One of the best concerts I’ve ever been to was put on Saturday, January 31st at the Portage Theater on the North side of Chicago. You knew you would be in for a treat too with a lineup of such proportions as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Twista, Crucial Conflict and Do Or Die as well as Dawreck of Triple Darkness.
From the lineup of all of these legends of Hip-Hop and more specifically Chicago and the Midwest, it was appropriately titled, the Midwest Legends Tour. It was the second of two shows in one night too. A feat in itself most artists can’t really attest to and why you really have to appreciate how great of a performance all the emcees put on and all the energy they put into giving such great performances.
Hosted by Sean Dale of Chicago’s own RawTV and RawTV Radio on Power 92. There were many exciting highlights throughout the show. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony performing a few of their hit records was definitely a highlight of the night. As you would think it would be with all five members together. Chicago’s very own Dawreck of the legendary Triple Darkness performance was even more of a highlight of the night. Dawreck went through many of his classic solo tracks like Wreckoning, Killa and Darkness. Dawreck even brought out his fellow group members of Triple Darkness out to perform their street classics Cold Blooded, Payback, and Chop up that Paper. Probably one of my favorite moments of the whole night happened next, as Dawreck brought his Drama Ward fam and legendary Chicago group, Snypaz out on stage for Triple Darkness classic track with them, “Searchin” and almost literally brought the roof off the building.
Another highlight of the night was during Do Or Die’s set where they went through hit after hit from their catalog such as Still Po’ Pimpin’, Do U?, Playa Like Me and You, Pimpology, Choppin Up That Paper, Yo Body and Paper Chase. Despite group member Nard being absent with only Belo and AK performing, they still put on one heck of a performance.
The crowd really got hype when they brought fellow Chicago legend Twista out to perform their smooth breakout classic playa’s anthem, Po Pimp. As you would expect from the hometown crowd, everybody really went crazy getting their pimp on, singing along to the very classic debut single from this legendary group. Twista even announcing after the performance, before Do Or Die left, that him and Do Or Die where working on an EP they would be releasing soon. This was, by far, some of the best news of the whole night.
Twista’s own set was another highlight of the night and by far his best performance I have seen in the last few months. This being the third performance of his I have seen in the last five months. He got the crowd hype right away, like he usually does, by starting off with that forever classic, Adrenaline Rush. The crowd went even more nuts when Twista went into another street classic of his from Adrenaline Rush. This is a real fan favorite of most every real Chicago Hip-Hop head or true fans of T with Overdose. Twista kept it at that Adrenaline Rush era with his next couple records, but slowed it down with his forever smooth classic ladies anthems, It Feels So Good and Get It Wet. These songs got all the females singing along with the hook word-for-word and the fellas getting their playa grove on. Twista then got the crowd real hype again when he went into one of his true Twista fan favorite guest records “Is That Your Chick?” Twista preceded to slow it down again with another one of his smooth hit ladies anthems in, “Girl Tonite” featuring Trey Songz. Which got the ladies singing along again to every word of the chorus of the hit record. He then went into easily the biggest record of his career, the Kanye West and Jamie Foxx featured hit “Slow Jamz.” Which of course everyone in the crowd knew word for word and was singing along with like they where the actual performer and the same could be said for his next two smooth hit records, “Wetter” and “Overnight Celebrity.” Overnight being a personal fav of mine for the period it came out and me getting an almost overnight celebrity type thing happen to me by getting a real brief cameo in the video when it came out nearly 10 plus years ago. Added to the fact it was already one of my favorite Twista records ever before I even knew I would be in the video because of the violins incorporated in it to make it such a great not only hit, but very memorable record I will always remember.
Another highlight of the night happened when Twista did his Gucci, Louis, Prada verse and had his longtime hypeman B-Hype timing him. Showing off that great Midwest and Chicago double-time flow he and most others are known for here in the Midwest.
Probably the most hype and energetic performance of the night came next when Crucial Conflict performed. They did many of their classic hits such as Desperado, Life Ain’t The Same, Showdown, Bogus Man and Ghetto Queen. One of the more funnier parts of the night is when they performed their hit record Ride the Rodeo and had the stage literally look like a rodeo was being ridden on stage. Another highlight of the night came during their set too, when, despite Bone being one of the other performers. They made a bold move by asking the crowd if they where true Crucial fans and if they knew the next record, the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony diss record, Back Against The Wall. They did Cold Hard’s verse and the hook of the track. There was also an acapella version of their classic record Scummy, which was another track they asked their fans about.
The main highlight of the night is when Crucial Conflict ended their set with their hit song, “Hay.” This song got the crowd the hypest it was at any point in the night. As the crowd, especially the Chicago natives that where in the building knew the verses and hook to the song and sang and rapped along to.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony closed out the show with a really solid performance of their classic records, Thuggish Ruggish Bone, Mo’ Murda, 1st of Tha Month and Tha Crossroads. With 1st of Tha Month being appropriately performed after it had went past midnight and was truly the first of the month. Their performance for Tha Crossroads to end out the night that they dedicated to many of Hip-Hop’s fallen soldiers such as Biggie, Pac, Pun, Big L, Jam Master Jay, of course their mentor, Eazy, and many more was definitely one of the highlights of the whole night. As all five members gave their all into the performance like they usually do when they perform that very memorable and touching record. While Bone put on one heck of a performance and one of the best of the night, by performing nearly all of their classic breakthrough debut album, E. 1999: Eternal, it wasn’t the best of the whole night. The honor of putting on the best performance of the night rather went easily to Crucial Conflict or Twista.
Overall it was very amazing and epic show for the history books, which showed that when united, the Midwest has some of the best Hip-Hop music in all of Hip-Hop or any genre period. This night is hopefully a great stepping stone to more great collaborations of shows, records and projects such as albums, EP’s and alike from many of these great artists. Something, We-R-Music, who put the show together could be a great helping hand in doing.