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End of the Weak: 10th Anniversary
On Friday, September 3rd, 2010, End of The Weak (EOW) hosted their 10 year anniversary celebration at the famous Highline Ballroom NYC.
The Highline resembled a historical event taking place on Cedar and Sedgwick in the Bronx, NYC. That’s because End of The Weak brought in a ridiculous amount of Hip Hop lovers at the event. It was no question that EOW has a strong following and an amazing fan base. By 11PM the ballroom was packed! Strobe lights decorated the dark walls as they danced from the floor to the stage. A silent crowd watched as the three members, Big Zoo, Jesse James, and Vice Verses made their mark on the stage. The air was thin as fans anticipated the first rhyme to leave the mouths of the dope emcees. It was at that point, when the DJ started to scratch and cut the “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley” track. Although, it is a song that numerous rappers jumped on almost as much as Lil’ Wayne’s “A Millie”, it almost seemed like the appropriate track to launch the event with. EOW definitely did Lloyd Bank’s song justice, as they did their own version cleverly entitled “Zoo, Vice, and Jesse”. The bars captured guests, line after line and it was evident that the night would prove to be a reminder of how good it feels to hear and see Hip Hop at its best.
If their rendition to “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley” was not enough, Notorious B.I.G.’s “Who Shot Ya” dropped. Big Zoo went ape on the track as he spit a serious freestyle representing his home of New Jersey. After a few intense bars they stopped the record and spoke to the crowd. The Highline slowly came to a completely silence, which was somewhat difficult after the freestyle by Zoo. After the crowd’s reaction began to simmer down, EOW asked “where the Hip Hop lovers were” in the audience. The voices of the inhabitants of the club began to echo off of the walls as they solidified their feelings for the genre with their sounds of approval. EOW asserted their crowd control once again as they instructed everyone to shake the hand of someone they did not know in the crowd. Basically, the group had cajoled Hip Hop fans into bonding with one another solely based off of the fact that they had one thing in common, that they love Hip Hop. After the affections between the audience members were shown, EOW stated “we are all Hip Hop cousins.” The family of Hip Hop heads watched in awe as the members of EOW graced the stage and prepared to perform their next song.
Despite the fact that EOW was celebrating their anniversary as well as the tradition behind open mic night at the infamous Pyramid in NYC, there was deeper significance to the show. Behind all of the lyrics, beats, and screams from fans, the show was also created to support an important foundation. The Filli Foundation is an asthma awareness based organization that stresses the importance behind gaining knowledge and support for the condition. DJ Filli was a successful DJ who passed away due to complications with his asthma. His unfortunate death sparked the forming of the Filli Foundation, and since its existence EOW have been extremely vocal snd supportive for its cause.
Following the tribute to DJ Filli, the showed continued with professional drummer Swiss Chris Drummin. It almost felt like a concert orchestrated by a live band, as Chris played hits such as Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got”, Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”, and numerous old school tracks such as, Kool and the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie”. Razi, who is the next big artist working with EOW, hit the stage and performed, tracks as well. The energy during his performance was phenomenal and it made the crowd get involved in the show even more. From break dancing to the microphone, Razi continuously kept the fans intrigued anticipating what he was going to do next. His dance performances almost foreshadow what would happen next, as break dancers prepared for their battle.
It was almost like EOW had taken a section from a 1980’s Hip Hop event, when the break dancers hit the stage. Over 15 b-boys formed a circle under the bright lights as the DJ spun a record for the dancers to rock out to. From back flips, to pop locking, and head spins the break dancers did it all and put on a great show for the fans. At the conclusion of the break dancing battle, the DJ battle began. DJ’s had 60 seconds to cut and drop the hottest compilations that they could blend before their time was up. Fans went crazy after DJ’s were cutting the theme songs to old nineties shows such as “All of That” and “Martin”.
The anniversary show concluded with a performance from Hassan Salam and of course, EOW. If that was not enough, EOW brought out two surprise guests, Al Be Back who is known for his “Mira, Mira, Ben A Qui” track with Fabolous. They brought out the Legendary, DMC, which was the icing on the cake for the crowd. The Highline Ballroom was not exactly Cedar and Sedgwick in 1980, but it would not be a shock if pioneers, Kool DJ Herc and Afrika Bambatta felt right at home at 10th anniversary for the End of the Weak.
Many thanks to Robert Adam Mayer for photography.