Pete Rock & CL Smooth / Rikoshay / P-Plus Opera House, Toronto ON - February 14, 2004

A sold-out crowd poured in from the cold to listen to P-Plus drop hip-hop gems from the golden age, bellowing in approval every time the skilled DJ played the distinctive opening bars of songs from the likes of the UMCs to Raekwon. Sadly, the buzz that P-Plus generated while trying to get the crowd hyped was badly hindered by Rikoshay's unimpressive opening slot. The MC and his crew broke up the amazing energy of classic hip-hop to let us all know that he "puts the penis in ‘happiness'" — on Valentine's Day, no less. He even managed to deliver what was possibly the longest a cappella in recent history, which generated groans but delivered the odd genuine applause when he struck the right nerve. With the accompaniment of a live band, Rikoshay managed to bring a little life back to the impatient cats in attendance, but it was doubtful that anyone was sad to see him leave and make way for Mecca and the Soul Brother. Looking larger than life on stage, the mighty Pete Rock took his position and dropped nothing but classic beats for CL Smooth to flow on. It's been ten years since their last record, so things may have been a little rusty, but no one seemed to mind, as we were all transported back to the glory days. A tribute to Jam Master Jay led to the Pete Rock-produced "Down with the King," but nothing seemed to compete with the amazing cheer and flailing arms that erupted when Pete Rock took centre stage and began shaking his ass to "Creator." Even the highly-anticipated "They Reminisce Over You" had stiff competition after such a reaction, but it was the final reminder of the night that Pete Rock and CL Smooth's contribution to hip-hop has truly made a timeless impact on the adoring beat-junkies in attendance.