Three days ago, LL Cool J went on his Instagram page and gave his 1.1 million followers some sage advice: don’t miss his performance at this year’s Meadow Festival. After all, the three days of mega shows–which include sets by JAY-Z, Future, Nas, Ghostface Killah, Erykah Badu, 21 Savage, Migos and plenty of others–is taking place right in the music legend’s backyard of Queens, NY.
Cool J in Queens? Oh, you know he was going to show out and steal the show. The man who personifies, and coined the phrase “The G.O.A.T.” (Greatest of All Time), stormed into his hometown with one of greatest records of all times, the thunderous “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
“Yo Queens, you ready for some classic hip-hop?” L, appropriately standing on the “Queens BLVD” stage, asked the crowd. Of course, they answered yes.
“Let it go,” he told DJ Z-Trip, also born in Queens, who has been backing LL at shows for a number of years now.
Trip started to play the classic drum kicks from one of Cool J’s catalog’s most ferocious offerings, his diss record, “Jack The Ripper.”
From there, the music, film and television star took it back to the record that first gave him the hip-hop crown, “I’m Bad.”
The Queens crowd was treated to an legendary instant when L brought out more Q-Boro royalty, A Tribe Called Quest. In an innovative type of mash up, Cool J would perform one verse of “Doin It,” then Q-Tip came in with one verse of “Vibrant Thang.” After Tip rocked his bars, “Doin It” came back on and Cool J took back over. At the end of L’s second verse, the volley exchange continued with Tip with “Vibrant Thang.” It was a momentous frenzy.
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Cool and Tribe then honored Phife Dawg with “Award Tour,” whose video was shot just minutes away from the festival ground.
From Queens Kings to one of THEE Kings from Queens, DMC entered the stage shortly after and garnered heavy applause of respect.
Cool J and D then hit the crowd with back-to-back lightning bolts of “Peter Piper” and “It’s Tricky.”
Cool J then took it back further, but still kept regal by bringing out Scorpio and Melle Mel from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. The collective gave the crowd one of the greatest rap records ever, “The Message.”
“I love these guys,” L said, of the hip-hop forefathers. “I love their whole crew. We can’t forget where we come from. I know everybody wanna go pop, but we can’t forget where we come from. History is history. Embrace it.”
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Seconds later, as he approached the 60-minute mark, the man who has been criminally snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, told his excited onlookers, “I wanna do two hours for y’all.”
Unfortunately the schedule didn’t permit for it. But before Cool J and Z-Trip left, they detonated another bomb, the classic “Rock The Bells.”
The Gorillaz, with a myriad of guests including Mos Def and Pusha T, M.I.A. De La Soul, Erykah Badu and Big Boi were among the acts also performing on Day 2 of the Meadows Festival. The third and final day is headlined by Ghostface Killah, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and more Queens ambassadors, Action Bronson and Nas.