Rediscovering the Spirit of Detroit with the “Pioneers of Hip Hop” Review - Plus Bonus Interview with Mr. Big Bizness himself, Biz Markie!

"Hammer Time"

Oh boy, does the salacious yet saucy Henny Penny have some “Chick'n” gravy for you… whipped up, incidentally, whilst attending the Pioneers of Hip Hop concert at the Historic Fox Theatre on May 17, 2009.  Let’s see, just where does this naughty "old-school" girl begin?  You take one persnickety housecat and throw her hearty bun-bumpin’ backside in front of the stage where Roxanne Shante, Biz Markie, 2 Live Crew, Naughty by Nature and MC Hammer were performing on a Friday night in the “D” and what do you get?  MC Maniac Mama Time!  Now, that’s what I’m sayin’!  
Words just can’t even begin to describe just how delicious this mouthwatering event tasted to good ole’ Chick Chop Suey; the main courses flowed (with enough “juice” for everyone) while the aristocratic aromas swirled within my head bringing me back, way back… to fancy-free hot summer nights spent cruising in bonnie-fide-bass-booming- “buckets.”  (A certain rusty blue Volvo, comes to mind.)   Yup, those were days…rabble-rousing “Yo MTV Rap” times when crafty kids were the kings of hip hop and unleashed creative potential prevailed over the classical rules of pansy-pants music.  Ah yeas, these artists painted memories that I haven’t witnessed in years… allow me to serve you, hungry readers, the frisky feast.

If I remember correctly (as I always do on such things,) the revelry began as Roxanne Shante busted out of the gates and galloped upon the soulful stage.   She pranced along, moving the crowd with spin-doctored beats, which at times appeared to rightfully eat the dust quaked from her powerfully delivered presence.  I have to say, I found this "Roxanne-Roxanne" ready to race.  However, nearing the home stretch, jockeys (of the disc variety) took the lead.  Socratic interludes of mixed beats followed the filly (and the subsequent stage-setting stallions) throughout the night, willfully connecting the real-time rappers to their rangeless, ageless audience who trickled into becoming a Foxy-full house.

My sinfully delicious devils’ food cake moment came next when 2 Live Crew nibbled a bit on this pussycat’s punky-playful side, “like a rat does cheese,” I might add.  Yes, I did it… ladies’ lovers!  Your girl committed the unthinkable as she busted out the ole beat box and dusted off her derangement, rapping right along with the “Players” and licking her chops after tasting their yum yum, that’s for sure. 

2 Live Crew

However, with no time wasted, the feast stepped up (and boogied down) into progression as Biz Markie, Naughty by Nature and MC Hammer rounded out the five course meal adding all the necessary ingredients required on a blissful all-you-can-eat-belly-busting buffet.  Needless to say, there weren’t many song titles on the kid’s menu, particularly ones that I can print here without ostensibly alienating all the Mr. Magoo’s lurking in the world.  However suffice it to say that these “pioneers” ressur-errected their O.D.S.S. – old dirty stand-up standards, if you know I mean.  (wink-wink.)  Word to the mutha’!

MC Hammer performing onstage at the Fox Theatre

Speaking of mutha’?  Holy cow-pies…that means me!  I was having so much fun reliving the D-O-double G days of music that I nearly forgot that I’m well into my middle years, fancy hard core hip hop/rap and have yet to land a steady paying job!  Anyway enough of the blistering buzz-kills, let’s talk Biz-ness… how ‘bout we unwind with five minutes of Biz Markie.  Chop Suey’s tucked it somewhere inside here "friendly" albeit empty, pockets.  I “wear 9/10 pants” after all…

