If you’ve watched a lot of live music before, you know that seeing rappers live usually isn’t that great. Maybe I’m kooking myself here, but when I think about all the rap shows I’ve been to, it’s usually a big coin toss as to whether or not the performance will live up to the hype. For example, I’ve seen Slick Rick come on and do a great hour long set (and give out his # to cute girls on the SUNY Purchase campus), but I’ve also seen ASAP Rocky perform 2 songs and dip out early, and Dr. Octagon (aka Kool Keith) yell offbeat on stage with 20 other homies for his whole set. So when I went to the House of Vans the other night for a Nas show, I didn’t expect much. But when Nas came on and hit us with NY State of Mind and then continued to rifle through most of Illmatic, he won us all over. It was a special moment, and not just because of Nas.
The real reason for the show was to celebrate 50 years of Vans. Yup, 50 years, which basically means Vans has been in skateboarding since it’s caveman days, which is super impressive. With all the ups and downs of its popularity, when people thought skateboarding was like the hula hoop or yoyo, Vans has been there creating skate specific shoes and gearing up our weirdos and supporting our contests and events since 1975.
Of course, it goes without saying that the party was great. With an open bar, free food (and I think there was a free shoes line too) – everybody came out a winner.