Every genre has its also-rans who stand to profit from a nostalgia package tour in these boom times for live music. Despite being the genre most concerned with street cred, hip-hop is the latest to succumb to the reunion dollar. I Love the 90s has already been franchised as a music cruise called – wait for it – Ship-hop.
Music review: I Love the 90s **
In fairness, the 1990s was a strong period for the poppy end of hip-hop and its soul brother, R&B. Between short, chaotic live sets, the sparse but enthusiastic crowd in the Hydro were treated to all the acts who hadn’t (yet) signed up for the tour concept via extended video mixtapes of contemporary hits.
Forget two turntables and a microphone – the kilted Coolio brought a live drummer and a saxophone to drown Gangsta’s Paradise in screeching 80s licks. Fortysomething R&B man band Color Me Badd were also in the house to execute some fussy street dance-influenced moves and deliver The Hit, I Wanna Sex You Up.
The party threatened to start with Salt N Pepa and DJ Spinderella, celebrating 31 years as an outfit, but their longer set was a ragbag of muddy sound mix, rambling chat and antics with their dancers, with the much-loved Let’s Talk About Sex, Whatta Man and Push It just about making it out alive.
“Good times,” repeated headliner Vanilla Ice like a desperate mantra as he recounted random 90s trends, invited his tourmates back on stage to do much of the rapping work and generally played for time before delivering his hit, Ice Ice Baby.