We had the opportunity to see Shadow and Cut on their Renegades of Rhythm tour here in New York City and it was nothing short of stellar. They performed at Irving Plaza to a dude heavy crowd. The opening ceremony was “A gift from us to you” Shadow said, as he pointed to Afrika Bambaataa observing from the Balcony. He then dropped Barret Strong’s “Message From A Black Man” which was made popular by The Temptations towards the end of 60’s. However, The Temptations thought it was too forward for their act and never actually performed it live.
The first segment was all old funk and soul. That shit makes us feel good. We heard breaks from Johnny Pate’s “Shaft In Africa” which makes up a portion of Hova’s “Show Me What You Got”. There was a healthy serving of James Brown throughout the whole show too. It truly was, just gem after gem and there’s an undeniable feeling of warmth hearing old vinyl that had been rocked for many people and years prior.
The next part of the performance brought us into the disco era. This pair of artists together, really do complement each other so damn well. One would and will call them sympatico for sure. Shadow even gave them their own stroke at one point saying, “That’s some synchronized DJing right there” and to their credit it sure was. They really do crush it on many levels.
Continuing on through this musical journey they took us to the South Bronx and it really was just that, not some cliché shit. We heard the likes of Kool Herc, Jazzy Jay, DJ Red Alert, Grandmaster Flash and Caz or his other moniker Casanova Fly of course. Throughout all of this they peppered in “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” which they claimed was the first record to use a breakbeat.
We then went into Bambaataa as a recording Artist where we apparently heard the world premier of “Looking For The Perfect Beat” demo record, which is definitely cool. Planet Rock made it into this set as well as many others. Afrika has no doubt made his mark in the music scene across the globe. He was there repping Zulu Nation hard and it was beautiful to see him come on stage at the end and thank the boys. Thank you all so much, please keep making music.
Photos by Bob Barry.