BRONX, NY – Yankee Stadium (aka The Cathedral) was buzzing last Friday and so was the Boogie Down Bronx. With parking being non-existent and traffic heading to The House that George Built at a standstill, it gave the feeling of a big showdown between the Yankees and whomever.
On this night, however, the Yankees were in Miami playing the Marlins, while their home park was invaded by the sounds of Hip-Hop. That’s right, Hip-Hop 50 was taking place and the musical lineup was a who’s who of the past 50 years. Pioneers like Kurtis Blow, Melle Mel and the Sugarhill Gang blew out their rhymes on the giant stage which was located on the grounds where Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Bobby Murcer, Mickey Rivers, and Bernie Williams once upon a time positioned themselves in center field. (Even though they all played across the street in, The House That Ruth Built).
On this one night if you had a seat behind home plate then you were the bearer of the worst seat in the house. The performers were 400 feet away from you.
Almost 50,000 fans, – or guests, as the Yankees front office labels them – made the trek to show their love for Lil Kim, Remy Ma, Cameron, Slick Rick and many more. The guy that started it all, Clive (Kool Herc) Campbell was in the building and honored with proclamations. It was 50 years ago on August 11th that Campbell and his sister Cindy rented the rec room inside the apartment building located at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. He mixed and scratched the records on the turntable to create a sound that no musical instrument could. The rest is history as Hip-Hop was born.
With Fat Joe, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, and Ice Cube making their way on stage a special guest appeared. Lauren Hill, wearing the interlocking NY cap on her head, shocked the house and then brought it down when she rapped her “That Thing” tune.
She upstaged an earlier surprise guest that DJ Kid Capri brought onto the stage. It was a guy that used to play shortstop in that same park – named Derek Jeter. The crowd applauded wildly and quickly booed when Capri gave a shoutout to the NY Yankees.
The Show was titled, Bottom of the 9th …. The Walk-Off, and when Run DMC took the mic at 1:15 AM it felt like the 25th inning. They WALKED THIS WAY till almost 2AM and the concert that started at 6 PM was done 8 hours later.
The NY Yankees won that night’s game before losing the next two. Currently, they remain in last place during the month of August and time is running out… unlike the Hip-Hop 50 concert, where time stood still.