Bay Area hip-hop got much love in the Big Apple over this past weekend when both Andre Nickatina and Zion I & The Grouch (aka Z&G), who headlined concerts at NYC's Highline Ballroom and Knitting Factory respectively, had the packed venues loudly & appreciatively showing much love for the Bay Area.
Sunday night at the Highline, in Manhattan's Chelsea district, longtime San Francisco rapper Andre Nickatina stopped the music and led the packed house in a back-and-forth chant of "Mac Dre, Mac Dre." Throughout the rest of the excellent show, for which up-and-coming SF rapper Roach Gigz opened, he had the supercharged audience (many donning SF Giants hats) singing along to the lyrics of songs such as "Killa Whale." Two nights earlier over in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Zion I & The Grouch similarly had the packed Knitting Factory crowd (many clearly Bay Area transplants) singing along in unison to the Zion I Bay Area hip-hop anthem "The Bay."
"It's like being at a rap show in San Francisco," enthused one Andre Nicatina fan Sunday night in New York as the artist formerly known as Dre Dog launched into one of his newer songs, the title track of his recent album My Middle Name is Crime, a collaborative full-length with The Jacka (with the absent Jacka's verses played back on tape).