Saturday, Sept. 8
We sat for what seemed like hours gripped with anticipation waiting for the “Thugs” to take the stage. When they finally did, the crowd erupted, greeting the three infamous musicians, positioned around a turntable platform that housed their producer.
They spoon-fed the audience with energy like mothers feeding their infants, bestowing musical gifts with fervor. Their plethora of presents included T-shirts, hats, money and suspicious hand-rolled cigars. As they tossed these items into the audience, fans responded with riotous joy. The performers were dedicated to having a good time, even borrowing fans’ cameras and taking close-up pictures of one another.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony constructed a three-part performance art piece. First, they paid homage to their fallen comrades, including Eazy-E and Tupac. In order to wrap up the touching eulogy, they belted out “Tha Crossroads,” one of their most popular and influential songs. I had never seen so many people express excitement and depression at the same time. The second part was a tribute to stoner culture. They illuminated the crowd with their songs dedicated to the sport of “chillin’.” Next, they became performance artists, exhibiting turntable tricks and hyping up the audience even further. The music was intense. Masses of flesh undulated to the beat. Their lyrical, yet gangster form of hip-hop gripped the audience by the throat. This original and refreshing blend of hip-hop is what has allowed these artists to survive for so long.
The electrified crowd danced until the last note had tumbled from Wish Bone’s mouth. Combinations of all cultures culminated to celebrate these princes of hip-hop — these gracious hosts, these Bone Thugs.