ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - "Make sure you follow me on Twitter and Instagram!" bellowed Treach from Naughty By Nature, toward the end of the Super Fresh Hip Hop Fest at Chaifetz Arena Saturday night.
"Wait a minute," he said, realizing the age demographic he was speaking to. "You guys are only on Facebook, right?"
Knowing laughter ensued, followed by house rocking beats and grooves richly familiar to the roughly 5,000 or 6,000 30 to 55--year-olds in attendance.
Anyone tuned in to hip hop from the 1980's and early 90's did not walk away disappointed.
The headliners included Doug E. Fresh, Naughty By Nature, and Whodini.
The show started promptly at 7 p.m., as promised, when Shock G, better known as "Humpty Hump" from Digital Underground, took the stage. Shock G initially looked nothing like the man from the "Doowutchyalike" song and video from 1989. He did, however, quickly mention that his friend "Humpty Hump" would be out later, to loud cheers. At the end of his brief set, sure enough, the musical strains of "The Humpty Dance" began to swell from the DJ and Shock G briefly disappeared. When he emerged, "Humpty", in all of his Groucho Marx, big nose, and oversized wool hat glory.
From there, a celebration of Old School rap was off to the races.
From his command post at the side of stage, WFUN 95.5's DJ Kut called out to the crowd:
"Where are my 90's people at?" Minor applause. "Make some noise if you were born in the 80s!" More claps. "70's people in the house?" And the crowd erupted and jumped to its feet. "This is our music. This is real hip hop" as he launched into another song that had nearly 4,000 fans shouting to their friends "This is is my jam!" as they danced and rapped along.
And so it went for a night that went "on and on" in the best way.
EPMD thrilled crowds with the group's hit song, "You Gots to Chill". Yo Yo gave a special shout to mothers and women and reminded the crowd that even at 42, she can still handle herself on stage.
Doug E. Fresh, known since the early stages of the Reagan Administration as The Human Beat Box, did not disappoint. An extended version of "The Show" had the crowd on its feet, and a several minutes long beat box virtuoso performance created a "how long can he possibly keep doing this?" sense of wonder that only comes while watching an unforgettable drum solo or hearing an opera singer belt out a high note at the top of his lungs for an impossible stretch of time.
Doue E. Fresh also showed fans, once and for all, how to "do the Dougie".
MC Lyte hit on her fan favorites and dazzled with some free style raps with a heavy dose of St. Louis added into the lyrics.
No one walked away feeling shortchanged by Naughty By Nature, after a hearing a more interactive and audience-involved version of "O.P.P." than they could have imagined.
With tickets starting at around $49, the Super Fresh Hip Hop Fest served as an explosion of rap music from a time before cell phones and the internet. A four hour jam session that, for many, was more like a trip back in time. A night for the legends and pioneers of an art form that shows no signs of slowing down in 2014. A night when Doug E. Fresh still looked lean and full of energy, able to amaze with his beat boxing skills. And, as if to prove time hasn't pass Doug E. Fresh by, he closed his set by reminding the crowd, "Follow me on Twitter and Instagram!"