Concert Reviews

LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul at Verizon Theatre: Review

Chuck D says knock you out.

The Kings of the Mic Tour has repeatedly been compared to a big classic-rock arena show -- old timers busting out riffs familiar to a graying crowd. But that's the wrong comparison. The Kings of the Mic Tour is more like if Chuck Berry went on tour with Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix. This is the story of hip-hop Genesis, not some mid-New Testament book involving many forgettable pages of lineage.

You don't really need a reminder of the credentials involved here, but they're fun to sample: De La Soul, who opened this thing, blew away the sonic limitations of hip-hop and remain some of the wittiest MCs to ever take up microphones. Public Enemy released the greatest hip-hop album ever (now you know my bias). Ice Cube, as a core member of NWA, helped invent gangsta rap. And LL Cool J, more than pretty much anyone else of his era, proved that hip-hop had commercial viability.

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Kiernan Maletsky
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky