written by R. Ruiz
Summer in the Bronx, for those of us on a budget (and I mean, c’mon who is living in the Bronx and not on a budget), usually means that Wednesday is probably the most exciting day of the week for you. Options include free entry to the Bronx zoo or Botanical Gardens (mmmhmmm, they do that ish too) or discount tickets for high school and college students at Yankee Stadium. Perhaps even, if you’re feeling adventurous that is, a trip to Orchard Beach. It’s the riviera of the Bronx! However, this past Wednesday, Bronxters were given a new option to enliven their evening.
Hundreds of people filled into Crotona Park in order to see the prodigal son return, the one and only Joey Crack Fat Joe. Presented by Summerstage and the NYC Parks Department, DJ Tony Touch, Fat Joe and Remy Ma performed in the center of Crotona Park just near the amphitheater.
The show kicked off at 7pm with Tony getting into the mix. As was expected, folks were a bit reserved at first. Apprehensive to engage, many were doubting if Joe would even appear. But as the DJ continued to do his thing, the energy loosened and you could tell people were having a good time.
After about two hours of old school hits and today’s best joints, the fat guy that every Bronx dude loves to hate, admit it, Fat Joe himself finally stepped onto the stage. There was an awkward mix of cheering and boo’s. People were beginning to get frustrated from the wait. Sweet Brown Wilkinson said it best “ Ain’t nobody got time for that”.
Joe, the self proclaimed King of the Bronx wasn’t pleased with the reaction so upon arrival he roared into the mic “This is the Boogie Down! Shit starts late!”
Joe launched into his classics, dolling out “Don Cartagena”,“What’s Luv”, “Lean Back”, and more. He was shortly joined by the first lady of Terror Squad, Remy Ma. The 36 year old rapper fresh off her 7 year bid at bedford hills correctional facility, like her record would suggest, killed it! (too soon?)
Remy, without a doubt stole the show. Her quintessential New York/Hip Hop/ Bronx anthem, Whuteva, had people yelling with their hands pointed to the hills as though somebody asked where we live… see what I did there? Both artists paid homage to those no longer with us and gave props to everyone for not “acting up” and spreading love throughout the show.
Amidst the news of police killing yet another black man in america, may you rest in peace Mr. Sterling, Joe wanted to end the show on a positive note so he spoke to the crowd. “I grew up on 170th and 3rd ave. Look at Rem, she from Castle Hill. Everyday they said you can’t do shit. Everyday when she was in prison, them cops said she wasn’t even shit. Don’t give em a reason, Look at us now… WE ALL THE WAY UP!”