Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, EPMD & more played Homecoming Week in Staten Island (pics, video, recap)
After kicking off on Monday at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, NYC's Homecoming Week continued on Tuesday (8/17) with the second of four free "It's Time for Hip Hop in NYC" shows at Midland Beach in Staten Island. While the other three outer borough shows stick strictly to hip hop with their lineups, the Staten Island bill branched out into R&B and dance, too, with artists like Crystal Waters and Staten Island natives Force MDs. Like Monday's show, Tuesday's required proof of vaccination to attend, and also streamed live on Behind the Rhyme's Twitch.
After Pharoahe Monch’s lively set, which concluded with "Simon Says," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mayor Bill de Blasio (who had also been in attendance on Monday) presented a framed copy of their respective resolution and proclamation from the city to Raekwon and Cappadonna of Wu-Tang Clan. Schumer (who was given the Wu-Tang Clan name Killah Chuck on stage) did a brief rap on stage, and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams also spoke to the crowd briefly, and was seen rapping along to EPMD during their performance later.
Erick Sermon of EPMD confessed to the crowd that he hadn’t been to Staten Island in 30 years, then joked that he was only 35 years old. His banter throughout the night involved telling the audience his age, with that number slowly increasing upward, and that it was his birthday soon (it's really in November). The influential Long Island duo played their hits on Tuesday, including “You Gots to Chill,” “Crossover,” and “Headbanger.” EPMD are also scheduled to appear at the final "It’s Time for Hip Hop" show at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens on Friday, so we’ll see what Sermon’s age is by then.
Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Cappadonna ended the night by performing selections from their catalog and others. At one point, de Blasio was brought back on stage after Ghostface declared that the mayor was his guy and joked about people smoking weed in front of him. He also asked the mayor directly when he was going to fix the elevators in public housing buildings. Mayor de Blasio asked if he would get a Wu-Tang name too, and Raekwon promised he’ll get his later when he comes up with it.
After treating the crowd to classics like “Incarcerated Scarfaces,” “Ice Cream,” “We Made It,” “Cherchez LaGhost,” "Triumph,” and “Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit,” Ghostface and Raekwon encouraged the crowd to sing along to songs by Al Green (“Let’s Stay Together”) and Bob Marley (“Is This Love”), reminding me of how their wonderful March Verzuz battle concluded.
We missed the beginning of Tuesday night's show, with Kool Keith, Crystal Waters, and more, but check out pictures from what we did catch below, along with video clips.
Homecoming Week continues on Thursday (8/19) at Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn with Big Daddy Kane and more; on Friday (8/20) at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens with George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, and more, and wraps up on Saturday (8/21) at Central Park with WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, The Killers, and much more.
photos and recap by Edwina Hay.