NY State of Mind Tour lands at Toyota Center

Dressed in a red letterman-style jacket and black jeans, Spliff Star stood with arms outstretched in the crowded Toyota Center on Saturday night as it filled with cheers. Pacing behind him, wearing a red leather jacket and matching hat, was Busta Ryhmes. His deep baritone laugh filled the room as he approached to stand next to his lyrical hype of the past three decades.

“Seems appropriate,” he said, laughing as he took a handkerchief out of his jacket pocket and dusted his shoulders. He paused, waiting for the roaring crowd to fall silent. “Without a doubt, it seems appropriate that I show you how to keep rolling the dice when you’re doing that thing over there.”

The spacy synth of Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Busta Rhyme’s 2011 hit “Look At Me Know” bounced off the center walls and was almost immediately drowned out by more cheers. Busta stepped forward and delivered his double-timed verse as the stadium struck.

The New York State of Mind Tour landed in Houston on Saturday night with nearly three hours of performances by Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and Busta Rhymes. The 25-city tour celebrates the careers of some of hip-hop’s most influential MCs. The show splits its time between the Wu-Tang and the Nas, with Busta Rhymes having a shorter appearance. The crowd response showed that sometimes less is more with the Brooklyn MC shutting down the house. It’s no easy feat when playing alongside the catalogs of Nas and Wu-Tang, but it’s a true testament to Busta Rhymes’ ability to shake up a crowd.

Click to enlarge

Nas headlined the NY State of Mind tour on Saturday night at the Toyota Center.

Photo by Jennifer Lake

Nas and Wu Tang performed back-to-back, with each act going through a mix of hits and using songs where they introduced themselves to transition between acts. RZA controlled the Wu set, introducing each of the MCs and guiding them through group hits like “Protect Ya Neck”, “Can It Be All So Simple” and “CREAM” while using album tracks like “Verbal Intercourse from Raekwon to enter the Nas set.

The Queensbridge MC has a catalog of over 20 albums and has been able to hit a lot of that by performing a few songs in their entirety, but mostly doing popular radio hits and cult classics. Full performances of songs like “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)” and “Hate Me Now” pair perfectly with Nas’ verse from Missy’s 1999 hit “Hot Boyz” or DJ’s “Nas Album Done.” Khalid.

The Wu-Tang played with a noticeably absent Method Man who has such a busy schedule that it’s no surprise he can’t do all the tours. The last time Wu-Tang performed here in Sugar Land at the Smart Financial Center, he was away due to a filming schedule. He recently responded online to fans complaining about his inability to be at every Wu-Tang show, leaving the message that he wished he could perform but his filming schedule did not allow him to appear on the tour. of this year. So it was a huge surprise when the Staten Island MC took the stage and performed “Method Man” in front of the cheering audience.

Click to enlarge

Busta Rhymes and Spliff Star controlled the crowd with ease.

Photo by Jennifer Lake

“You all thought you weren’t going to see me,” the rapper/actor laughed before announcing to the audience that he would be joining the tour. After shaking hands with the YDB, son of the ODB of Wu-Tang, and kissing Busta Rhymes, Method continued to perform alongside the Wu and Nas for the rest of the night. The entire show showcased the brotherhood between the group of MCs who began their individual careers over 30 years ago.

“It highlights something special,” Busta Rhymes said as he stood center stage and popped a bottle of champagne. “It’s 30 years of friendship. Thirty years of brotherhood. Thirty years of standing up for the integrity of that hip-hop shit. Thirty years of learning as you go. Now we’ve mastered it. You’ll really problems with what we are about to do.