I tend not to enjoy myself at rap shows. I've got nothing against Rap music and I'm no racist, but I just never seem to really get into it. There are some shows I've really dug. Wu-Tang a few months ago in New Haven was a total trip. Atmosphere always impresses me live (Yes, he's white and no, I'm still not racist.) Other than that, I've been disappointed by nearly every live hip-hop show I've been to. It's a bummer.
Regardless, on Wednesday night, I went up to BB Kings to see Naughty by Nature. Sure, it was an impulse ticket purchase, but I was once a huuuuge Naughty fan. Their debut LP was just about all I listened to in 5th and 6th grade. Nineteen Naughty Three is the first album I remember getting the day it came out. I was pretty young back then, and needless to say, I had never seen them live. I didn't even know they still toured or played shows anymore. Sure enough, they do. And they absolutely kill.
The show was nearly perfect. First off, I knew all the songs. Even after all these years. It was mostly a greatest hits set, kicking off with O.P.P., and ending with Hip Hop Horary. The album tracks they hit were almost all off the first album, which, of course, I knew by heart. Second, it kept moving along. There were no long breaks. No new tracks. No "Here's my boy, he's gonna do a song for you now." It was just hit after hit. No bullshit. The whole thing only ran about 50 minutes with no encore, but they covered everything anyone wanted to hear. Also, the crowd was really into it. Everyone was having a blast, jumping around, singing along. There was no need for any of the excessive prompting or pumping up that usually drags down shows like this. It all just came natural. Everyone in attendance got exactly what they were hoping for.
I don't treat myself to nostalgia like this nearly often enough. I just listened to these guys so much when I was younger. It didn't even really kick in till after the set was over. 15 years ago, Wednesday night would have been the highlight of my life. I never go to see shows that make me feel like that anymore. It puts the endless indie rock shows I drag myself to these days in perspective. Good times always, but nothing that could have matched what this would have meant to me. Seeing it in hindsight was just the taste I needed.