Action Bronson, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Meyhem Lauren Shut Down the Highline
This past Tuesday, the Highline Ballroom played host to the last dope hip-hop showcase of 2011, bringing to the stage both heavy hitters and rap’s freshmen. Master of ceremonies, Dallas Penn said it best, “This is some NYC, BQE shit!” Throughout the night, rappers hailing from both Brooklyn and Queens converged on the same stage to once again breathe life into New York City hip-hop. The rain didn’t stop us either as hoodies and Tims steadily packed out the venue.
Donning their hooded capes, the Doppelgangaz opened up with bottles of rubbing alcohol in hand, preaching their Doppel Gospel. DyMe-A-DuZiN, who recently signed with Warner Bros, followed with an impressive set. He dropped “Kids”, his “Ice Cream” freestyle, and “IDely”, among others. With the crowd being predominantly male, props to DyMe’s Phony Ppl crew for bringing out spandexed dancers during “Flash Me”.
Meyhem Lauren and his Outdoorsmen were up next. “Got the Fever” paid homage to graf heads while “Silk Shirt Ambassador” repped that OG, RL lifestyle. On “Even More Butter”, Meyhem intro’ed Maffew Ragazino, who went on to perform with eXquire and Action later on in the show. Sporting that black on black Jumpman, Ragazino proved during each of his cameos why he’s The Source’s Unsigned Hype.
It was a family affair when Brooklyn’s Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire took the stage 30-deep. eXquire was in the Christmas spirit, giving out copies of his “Merry eXmas & Suck My D*ck” mixtape and a bunch of gag gifts to fans, including a giftwrapped box of fried chicken to a lucky girl. He performed “Rocketeer”, “Mau Mau” (with Ragazino), “Fire Marshall Bill” and a remix of A$AP Rocky’s “Peso”, before making the stage shake with the anticipated “Huzzah”. A more sentimental eXquire finished his set rapping to his mom with “Build a Bitch”. Shout out to Vic for holding 12oz down for the show!
The main event saw Action Bronson coming out to some Justin Bieber, with a large Ziploc filled with, shall we say, belated Xmas gifts. It was definitely a first to see what Action dubbed as “coffing”, aka connecting with fans. The crowd danced with Mary Jane as Bronsonelli ripped through “Shiraz”, “Barry Horowitz”, “Ronnie Coleman”, and others. Closing out the show, Action shared the love, exchanging bars with Meyhem, Ragazino, and Smoke Dza. “Just a cat that can rap, this is Bronson, representing, Flushing, Queens on the map, YEAH!”
Even though beef has become commonplace in hip-hop, it was good to see a camaraderie between New York City rappers. Borough to borough, fans came through to support. Be excited for 2012, NYC is taking the crown back.
Text & Photo: Steven Lau