It's a Summer House Party!!
MC Hammer's House Party w/ Kid N Play, Sir Mix Alot & more - August 2nd - Toyota Music Factory - Irving, TX
Have you ever wanted to dance to “U Can’t Touch This,” “Baby Got Back,” “Bust a Move,” Just a Friend,” “Funky Cold Medina” and “Me So Horny” all in one evening?
Me too but this will take some unpacking:
When I first saw this flyer I thought "Oh snap, that could become a reality and be really fun" Not to mention it was the perfect time of year for an outdoor Summertime old school Hip-Hop Party. What I didn't notice & (& totally should have is the bottom fine print where it says Lineups Vary By City.
MC Hammer is obviously playing every night of the tour, but the other artists vary from show to show. From the time I heard about the show until the literally the day before the gig I wasn't aware of this bit of information. It wasn't until the PR people sent me the iteniarary that I realized we weren't getting even remotely the acts that I had been anticipating. My questions then turned to: "Where is Biz, Rob Base, En Vogue, Doug E. & so many of the others?". Now I know with that many acts not all could make the tour every night but dang, when I saw that the lineup was gonna be this:
The Funky Bunch
2 Live Crew
Kid N Play
Sisque (& Dru Hill)
Sir Mix Alot
Especially when I heard that the night before in Houston, Doug E, Rob & Tone Loc were on the bill. Then my immediate next question was: What kind of show the Funky Bunch can put together without Mark “Marky Mark” Wahlberg?
We only caught the end of their set but it didn't appear that we missed much.
Next up was 2 Live Crew, who I was eagerly anticipating as I LOVED their 1989 controversial As Nasty as They Wanna Be, that's celebrating it's 30 year Anniversary (that we discuss in length over at TrickyKid Radio for our All Thing 1989 series that you can check out here).
Pop That Pussy
Me So Horny
We Want Some Pussy
If You Believe in Having Sex
The second they were onstage, more questions than answers were coming - Where are the members of this group? No Luke, no Brother Marquis & no Fresh Kid Ice, that we didn't know had passed away until Mixx announced it from the stage (RIP). So Mixx, who started the group I guess owns the rights and can tour under that name but this wasn't the 2 Live Crew we were excited to see.
The obvious predecessor to this show is the ongoing I Love The 90’s tour, spearheaded most nights by Salt N Pepa. But while that tour was super fun & also featured Tone Loc, Coolio and Young MC, it was also a smoothly run production whereas this show felt like from the beginning something that reeks of amateur hour in it's execution & these several missteps to start the show only cemented that vibe. Next up was another I Love the 90's alumni Kid N Play who in my opinion stole that show when we saw it and this one:
Since these guys started so young, they still look, walk, talk & rap like the Kid N Play you remember. Also some campy skit comedy thrown in for good measure and they are the reason to come to the show in the first place. A total blast that I will see as long as they tour.
Sisqo & Dru Hill
Now this was a surprise for many & this was the only date they were on the tour. But again the surprise wasn't intentional, the powers that be somehow didn't mention that this was gonna be a Dru Hill reunion one night only style that if your a fan of this, this was a big deal. I had no idea who they were, barely remember Sisqo's novelty hit Thong Song celebrating it's 20 anniversary this year. But in terms of production, this was the best quality of the evening. This reunion features two of it's newest members in anticipation of the forthcoming 2Nd Coming Lp.
Sir Mix Alot
Now this was interesting, as I like Sir Mix Alot & beyond HIS novelty hit Baby Got Back from waaaay back in 1992 that he's clearly sick of performing & being known for. I first heard his music in 8th Grade when couple of "edgy" kids had his debut Swass that featured this minor hit Posse on Broadway. I'd never seen Mixalot and wanted to but have to say this: I love this dude but he always seems a little grumpy and onstage was no different. Call it old age or whatever but at times he seemed downright resentful for being there and just overall short tempered. And not just here, all the interviews I see, it just doesn't seem like he's having any fun at all, which in turn, makes it hard for the audience to enjoy something he refuses to sell.
For instance: When the inevitable "let's get some ladies from the crowd portion" rolled around, one started to attempt to dance with him and the crowd popped at her ambition only to sigh when he literally walked around her to get away from her. He scolded this one girl ON THE MIC for trying to get a pic with him etc.
Even when he tried to sound upbeat it still sounded cranky: At the beginning of the aformentioned Posse, he said "Ya'll know this one? You should, your the one's who blew it up" and later on 1996's Jump On It he bellowed "Now this whole damn song is about Texas". Cheer up dude.
The tour, which is being billed as Hammer’s first major tour since 1991 but fans in this area know that earlier this year he did a one off at Lava Cantina in a suburb North of Dallas which was in fact his first appearance in these parts since the early 90s.
The interesting there here is there is good & then their is baffling:
First the good:
Despite it being close to 30 freaking years later, he still for the most part looks & moves like Hammer & can perform those songs to great satisfaction.
The pacing didn't seem like it really had any rhyme or reason - like you just happened to be at a Burrell Family Reunion and all the kids begged Uncle Hammer to get up & do his thing.
Family: Didn't this dude go bankrupt the first time around for being overly generous by giving like everyone he ever knew a job? Which is commendable and I'm that type of dude too, I would totally go broke supporting the ones I love & not give a shit. But he clearly hasn't learned his lesson in business terms as while it may be cool to have a few dancers with him, he had like two freaking dozen!! And you got the impression that they were all related to him.
Ok, it's a family affair so what's wrong with that? Nothing persay, but the execution of this show, again felt like it was unplanned but without the spark of spontaneity. Like you can't say it a refreshing backyard party free of pretense and that makes it cool, because he started the show throwing out roses to select females. It just felt like a mess.
And it only got messier: Remember above when I mentioned Mixalot doing the "let's get some ladies onstage" bit?
At one point towards the end his handlers allowed a dangerous amount of people onstage, for this cavernous place that was way undersold to have turned a profit, it felt like there were more people onstage than off of it. We were in like the first 5 rows and there were so many bodies onstage that I looked over at my wife and said "Where the hell is Hammer??" We could hear him but he was buried in this sea of people unable to move let alone dance.
Hey Hammer, you wanna hire a bunch of people, get a choreographer and a stage manager!
Let's Get It Started
Pumps and a Bump
Have You Seen Her
They Put Me in the Mix
Here We Go Again
Too Legit to Quit
U Can't Touch This
I'm MC Hammer
Turn This Mutha Out
Ward 1 Design