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RTB 2012: Hit Squad reunites for a revival

A mostly reunited Hit Squad came through on the Paid Dues stage this afternoon for a nostalgia trip. Each constituent act took their turns taking the limelight, with Parish Smith (representing EPMD) starting things off, along with K-Solo, Keith Murray, Das EFX and Redman, who stayed the night in the Bay to perform again fresh from his appearance during the Wu Block.

Words: Kevin Lee, Pictures: Amari Kenoly / August 26, 2012


A mostly reunited Hit Squad came through on the Paid Dues stage this afternoon for a nostalgia trip. Each constituent act took their turns taking the limelight, with Parish Smith (representing EPMD) starting things off, along with K-Solo, Keith Murray, Das EFX and Redman, who stayed the night in the Bay to perform again fresh from his appearance during the Wu Block. Altogether, they reprised their biggest offerings throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s, with even Redman, despite his prolific and still ongoing recording career, focusing on the material, like “Time For Some Akshon”, that put him on the big stage in the first place.

For Das EFX, interestingly it sounds like their first hit, “They Want EFX”, didn’t survive the later 90’s quite intact, with their breezy and goofy style bathed in a fine layer of gravel that Das EFX’s voices seem to have acquired. However, a resurfaced Keith Murray sounds just like he did before. I don’t think the Keith Murray of twenty years ago would have stage dived like he did today however.

Method Man comes out as a surprise guest, fresh from rocking with Red last night during the Wu Block and performs with Red (again) “Da Rotweiler”. Not to be outdone, he dives off the stage himself, who has a habit of such close interaction with the fans before.

In all, if anyone haven’t realized what an impact this crew had on the music of the early 90’s, they were reminded how much their sound was in the background radiation of that time. Only a few hits of theirs made it past that critical mass to become a mainstream hit, but their style had defined much of what East Coast hip-hop music was in that time period. And they embraced it. “If you want to hear that 90’s music, make some fucking noise!”, and the crowd responded.

posted: August 26th, 2012, 6:28pm



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