Neon lights at concert

The New York State Of Mind event landed in Columbus….Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and De La Soul played within walking distance from where I live.

Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and De La Soul were at Schottenstein Center, Wednesday. I’ve watched Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, the Creator, and Dave Chappelle at Schottenstein Center since Covid.

I didn’t watch Run The Jewels with Lorde…Run The Jewels still played Schottenstein Center…

Arena Rap is a thing…I hesitate setting such lofty aspirations for New Rappers….

New rappers should start with understanding why Nas’ “Illmatic,” Wu-Tang’s “Enter the 36th Chambers,” GZA’s “Liquid Swords,” Raekwon’s “Only Built For Cuban Links,” De La Soul’s “Three Feat High And Rising,” and De La Soul’s “De La Soul is Dead” are the main reason I heard Nas’ “One Love” in front of at least 16,000 people Wednesday night.

A classic catalog record increases the rapper’s brand every year which allows other decisions and opportunities.

I walked and enjoyed the brisk evening stroll.

Ghostface and Raekwon’s faces were plastered on a tour bus as I crossed Olentangy River Road. I saw Cappadonna’s name on the back of the bus.

I arrived at 7:50pm. At 8:00, I sat in my seat looking at DJ Scratch who produced Busta Rhymes’ hits excel at his EPMD roll.

Within 20 minutes I’m with nine thousand people singing Audio Two’s “Top Billin” which sequenced with Hov, Dipset, and Biggie records.

DJ Scratch relayed, blended, and scratched like we were at the Rooftop, LQ, Tunnel or the Fever.

Once 12,000 people were in the Schott, DJ Scratch announced De La Soul were performing. Above the deejay booth there were screens, and TV’s which played visuals which were hip hop. I looked at the hand-style NY York State of Mind sign fade….

Posdnous and DJ Mase of De La Soul were in front of 13,000 people performing “Potholes In My Lawn.” Our local arena’s sound system boomed a Prince Paul beat. “Potholes in My Lawn” is a song about people biting De La Soul after innovations.

De La Soul were in an arena in 2023. Innovation won. After a couple of songs, Talib Kweli joined De La Soul. Dove of De La Soul died earlier this year. Dove of De La Soul is one of the most introspective, and personal lyricists. Dove’s influence is evident in Slug, and Andre 3000.

In Dove’s absence, Kweli helped the continuity of the songs. Kweli also brought his catalog into the conversation. Kweli played his Kanye West produced “Just to Get By.”

Last time I saw De La Soul in Columbus was a free show for 2016 voter registration. De La Soul’s “Stakes is High” was 2016 Hillary Clinton’s slogan.

Kweli is friends with Kanye. Kanye was friends with Hillary, and Donald Trump. If Hillary won, is Kanye’s life better in 2023? Imagine De La Soul’s disappointment in Hillary’s loss.

If Hillary won, the Kanye West would perform “Stakes is High” with De La Soul at the White House. Instead, Kanye West eats dinner with Nazi Nick Fuentes and Donald Trump at Mar-a-Largo.

At New York State of Mind, De La Soul rocked “Stakes is High” without any Hillary or Trump baggage.

I look down, over to my left.

Dave Chappelle is sitting there. Dave Chappelle and De La Soul played Obama’s last party in 2016 before De La Soul visited Columbus.

We are in an arena with 14,000 people. Chappelle sent a peace sign and returned to watching Talib Kweli rap with De La Soul. 14,000 people in Columbus, Ohio are now watching  De La Soul perform a song off of “Grind Date.”

De La Soul said RIP Dove of De La Soul and exit the stage. A video montage plays…

We are now looking at a RZA sign in front of live band in an elevated platform. GZA enters with “Clan in the Front.”

“Liquid Swords” leads into several other songs which Wu members enter as songs are rapped according with song appearances.

I had spent the week watching Hulu’s “Wu Tang An American Saga.” I walked from where I live after spending hours watching the Wu.

Once “Da Mystery of Chess boxing” occurs, I’m looking at Wu-Tang Clan in front of at least 16,000 people.

Inspectah Deck. U-God. Cappadonna…All in the building..

ODB’s son, Young Dirty Bastard is rapping and nailing his dad’s lyrics. After few more joints, Wu ends with “Bring Da Rukus.”

The video screens show footage of New York City.

Nas runs Mass Appeal Records who hosted Hip Hop’s 50th Birthday in front of 57,000 people in Yankee Stadium. Hip Hop’s birthday is August 11, 1973. Hip Hop was founded by Kool Herc, and Cindy Campbell at 1520 Sedgwick in the Bronx. New York Senator Schumer thanked Kool Herc, and Herc’s Sister Cindy Campbell at Nas’ label event in front of 57,000 people at Yankee Stadium.

Mass Appeal streamed Kool Herc, and Chuck Schumer. The New York footage before Nas added into that recent memory.

Nas enters as the beat for “Verbal Intercourse” played.

I’m remembering Nas killed Yankee Stadium and deferred into Schumer, and Kool Herc, and Cindy Campbell. A couple months later Nas, and Raekwon are at a capacity Value City Arena.

After “Verbal Intercourse,” Nas rocked various late 90’s hits. Nas rocked 16 songs during this segment.

Raekwon returned at the end of this sequence with for “Eye For An Eye” which accented previous songs “Halftime.” “One Love,” ”Memory Lane,” and “New York State of Mind.”

Wu returned for another set which started with “Criminology” and end with “Protect Your Kneck.” Ghost played a “Supreme Clientele” joint in between.

Nas returned for another set.

Value City Arena sung Lauryn Hill’s part from Nas’ “If I Ruled the World.” Columbus felt so beautiful.

Wu Tang took the stage again as “White Rabbit” played. RZA led the arena in Beatles sing along over a “White Rabbit” blend.

Method Man showed up. Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” played again which sequenced into “Method Man.” Method Man wasn’t scheduled as Method was a part of Rock the Bells’ Arena show.

Everyone howled and screamed.

After Method Man increased the energy, Young Dirty Bastard climbed in the front of the crowd while rapping “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and “Hey Dirty.”

RZA announced Hip Hop is multi-generational. RZA talked with a small kid who said New York State of Mind was his first show.

Wu ended with Triumph..

I’ve watched Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, The Creator, Nas, De La Soul, Wu-Tang. Everyone can rap and build compositions in an aesthetic which is consistent with the continuum of our culture. Everyone is platinum.