Biz Markie and Chick Chop Suey backstage at the Fox Theatre

Chop Suey:  “What words of advice do you have for all the kiddie-poos out there who are hoping to make in your Biz-ness?” (Pun intended – so clever!)
Biz Markie:  (Looking squarely at my face, as if it were a satellite transmitting a signal out to all the L is for losers in the world… on second thought, maybe he’s not far off.  Huh?  Go figure.)  
“Kids, do not believe what you see on T.V.!  That’s entertainment!  Those rappers that you see (on those shows)… showing off their big fancy houses and expensive cars… that’s all for show!  I mean, some of it’s rented, some of it’s not, but… GET YOUR EDUCATION!  That’s what’s really important.”
(I looked down and thought, “Yeah, get your education, suckahs… but don’t, I repeat, DON’T get your degree in Cultural Anthropology… Trust me, that moronic move’s akin to flushing $50,000 down the toilet… just ask my demoralized hubba-hubby.)
Chop Suey:  “Anything else?”
Biz Markie:  “Yeah and stay away from drinking and the drugs.  I never drank or smoked nothing in my life.”
Chop Suey:  (No comment.)  “Anyway…”
Biz Markie:  (continues)  “They’re not serious (kids these days).”
Chop Suey:  (You got that right!  Wait!  I’m no kid!)
Biz Markie:  “They go for the glamour.  For us, it was all about the way it was, the craft.  That’s all lost now.  It’s a gimmick!  (Talking about hip hop today.)  It ain’t what it was… now it’s too corporate-ized.”
Chop Suey:  (sadness develops as he’s tugged at my starving artist’s cord…)  “I feel the same way, a lot of the music spun on the radio seems to be born from the union of grubby-greedy-business-men rather than from the free-forming, raw-rapping, hearts of artists.”  (Okay I didn’t say that, but I meant to… I really said,)  “Do you ever see it going back?”
Biz Markie:  “Some say it will turn around.  But it ain’t about that now.  I think it has more to do with progress.  (The hip hop of today) will progress into something else.  That’s the way it happens.”
Chop Suey:  “I agree.”  (Sensing his restlessness as he has to be onstage soon.)  “I’ll let you go but before I do… Transform yourself into a crystal ball and tell us what the future holds for Biz Markie.”
Biz Markie:  “I got a television show coming out called, ‘Beauty and the Biz.’  It’s where I am a nanny to rich white folks.  And then of course, I got ‘Yo Gabba Gabba!’ on Nickelodeon.”
Chop Suey:  “Cool!  Thanks so much!  This is ‘Blah Blah Blah’ broadcasting her ‘signal’ for Splash Magazines Worldwide.  Transmission complete.”  (Okay I didn’t say that either, but I thought I’d drive home my “satellite” connection.  Anywho…)

MC Hammer

I was buoyant.  I mean, could the night really get any better?  I daresay that “warm fuzzy” wrinkle in time was super-special, sharing some love with an absolute gem of a “hip hop teddy bear” and all.  Anyway, I skipped back to my photog-pole-position… (against the walls of the Foxy-Loxy) when something caught the corner of my eye-popping-ball!  Sakes alive, could it be?  Really?  The Motor City Cobra!  In da’ house?
You betcha’!  My hip-hip-hip-hip-hippity hop-won’t-stop-night wrapped with the most delectable dessert.  A surprising sweet treat (and unsuspecting audience member) appeared upon my plate.  And before I knew it, I was shaking the hand of THE Thomas Hearns.  Bingo!  Admittedly, I do believe that the bruiser bum-rushed my brain as I found myself babbling like a glass-jaw idiot within his presence.  (“Shiner” example:  referencing Emmanuel Stuart… as Emmanuel Lewis – Webster, no less!  Ha!  Now, that’s what I call Ding, Dong…DUMB!)  Oh well, you win some - you loose some. 

Anyway, wave after tidal wave of genuine sincerity rang my bell as I locked, loaded and shot into model position along side the champ.  And as the lights flashed and shutter snapped, I felt that Kodak moment as this heavyweight rightfully captured my heart.  No wonder he’s called The Spirit of Detroit!

In fact, now that I think about it, the Spirit of Detroit was overflowing within the Fox Theatre that night.  Good hearted people mingling with authentic legends of days past… together creating the “progress” that the Bizness was talking about.  Perhaps that's Detroit’s secret recipe, you take something old and mix it with something new… throw in some real talent and shake in a touch of blue… then you blend it up inside a Foxy-framework of innovation… and what do you get?  Frankly, my fellow Detroiters, I know what YOU get.  After all, MC Maniac Mama licked the plate clean!   Yes, I do believe… you come upon the soulful spirit of the people and the stage-setting future of Detroit! 

"Believe dat!"   

Fellow 2 Live Crew fans enjoying the festivities at the Fox Theatre

Kooky Kitty, Author’s Note... (Oh and guess what?  You too can party with the rest of us spirited pussycats again!  Thanks to the bone, the acquiescent (and professional PIONEERING promoter) “Q Dog” threw to your girl, Chick Chop Suey, I am pleasantly plumped to announce that the Pioneers of Hip Hop will be revisiting the Fox Theatre for seconds (or thirds) on October 3, 2009… only this time you can nibble on some… say…. Salt n’ Peppa, Whodini, Public Enemy and THE Mary J Blige!!!  Look out folks!  It would appear as if MC Maniac Mama will be busting the ole beat box out once again!  For tickets and show information visit…

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