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Weekly updates

Robbie Ettelson - Live From New York 2

It doesn’t stop out here. Since I last reported in, I’ve sat in on two tapings of The Combat Jack Show for Complex, featuring Joey Bada$$ and Gunplay respectively, which featured Gunplay getting a haircut in the studio from a local barber who was literally recruited at the very last minute. The following day I went to Brooklyn for the Big Daddy Kane park jam, where I bumped into Dres from Black Sheep and upset Spike Lee while filming the show on stage. The atmosphere was great, the weather was warm and Kane tore it up. Definitely one of the best rap shows I’ve been to.

Another trip on the ferry to Staten Island saw me eating salmon pancakes in a mall with J. Force and his old Italian buddy who just happened to have dated Paul C.’s sister. If you don’t know who Paul C. McKasty is, he was a legendary rap producer from Queens who worked with Ultramagnetic MCs, Super Lover Cee and Cassanova Rudd and Black, Rock & Ron to name a few. Later that day, Force ran through the history of hidden messages in classic rock records for me, which revealed a disturbing ode to necrophilia from The Beatles, amongst others.

Friday was afternoon open bar action with seemingly bottomless Henny on tap, which ended predictably with me getting tore up with the Open Bar Kings, before it was back to business for a road trip to Philly the next day. Rolling in richdirection’s truck (aka the Gold Ranger), we hit a cheese steak spot as soon as we got there and then met-up with DJ Too Tuff from the legendary Tuff Crew. The place in question was Treasures, a function hall which was the setting for something which I never dreamed I would actually witness in the flesh – Kool G Rap performing a show. With home-cooked food available and everyone stepping out fresh with their girl on their arm, this was no old head convention – this was just a live Saturday night in downtown Philadelphia. After a spirited dance floor display that included sightings of the Wop, the Steve Martin and the Running Man, Kool G Rap took to the stage with… DJ Polo? I’m sure these guys haven’t messed with each other in twenty years, yet here they were, reunited, and I was there to witness it and capture it on film. After a visit to a 7-11 in an area known as the “Dangerzone” at 3.00 am, which felt like being an extra in the filming of the Thriller video, we finally got back to New Jersey after 5.00 am.

After spending the rest of the weekend recovering, the new week heralded a trip to the Boogie Down Bronx to meet up with $amhill at the world-famous Patterson Projects, home to the Diggin’ In The Crates crew and the official Big Pun mural. The following day was action-packed, as we met up with Chill Rob G for a beer in Jersey City, drove to Brooklyn to participate in the Yeezus Pub Quiz at a dive bar and hit S.O.B’s to catch the album release party of Statik Selektah’s Extended Play, which featured sets from a who’s who of Hoody Rap, including Sean Price, Joey Bada$$, Bun B, Buckshot, Black Thought and Termanology. After the show I bumped into The Doppelgangaz and impressed Sean P with my firm handshake. Best week ever? Could be.

Keep up with Robbie’s weekly ‘No Country for Old (Rap) Men’ here.