Legendary Lost Boyz frontman Mr. Cheeks was about 20 minutes from his old Southside Jamaica, Queens neighborhood on Friday night. He came to the Queensbridge Park as part of the annual SummerStage initiative where a bevy of musical talents perform free concerts at outdoor venues around New York. Although it rained heavily on and off Friday, fans still came out to see on their hometown's success stories.
"Tonight is gonna be like we always do," Cheeks said backstage shortly after the Large Professor finished a DJing set. "We gonna make it pop. I got some new music, we gonna get into that. I got a few artists on my label with me. And we just gonna do what it do. I'm glad people came out even through the rain. It's a beautiful thing, SummerStage."
Of course, there was no way Cheeks was stepping on the stage without acknowledging his friend Prodigy from Mobb Deep who passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago.
"Fellow Queens king," Cheeks described of P. "Prodigy was a cool dude. Man. We never got to make a record, bang out a joint. We did a mixtape record back at his studio one night, but that didn't really come out yet. I'll probably mess around with that. See what we gonna do with it. That's a cool brother. It was unexpected to see the God pass away like that. My condolences to his family. That was a good dude. He was major part of this hip-hop game right now. Mobb Deep. Him and Hav[oc][Havoc] is ill talent. I love them niggas."
Cheeks surprisingly started his set off on a somber note, with the tale of ill-fated love, "Renee."
"Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz," another Lost Boyz classic followed, causing people to dance, bringing the tempo and energy up. The feel-good vibe continued on as Cheeks went through a myriad of his party hits such as "Me and My Crazy World," "Get Up," "The Yearn" "Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless" and, of course, his breakout solo banger "Lights, Camera, Action."