block, the large roster out of Yonkers that boasts the L.O.X. – Styles P, Jadakiss and Sheek Louch. While it may appear hip-hop doesn’t have an official offering from one-third of its members, Styles, thanks to mixtapes including the DJ Green Lantern collaboration The Green Ghost Project and a feature on Rick Ross’ “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” shows The Ghost is ready to come back alive.
One thing Styles has going for him is the grimy sound that resonates with every rhyme. His latest album, Master of Ceremonies, is a testament of him bringing that raw hip-hop sound that is sometimes forgotten. Its the type of raps with a hard-knock life aesthetic where tales of coming up from tough times have been flooded by a more whimsical and gentler style. For Styles, a straight-edge street king has been his way of life since childhood. The mastery of having a real attitude definitely showed in his celebration Wednesday night at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City. Styles, the whole D-Block, and its affiliates had “we are taking back hip-hop” written all over them.
Read the rest of the review after the jump.
B.B. Kings Blues Club feels more like a lounge than a concert venue. With a wide open wooden floor space in its center, patrons can either enjoy a meal with lively entertainment in the surrounding table and booths or get right into the heart of everything. Pushed from fans all around as they wanted to inch closer to the stage, a surprise appearance by DJ Kid Capri only made Styles’ arrival grow with anticipation. When D-Block’s DJ Technician got behind the ones and twos, the countdown for Styles from Tech’s shouts over the microphone –“ten minutes!” and then “two minutes!” – finally ended when SP the Ghost emerged from backstage.
In characteristic fashion, Styles comes out the gate hard with the lead single “Harsh” off Master of Ceremonies. At this point, security guards wading the crowd still didn’t stop the young men from burning up cannabis. After all, Styles’ next song, the Swizz Beatz-produced “Blow Your Mind” gave the proper piffed-out lyrics for a relaxing vibe. “Super Gangsta” is another reminder that he isn’t removed from the streets, gripping the mic while telling the crowd to put their middle fingers and callously spitting hard-hitting lyrics.
One by one, the L.O.X. came through to celebrate Styles’ album release. First Jada entered the stage with his remix to Nas’ “Made You Look,” while Sheek came to perform “Wild Out.” With the whole D-Block taking up the stage, Styles made sure his release party didn’t disappoint by often freestyling acapella with some of the hardest bars out there today.
When “How I Fly” dropped by Tech, Avery Storm came to sing his part. His catchy R&B chorus ended up sounding refreshing live amidst the gangster ambiance. Next, the NY cut “We Don’t Play” wasn’t complete without a big welcome by Queens native Lloyd Banks. This song was straight gully: “All money’s good money we niggas stealin.’/Small money, tall money, nigga we want it all/left hand on the wheel, right hand on the draw,” he raps. Banks stopped to say this night was dedicated to Styles, then served up some tracks off Hunger for More 2 and Cold Corner 2 for the star of the show.
To try and cap off the over 90 minutes set (he was having too much fun), Styles kept hinting another surprise backstage: “Busta Rhymes do you really want to party with me?” Once “Harsh” re-played, Busta indeed wanted to party, but he also wanted to speak on the current state of hip-hop. While he believes many of the newer artists can create any type of viral beat on ProTools, it is keeping one’s morals and focusing on the streets that’ll give you a name. “To put out an album with real hip-hop, real bars, real boom-bap beats, real rhymes. I’m so honored to speak on [Styles P].” He proceeded to show how real hip-hop doesn’t have any “special effects,” performing his verse off Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now.”
In continuing the camaraderie seen on stage, D-Block’s final track, “Mighty D-Block,” had the whole crowd acknowledging the anthem by throwing up “DB” signs. This exhibition of fan loyalty, and a slew of like minded lyricists who believe in the art of emceeing, left the B.B. King Club knowing that the collective still can live up to their classic hip-hop standards.
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