Not His Forte

If Chuck D's right—that rap is the CNN of the streets—then goddamn did the opening rap crews bring the news: Bush planned 9-11. Josephus ghostwrote the Bible. That eye over the temple on the dollar bill—yes, says Immortal Technique, that's an alien spaceship. Bonus news: If Technique were president, promises Technique, he'd "replace every raped virgin's broken hymen." And we thought tax cuts were awesome.

Not that Ghostface has ever run low on nonsense, but at least he's smiling. Hyped by his protégé Trife, Ghost worked 20 minutes through better-known verses from "Run," "Wildflower," and "Ice Cream" off Raekwon's Cuban Linx, half-hoping this crowd of Linkin Park T-shirts, what with their Ws thrown up and camera phones out, might rap along and redeem themselves for initially mistaking Trife for him. No dice, but at least Ghost got a chance to explain why he always asks light engineers to "change the light game up": If they just stick him with one color, Ghost says, "that fuck with my emotions."

Maybe that's why Fort Minor featuring Mike Shinoda, a/k/a Linkin Park featuring Black People, kept their lights moving. Forget emotions; if Minor's stage had stuck to one color, we'd realize their songs are ciphers, barely accounting for their own existence. "The first thing I need when I got a new beat/is to see how it sounds echoing off the street," Shinoda shares on "In Stereo"; who knew he'd be so excited about becoming a real rapper? But it ain't all glory for Fort Minor. Just ask minor Minor MC Ryu: "My life's like swallowing a pine cone." As if he's not still raking in those Tony Hawk bucks.


Ghostface + Fort Minor + the Demigodz + Immortal Technique
Nokia Theatre Times Square
February 6

Pretty Toney Album
(Def Jam
Stream "

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