Man, what a way to wrap up the summer concert season at the Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf. Saying farewell to summer 2012 with a performance from seminal Def Jam artist, influential East Coast rapper and all around hip-hop icon LL Cool J. is the cherry on the season's sundae.
He might be more visible as a television and film actor these days ("NCIS: Los Angeles"), but make no mistake - LL's early work broke down doors for hip-hop, whether his songs were shining the spotlight on the skills of the music's DJs ("Go Cut Creator Go"), putting a major fingerprint on the sound of East Coast rap ("Rock the Bells") or bringing rap sensibilities to bear on rock rhythms ("Mama Said Knock You Out."). LL is, today as he was from the beginning, pretty much the man. (Just ask the guy who broke into his Los Angeles home last week and attempted to rob him. LL "subdued" the attacker until police arrived, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Mama Said Knock You Out," indeed.)
Beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, LL Cool J will be joined by another legend - the revered "mash-up" pioneer and state-of-the-art DJ Z-Trip, who will open the proceedings with a solo outing, and then spin the steel wheels for LL Cool J's set.
Tickets are $10 if you get them today; $20 day of show (Buffalo Place box office, Tickets.com).
- Jeff Miers