You often here the sentiment that hip hop, r&b, and soul music are dead or at least on life support. While that may be somewhat true in regard to record sales, I would argue quite the opposite when it comes to touring and live performances. Those of us that appreciate the 90’s, the Golden Era of hip hop, and the r&b grooves that shaped our high school, college, and young adult years still pay good money to see our sonic heroes.
These truths were on display on a brisk Chicago evening as the South Loop was buzzing with 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s babies ready to get lost in the groove at V 103’s “The V Show. ” With De La Soul, Erykah Badu, and south side native, Common on the ticket, you all ready know the vibrations would be at an all-time high at the The V Show. As the doors of Chicago’s new Wintrust Arena opened, west siders, south siders, and north siders stepped in and stepped out in fashion. The ladies were rockin’ everything from Red Bottoms to Reebok classics while the Gentleman slipped on their loafers or laced up their Timberlands all with high anticipation of having their soul reinvigorated for at least one night.
While Chicago radio legend, Joe Soto, served as the always entertaining host for the evening, I have to take time to shout out iHeartmedia’s Khadijah Davis, who always shows grace, elegance, and patience while directing us media folk. Now back to the lecture at hand – As the people found their seats with spirits in hand, Joe Soto got the crowd ready as he played emcee, while V 103’s Maurice Ice Culpepper served as Ambassador of the 1’s and 2’s.
As the Wintrust Arena was already rockin’ prior to any act hitting the stage, the time was upon us when De La Soul came with the old school energetic, call and response, hip-hop show that the fans deserved and appreciated. Dropping classic after classic, Posdnuos, Dave and Maseo did not disappoint as they went from “Stakes Is High” to the ultimate classic, “Me, Myself, & I.”
Although he was in his hometown, Common was not the closing act as he honored the legacy of Erykah Badu, who would close out the show. If you have never been to a Common show, you are missing out. Common doesn’t need a hype man because he brings an intensity and passion to the stage that most artists with they had. His show is always clever and well written almost like a well played script with classic improvised moments. Speaking of improvisation, his off the top of the dome freestyle skills are crazy as he blessed the crowd with at least three minutes of a classic Common freestyle. Common definitely reminded us all why we “Used to Love H.E.R,” and why we still do love her. With his full band and original DJ, Twilite Tone backing him up, Common gave the crowd everything from “Take It EZ” to “Black America Again.”
Erykah Badu, a.k.a She Ill, a.k.a, Serra Bellum, a.ka. Lo Down Loretta Brown gave the Wintrust crowd everything they wanted and more as the closing act. Outside of the amazing energy, soul, and talent she brings to the stage, Queen Badu also brings the funny every time she blesses the stage. After her and Common joined forces again to perform, “Love of My Life,” she said “Common still belongs to me, he is just confused right now.” From the moment she ascended on stage to the moment she ended her show with “Next Lifetime,” Erykah had the crowd on their feet reminiscing about a time in music when soul reigned.
Not only was soul reigning throughout the building but community and charity were also a theme of the evening. In true charitable iHeartmedia fashion, a portion of the proceeds went to the Scott Joplin School as the principal was on hand to receive a check for $5000. On this extraordinary Saturday evening, V 103’s The V Show gave Chicago exactly what the city needed and that was a universal soul clap.
Thank you De La Soul, Common, Erykah Badu, and V 103 – sincerely Chicago!