When it comes to hip-hop, Long Island figures prominently as a part of the genre’s history; acts such as Eric B & Rakim, De La Soul, EPMD, Method Man, Busta Rhymes (and his former group Leaders of the New School), Keith Murray – as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Public Enemy – all hail from either Nassau or Suffolk County.
Needless to say, with all of those MCs and DJs hailing from Long Island, there are also a great deal of hip-hop fans to be found around the Island – and if you are one of the many, two of the art form’s old school performers will be appearing at The Emporium in Patchogue this weekend.
The New York City-based duo of Greg “Greg Nice” Mays and Daryl “Smooth B” Barnes – better known as “Nice & Smooth” – are set to take The Emporium’s stage on May 3, and anyone who followed hip-hop from the late 1980s into the 1990s (or is just a devoted supporter of the musical genre) should remember Mays and Barnes very well, despite them not being the among the hitmakers of their generation.
Nice & Smooth were able to find some steady mainstream success with songs like “Hip Hop Junkies” and “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow…”, but during their heyday, rap music was often relegated to nightclubs, record stores, mixtapes and specialty shows on TV and radio. However, within those smaller outlets (such as late night DJ programs on 107.5 WBLS-FM and the now-defunct 98.7 WRKS-FM “Kiss-FM;” on MTV’s “YO! MTV Raps” and along the UHF dial on WNYC’s “Video Music Box”), Nice & Smooth found heavy play – with such well-remembered tracks as “Funky For You,” “More & More Hits,” “Early to Rise” and “DWYCK” (a collaboration with one-time Valley Stream resident, the late MC Guru and his group Gang Starr). By the beginning of the 2000s, Nice & Smooth had stopped making new music, but DJs and hip-hop aficionados still show great adulation toward the catalog of songs generated by Barnes and Mays to this day.
Additionally, while many other old school acts perform regularly, catching Nice & Smooth live is a rare find – so anyone who’d like to witness the duo in action can either grab tickets online (at ticketfly.com) or at the door for $20. Showtime is 10 p.m., and the night also includes a set from MC Rob Base, whose songs “Joy and Pain” and “It Takes Two” remain among rap music’s biggest hits.
The Emporium: 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue, 631-627-8787