The New York City hip-hop scene witnessed a rebirth and a renaissance last weekend at Spotify's Rap Caviar show, as heavy-hitters from across the boroughs came together in one show, headed by the reuniting of Harlem legends The Diplomats.
The Diplomats, or Dipset crew, was founded by rap heavyweights Jim Jones
in the late nineties, and to say they've had a profound effect on the hip-hop scene in NYC, let alone the world, is an understatement. Harlem young guns A$AP Mob
also joined the affair, and the lineup was stacked start to finish with classic old heads and young up-and-comers.
Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom was packed to the gills before the first MC even came out on stage, but DJ SpinKing had them well loosened up by the time the openers came out.
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
and Don Q set things off with fire performances of their own, before turning over the honors to a surprise appearance by TEKASHI69, Uncle Murda, and Casanova. Things were ramping up a bit at this point, and broke fully open when Tekashi made a stage-dive trip into the crowd.
Things got a little restless from there as the crowd had to wait a bit for A$AP Mob to take the stage, but once they did there was no question that they owned the night. The Mob played all their hits, including "Shabba" and Ferg's "Plain Jane" to a completely raucous crowd. During the set Rocky took the time to address the historic moment, and how big it was for him to share a stage with the icons he grew up listening to.
Of course the headline spot and honors of the night belonged to the Dipset crew, and Juelz Santana got it kicked off in proper style, before being followed up by Jim Jones and Cam'ron. All the classics were played, such as "Hey Ma", "Santana's Town", "I Really Mean It" and "Oh Boy", but most importantly, the real highlight was seeing beefs and egos put aside as some of the biggest names and O.G.s came together to make music again. As the Dipset crew put it while on stage, this wasn't a reunion, but a "communion", and that the Dipset family would never grow apart.
Geographic location and neighborhood representation can at times foment division in a music scene, with crews banding together and forming beef with those from other areas, but, if only for one night, artists from all neighborhoods and zip codes came together to deliver a serious night to remember at Rap Caviar.