Hip Hop CHRONICles: 1993 Soul Assassins Tour
The year was 1993, and Cypress Hill was in the process of becoming internationally know for their mega-hit “Insane in the Brain”. House of Pain was gearing up for their second album “Back from the Dead” after their transcendent and timeless hit “Jump Around”. Funkdoobiest was just being dope and into pornos. While legendary producer The Alchemist was in training and also a member of a kid-rap group, The Whooliganz. And all, were coming to Rhode Island in the fall of 1993.
I was all of 14 years old, but already making pause-mixed beats and rookie attempts at being an emcee. I had been exposed to weed already, although I wasn’t yet smoking at the time. However, this show was about to answer a long-standing question of mine – will weed make me loose my shit? But seriously, this lineup. 14 years of age. Being dropped off in a 1990’s Ford Taurus wagon by my friend’s dad. What could beat this?
Rocky Point Rhode Island was the Place to Be
We arrived at the Rocky Point Palladium in Warwick, Rhode Island. The thickness of weed smoke was everywhere. It really makes these Instagram influencers who connect leaf blowers to a pound of weed seem like amateurs. Straight fish bowl. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this was the first time I got high off weed.
The Whooliganz and Funkdoobiest Set it Off
The scene was a 2,000 person mosh pit. The Whooliganz opened the set followed by Funkdoobiest. During The Whooliganz set, I was able to spot Danny Boy O’Conner in the crowd. I went up to him and asked him to sign my blue Dickies short-sleeve button up that I was rocking at the time. He graciously did so. I still own it.
House of Pain Came to Drops Bombs on Rhode Island
House of Pain then took the stage and chaos ensued. This was years before Everlast switched to the acoustic Whitey Ford persona. He was still a beer guzzling, aggressive emcee, just years after rocking with Ice T’s Rhyme Syndicate crew. It was also one of those times where my 14 year-old self questioned my own mortality in the mosh pit. Not the only one – Beastie Boys at the Quonset Point Lollapalooza comes to mind. After surviving an intense 60 minutes pinned near the front of the crowd, House of Pain concluded their raucous set.
In a need for air, me and the crew searched for some space. We found some by a side door, which had been pried open. To our astonishment, through the doorway standing right next to the vans was most of the Soul Assassins crew. We immediately went outside to act like we belonged. We shot the shit with Everlast, with my best friend Billy providing a Marlboro when he asked for a cigarette. B-Real even came through and dapped us up right before he was about to rock the sold out crowd.
The Soul Assassins Crew were Good Dudes
It was unreal to meet our idols. And as thrilling as it was to meet Everlast, Danny Boy, DJ Lethal, B-Real, Sen-Dog, Eric Bobo, Son Doobie, Ralph M the Mixican, and DJ Muggs, there was one other lesson I took from this night. These dudes were nice guys, gracious and most of all human.
I learned that celebrities are no different than anyone else. From Cypress Hill and House of Pain, to Eminem and Jay-Z, we all breath the same air. They have just worked tirelessly to master their craft. They are special but are not to be idolized, but respected for the work they put in. This is a mentality I still hold today. I realized that ”hey, maybe this weed shit isn’t that big of a deal, because I think I’m stoned right now…”
The Ride Home
My friend’s dad Mr. Roy, ended up winning Parent of the Year award that night for not only dropping us off, but attending in person one of the greatest shows of all time. He posted up waaay in the back while we moshed (did I mention we were 14?). Still the ganja leaf left no man untouched that night. As we all hopped in the Ford Taurus wagon to go home, the truth of the night was unspoken, but could be seen through all of our blood shot eyes. It didn’t matter what song came on the radio at that point, but I’m pretty sure it sounded like this to all of us.
Dedicated to the memory of Mr. Paul Roy.
More Hip Hop CHRONICles
Stay tuned for more Hip Hop CHRONICles from the memory of The Mean and others in 2020. These will be some of the most one of kind hip hop stories you have never heard!