Concert Review + Photos: Hip Hop Gods Tour Featuring Public Enemy (Minneapolis, MN)

Public Enemy (Roosevelt, NY), Monie Love (London), Schoolly D (Philadelphia, PA), Leaders of the New School (Long Island, NY), Wise Intelligent (Trenton, NJ), Son of Barzerk & No Self Control (Freeport, NY), Awesome Dre (Detroit, MI), X-Clan (Brooklyn, NY), Davy DMX (Queens, NY) and DJ Johnny Juice (Bronx, NY)
December 6th, 2012
First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN

Full Gallery: Hip Hop Gods Tour Featuring Public Enemy

The Hip Hop Gods Tour made a stop in Minnesota on Thursday night at where else but the legendary First Avenue Main Room. Many classic; not old school; artists graced the stage over the almost five-hour show and was headlined by Public Enemy.

The show had a tone to it that I did not expect, and some that I did. One major push in the show was social media. Cell phones were constantly encouraged to be out, using Twitter and Instagram like a fiend and connect with the hip hop artists. Chuck D was the MC of the night and would come out and talk to everyone when they were done with their set and ask them their Twitter handles, or how someone could get in touch with them about anything. Some people gave out their email addresses or in one case, a phone number.

Some locals made a showing on stage with a few of these classic hip hop artists. Mally; who has really made a name for himself in the last year; joined Monie Love on stage for a quick song. And by quick, I mean quick. He started in with his usual “Minneapolis, are you ready?” and she had no time for it, it was go time!

Most of the opening artists were people who I was not very familiar with. If I did know the song, it was because they were part of a bigger group that split up a while ago. Part of it is that I was pretty young when most of these classic artists were putting their music out and PE was by far the biggest name with the most mainstream noise. I went to see Public Enemy, and I think a lot of the other people there did too. I can certainly appreciate the diversity of the acts over the course of the night, and having Chuck D man the mic all night and run a Q & A with each group at the end of each set was pretty cool.

After a long set by X-Clan, Davy DMX came out and spun a short set to get us all pumped up to see Public Enemy. The pumping up fell flat after they needed to spend 15 minutes sound checking everything again. Two hype men came out after sound check was over and did the obligatory “ARE YOU READY!?” to no end. We’ve been ready since the show was announced!

Once The S1W took the stage, then Professor Griff and Chuck D with the band (featuring Davy DMX on bass), all was right and the show was off and running. Flavor Flav came on stage a few minutes later in a big mink coat and joined the show. The crowd was totally into it, loving every minute of this classic hip hop set… then it happened. Flav took the mic and proceeded to ramble in a half awake (at one point he said he just woke up) profanity laden rant about his reality show success among other things. Then, it took him a few minutes to remove his jackets and remove the clock from under his t-shirt. This was one of two FF brick walls the show ran into over the set.

After he was done, the show ripped off again into many classic hits from over the years. Chuck D and Flav (when focused) were spot on and so much fun to watch. After I left the photo pit and was on the side of the stage, I saw them run and jump from one side of the stage to the other, crossing path. Griff did this a few minutes later, punctuated with a high kick. The Hard Rhymer was also quite graceful as he tossed his mic into the air and leaped into the air to catch it, and then wield the mic like a sword. Another highlight of the night was Slug of Atmosphere and Brother Ali joined Chuck D on stage, along with Flavor Flav on drums for a free-styling session.

Overall, the show was a great time and if you can, you should check out the tour if any of the remaining stops are near you. It was a thrill to finally see Public Enemy live after all the years of MTV and borrowing my older brother’s CDs. They have been around for 25 years, and I don’t see them slowing down any time soon, unless they lose their interest in politics and social injustice… dohkay.

Public Enemy Set List:
1. Intro
2. Public Enemy #1
3. Rebel Without a Pause
4. Terrordome
5. Show em Whatcha Got
6. Bring The Noise
7. Don’t Believe The Hype
8. Can’t Trust It
9. He Got Game
10. Shall Not Be Moved
11. Harder Than You Think
12. DJ Lord
13. Flavor Flav on Drums
14. Shut Em Down
15. Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos
16. By The Time I Get To Arizona
17. Fight The Power

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