Posted in hiphop | music | pictures on June 21, 2013

photos by Greg Cristman

LL Cool J / Public Enemy at Roseland Ballroom - 6/20/13
LL Cool J
Public Enemy

LL Cool J is touring behind "Authentic," an album that pairs him with rockers, R&B crooners and, on one song, a country singer. It is a testament to his imagination and creative restlessness, but for many fans, it is a bridge too far.

His 45-minute King of the Mic set played as a correction: it was nothing but hard rhyme and sweet talk for the ladies, much of it pulled from the first decade of his career. He came out swinging with "Mama Said Knock You Out," sauntered through "Big Ole Butt," feigned exhaustion during "Going Back to Cali" and closed with a thunderous "Rock the Bells" that showcased the unparalleled percussive fury of early rap.

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The other acts also returned to the '80s. Public Enemy applied its wall of noise to a furious "Don't Believe the Hype"; Ice Cube, perhaps rap's most vivid storyteller, reanimated "Once Upon a Time in the Projects" and "Gangsta Gangsta." De La Soul bounced through "Buddy," a sly love song from "Three Feet High and Rising," the trio's DayGlo debut. [NJ.com]

LL Cool J (backed by DJ Z-Trip) brought his Kings of the Mic Tour with fellow rap veterans Public Enemy, Ice Cube, and De La Soul through the NYC-area this week for nostalgia-heavy shows at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (where the above review is from) on Tuesday (6/18) and Roseland Ballroom last night (6/20). Pictures (including one of Public Enemy's setlist) of the Roseland show are in this post, but unfortunately none of De La Soul (they weren't allowing photographers, but played in almost complete darkness anyway). Did you catch either of the shows? If so, what did you think, do they still have it?

More pictures from Roseland Ballroom below...

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Ice Cube

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Comments (25)

these dudes just do not age. well, flav does.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 10:06 AM

Apparently De La aged, given that they didn't allow photos, and that they played in the dark.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 10:10 AM

I can't believe LL Cool J was the headliner. I guess people could get out early?

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 10:11 AM

Yeah, who did LL Cool J pay off to get top billing?

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 10:18 AM

Good to see that Public Enemy brought back Professor Griff, the jew/gay hater.

Also, $35 for a tshirt? They must be made in Compton by illegal mexican workers at this price.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 10:25 AM

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/img/gc/publicenemy/roselandballroom/15.jpg

No one with a five string headless bass is political.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 10:44 AM

this is the equivalent of styx and foreigner playing jones beach.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 10:52 AM

10:52, the only difference being that most of the acts that performed here are the original lineups. But yes, this is the hiphop equivalent.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 10:55 AM

10:18, LL has always been a headliner, since the late '80s. He hasn't opened for anyone since his first album. Even if his material sucks, he still has the appearance of being the celebrity, out of all of the other artists there (Flav doesn't count).

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 10:58 AM

Ice Cube doing family movies also doesn't count.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 11:00 AM

SO glad professor griff is back in FULL effect!

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 11:06 AM

DJ Z-Trip!!!

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 11:16 AM

Who's the blond lady giving the double Hitler salute (2nd PE photo)? She's got some nerve...

Posted by anonymous | June 21, 2013 11:40 AM

I'M BLACK Y'ALL I'M BLACK Y'ALL I'M BLIGGITY BLACK I'M BLIGGY BLACK Y'ALL

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 11:45 AM

KRS-ONE needs to come back and school everyone.

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 12:25 PM

De La were great and they looked just fine, I didn't realize they weren't allowing photos at all — I thought it was just for one song that they requested the photographers put down their cameras and get into the show. They also asked for more light on the stage at one point, so I don't think the darkness was intentional on their part.

To be honest, up in the front the crowd wasn't really feeling LL after a couple of songs. He just couldn't get everyone going, and the cheese factor was high. I guess he's headline material because of his celebrity, but there's just no way he can follow Ice Cube AND Public Enemy. This really should have been PE's night, and I think most of the rest of the crowd felt the same way.

A great, FUN night, though. Ice Cube brought out Melle Mel (who looks like a cartoon superhero — dude is RIPPED) to The Message and Check Yo Self.

Posted by Anna @ D16 | June 21, 2013 2:02 PM

Finally ... a legit post!
Thanks for the report!

Posted by EarlGreyTea | June 21, 2013 3:21 PM

grape soda scene report plz

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 3:38 PM

would have loved to be at this!

Posted by Anonymous | June 21, 2013 9:31 PM

2:02, I will have to agree. Public Enemy spent years on the road, constantly doing shows. They know how to work a crowd and probably should have been the headliner. LL just gets top billing because he's always positioned himself that way, and because he's a good looking celebrity. He probably wouldn't have done this tour if he wasn't going to be the headliner.

Posted by Anonymous | June 22, 2013 11:13 AM

LL is the headliner because it's his "Authentic album release tour" and he asked the others to tour with him.

Posted by Anonymous | June 24, 2013 8:30 PM

grape soda scene report plz

Posted by e3lanat | June 25, 2013 12:18 AM

LL set songs kept CHANGING form original verrsion & was mad SHORT & abbreviated -- WHY ??
I wanna heear the ORIGINAL songs done that way in its ENTIRETY !!
I spent $220 on my tickets !!
OMG
but P.E w/ live back up band stole the show they played original & lons -full songs unlike De La Soul
reminds me of that CYPRESS-HILL gig i saw on Halloween once when they COMPLETELY changed makeup of their hit songs !!
And crazy mosh-pit
Allison

Posted by allison | June 28, 2013 12:14 PM

Well, that was in the days when Hip hop was awesome.

Posted by Kaylie | September 25, 2013 2:05 PM

Why was he mocking Pac in the first verse?

Posted by Zara | May 30, 2014 6:00 AM

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