The Kings of the Mic tour combines four of hip-hop’s greatest acts on one stage, with De La Soul, Public Enemy, Ice Cube and LL Cool J all ripping through sets of classic material and newer tracks.
But the microphone is not the only instrument being blessed by royalty on the tour; Z-Trip, 2009’s “America’s Best DJ” according to the readers of DJ Times and remixer of everyone from Bob Marley to Nirvana, is manning the turntables for LL Cool J.
amNewYork spoke with Z-Trip about the show:
What is it that makes emcees like your tourmates so universally loved? One of the main reasons is because they all came up in the right time in hip-hop. It’s around the time when the music and the art form was still coveted. It was still something you had to attain, you had to build to and work to. It’s a little bit different now. The path to popularity is much shorter, and it’s a little bit easier.
How’s the reaction been from people who didn’t see these acts in the 1980s or 1990s? It’s great to see people bringing their kids or seeing younger people seeing [the show] and being blown away. That’s one of the craziest things, to see younger people experience this the same way I did when I was that age.
If you were putting together a “Kings of the Turntables” tour, who would you book? That tough, because there’s so many people. You’d have to find the people that were influential, but are still doing it. … I’d much rather be on the tour than have to pick people for it.
The Kings of the Mic tour is at Roseland Ballroom Thursday at 6:30 p.m., 239 W. 52nd St., 212-247- 0200, $60-$70.