Inner Monologue: Smif-N-Wessun & M.O.P. at the Howard Theatre

WRITTEN BY SHELLY BELL
ORIGINALLY PRESSED BY: Brightest Young Things (BYT)
February 26, 2013

I was 12 years old when M.O.P. short for “Mash Out Posse” came to fame debuting their first single “Do you want some Hardcore.” (1993). I was 15 when Smiff-N-Wessun released “Dah Shinin” (1995). Now 20 years after M.O.P.’s debut and I was excited to see them rock out on stage for the first time in my life at the Howard Theatre. During a Hip-Hop show many things run through your mind. The show usually starts late and the opening random rapper is someone you could careless about. However, this time it was the legendary M.O.P. being opened up for by Smif-N-Wessun maybe things will run a little bit different.

Inner Monologue:
I put on flat shoes so that I can jump with the crowd. M.O.P. is sure to perform their high energy classic “Ante Up” and I want to be prepared. The show starts at 8pm. I’m here on time with my drink in place! Wait, why aren’t there any women here? Well, there’s one, two, me, OK, about 5 women in the building! It’s 8:30 is the show ever going to start? I wonder if they will have one of these local terrible rappers open the show. I hope not. It’s 9pm! Is the show going to start? All the dudes in here look like they went shopping together. I guess this is what “real Hip-Hop” fans look like. Hip-Hop heads most definitely consider M.O.P and Smif-N-Wessun “real Hip-Hop.” I do too! I guess. Wait! Is it 9:30? WTF? When is the show going to start?! Ah ok. Here we go. The old school hype men are on stage asking everyone to come to the front of the Howard Theatre. I wonder why these fans are huddled in the back of the venue anyway. Maybe they wanted chairs to sit in. The Howard Theatre knows that a M.O.P. show will be something like a Hip-Hop rock concert so not having chairs works best. What is this 40 year old guy in a hoodie, jeans, and timbs saying on stage now? Oh, get hype for Smif-N-Wessen. It’s 10:15! FINALLY the show starts at 10:30!

Yay! Smiff-N-Wessn!! I remember when I used to be in love with Steele. They are going perform joints from their debut album “Dah Shinin.” Wait why are there so many people on stage? 1, 2, 3, 10, 15, there are like 20 people on stage. Last I remember and researched there are only two members of Smif-N-Wessun. Just try to enjoy the show Shelly. “BUCKTOWN! HOME OF THE ORIGINAL GUN CLAPPERZ” I used to rock to this joint back in the day! “I SHINE YOU SHINE SHINE, I SHINE YOU SHINE SHINE.” Nostalgia feels the room as everyone sings along to the joints from our teenage years. Wait, are they rolling blunts on stage? Oh my God they are smoking weed on stage. I think I will stay in the back of the venue. Is that a Hennessy bottle on stage? Are they pouring everyone Hennessy? Wow, so they got 20 people on stage passing blunts and Hennessy amongst each other why the two people we came to see actually perform. Steele just turned his back on the crowd to smoke and drink. OK. I’m ready to see M.O.P. I am not a fan of what’s happening right now.

It’s about 11:30. FINALLY M.O.P.! Less people on stage. No weed smoke. No Hennessy drinking. Ok. I respect that they are all about the show. “You’re as cold as ice” drops. NOW THE PARTY HAS STARTED! Their focus is on the crowd the entire time. Billy Danze’s voice sounds just as raspy and hardcore as it does on the album! AWESOME! M.O.P. is a perfectly balanced professional duo. Billy Danze’s level of hype cannot be matched by any rapper in history. Lil Fame has a calm matter-of-fact type flow that works well on any track no matter how fast or slow. Every time Billy Danze screams “OH!” I just gotta scream “OH!” back. “Who remembers the first M.O.P. joint?” the duo asked. I have no clue. Just keep performing! “How about some Hardcore? yeah we like it raw!” Did more people come in? The entire floor is packed. FINALLY! The song I have been waiting for “ANNNNTTEE UP….” We are going wild in this joint! Jumping! Yelling! Screaming along to the song! YESS!! What a way to end the night! Smif-N-Wessun disappointed me, but M.O.P. rocked so hard I forgot that the first half of the show even happened!

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