Nas and Lauryn Hill The Life is Good/Black Rage Tour

| December 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

by: Shatarra “Que Linda” Camacho

“If it offends you, it’s meant to, it’s just that simple.”

As Nas took the stage at the Fillmore Auditorium, the crowd got live and I managed to make my way front and center. He spoke into the mic about how good it smelled with marijuana permeating the air, and went on with his show. His set included a couple of old joints; “Hate Me Now,” “Made You Look,” “Got Ur Self A…,” and, to my disappointment, without Ms. Lauryn Hill, “If I Ruled the World.” And off the Life is Good CD, “Accident Murderers,” “Daughters,” “Cherry Wine,” and “Bye Baby,” with the late Nat-King Cole’s great-nephew Eddie Cole, who sounded amazing! The energy from the band and Nas for any hip-hop enthusiast was enthralling and captivating.

Ms. Lauryn Hill . . . I think there should be a “Thee” in front of her name! As much as people clown about her being crazy and that she’s gone off the deep end, they are completely and totally right. She is insane and overtly mad about her craft, and it showed! Her performance was true and raw; a side of her that I wasn’t able to fathom before seeing her live. Even though she was a little over 20 minutes late, when she walked onto the stage, the crowd roared with relief that the show was finally going to start. She shouted out, “Denver, Colorado!” and shared with us that the last time she was here, she was pregnant and no one knew.

While she was singing, she was also conducting, which gave the impression that they may not have been able to practice. She would signal queues to the hefty drummer, as well as others to pick it up or completely stop playing their instrument. Poor guy, with sweat dripping down his face as he hit the drums. He looked confused, and looked to his band mates to find some sort of help as to what he was doing wrong, but they were just as lost. The gentleman on the guitar seemed like he just wanted to rock out, and the bass player tried his best to make L-Boogie happy. Including lowering the volume on his bass, and even attempting to get the buy in with the crowd on clapping. I would have to say that every song she sang was a different rendition from what was produced in the studio, and I most certainly appreciated it.

The raspy-ness in her voice was more prevalent as the concert went on, as if the Mile High air may have been too much. Her frustration was visible as she tried to get [the band] to comprehend the sound she wanted to make. Ms. Hill knows her shit, and when they played it to a “T” it was a masterpiece that only the painter could really take credit or blame for. She sang “Everything Is Everything,” “Ex-Factor,” “Doo Wop,” “If I Ruled the World,” (without Nas), and threw in a couple Fugee hits; “Ready or Not,” “Killing Me Softly,” “How Many Mics,” and ended it with “Could you be Loved,” by Bob Marley.

Hill’s portion of the concert is called Black Rage. The name of a song that she wrote regarding the oppression and struggles that we, as Americans, face stemmed from politics, and sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things.” There’s a thin line between madness and genius, which can be skewed based on your perception. Thee Ms. Lauryn Hill has always and will forever be a favorite of mine. Her God-given music-inclined brilliance is so refreshing, starting with deep-seated, meaningful lyrics, down to the chords in her throat that give her a sound no one can duplicate.

It was truly a wonderful experience for me and I came away with the message as Life is Good and we need to appreciate what we’ve got, but at the same time we need to wake up and open our eyes to everything that is keeping us locked up emotionally, financially, spiritually, politically and racially in this country brining out a little Black Rage in all of us. You may have a different take but, “So f*ck that, no apologies on the issue.” Nas “Yall My Niggas” Untitled 2008.


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Category: Hip-Hop

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