The NYC faithful that came out to see Slaughterhouse at the B.B. King Blues Club on Wednesday got an added treat when Hot 97’s own Funkmaster Flex chopped it up for a set on the turntables. Things got started on the right foot when Flex ripped the instrumental from Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life” for his opening. For most of the evening, fans jostled impatiently with one another, but the twenty minutes of Biggie, Jay-Z and Nas cuts courtesy of the DJ certainly invigorated the crowd. This isn’t your average press and play bullshit that some DJs rock with. When you’re in the building with Funk Flex, you better believe he’s going to set it off on the 1’s and 2’s.
To be honest, the venue needed an engaging start to help beat the heat. Selling tickets is definitely the name of the game, but sometimes that comes at the expense of comfort. To put it bluntly, the heat was oppressive at times on Wednesday night. Nonetheless, patrons continued to filter into the club until well after midnight. The cheers began to crescendo when Flex dropped Jay-Z’s “You, Me, Him and Her,” but with a couple deft flicks of the crossfader and some scratches to match, the crowd started to get rowdy.
Perhaps the most endearing aspect of the stage at the B.B. King is the intimacy of the setting. In the same vain, the intense lighting onstage provides a stark contrast to the rest of the club. For Slaughterhouse, the vibe in this type of environment worked quite well. Crooked I, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Royce da 5’9″ went deep into the catalog. When the beat from “Tried By 12” came on, a jolt of energy went through the crowd. No time for nostalgia here, but seriously this beat still bangs as hard as ever. Unfortunately Eminem and Yelawolf were noticeably absent from this cypher, but Slaughterhouse’s foursome made it work.
In one of the standout moments from the show, the group performed their record “Hammer Dance.” To be fair some of the group’s other single releases—“Microphone,” “My Life,” and “Throw It Away”—also got their turn, but none elicited the same response as the AraabMuzik produced banger. The level of involvement from the crowd waned at times, but when this joint came on the club got a second wind.
By the end of the show, beads of sweat glistened on the faces of all four members. It was a job well done for sure, but the late start left everyone a bit spent. Still what proved most impressive about the performance was the group’s level of interaction with the crowd. Simply put these dudes were excited and happy to be rocking out in the 212. As fans started to head for the exit, Slaughterhouse’s collaboration with Swizz Beatz (“Throw It Away”) played in the background. Don’t get it twisted though, nobody wasted their hard-earned cash on this night. This was money well spent.
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