August 6, 2009

Kool Keith & Ice-T: Kicking it Old School

Hip-hop reigned supreme at last weekend's All Points West Music & Arts Festival. And even with Organized Konfusion and Pharcyde reunions and killer sets from Q-Tip and Jay-Z on Friday, it just didn't get any bigger from a rap fan's perspective than Ice-T's appearance with hip-hop weirdo Kool Keith on Saturday.
Now, special appearances at these all-day festivals usually run like this: the main act hits the stage and somewhere towards the end the special attraction heads in for the finale. That's not how it was for OC's surprise show-up - and "Times Up" recite on Friday - as the New York emcee came in around the mid-way point. But at Coachella a few years back Atmosphere's Slug came out to finish out Murs set only at the finale. Now, during Kool Keith's afternoon set, Sir. Ice entered stage left minutes after Dr. Doom doom doom blasted into his first track. 
In the photo pit at the time, all cameras were on Dr. Octagon, except for me, as I immediately noticed Ice-T's presence on the side of the stage. He later flipped the crowd off (left) and only those photogs who stuck around at the end caught that action on film.
"I'm the most expensive hype man in the business," Ice-T, who's more an actor these days than a microphone fiend, told the overjoyed crowd.
Ice-T stayed on the stage throughout the 45-minute performance, usually adding his classic wordplay on the hooks of Keith's tracks. Ice-T did bust out his own lyrics accapella mid-way through Kool Keith's set, but never dropped any of his hits. The crowd begged, and just as the set was over, Ice-T grabbed the mic. However, the sound man shut the handle down by then, and Ice-T walked off looking a bit dismayed that he didn't get a chance to blast one of his originals. 
The highlight, however, came in the finale, as Ice-T led a crouch-grabbing performance of Keith's classic, "Sex Style." Check out the video below.

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