News Ticker’s Concert of the Year: West Michigan Hip-Hop Festival at Van Andel Arena [Best of 2017]

Grand Rapids, MI got the chance to experience some real legends of hip-hop music at their finest on April 22, 2017 at Van Andel Arena. West Michigan Hip-Hop Festival took place that night, much to the raucous delight of thousands in attendance. Presented by WSNX and featuring Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, Redman, Method Man, Scaface, Too Short, La The Darkman, and hosted by Mr. 1204, was on hand the entire time for a spectacular night of incredible rhymes, banging beats, timeless songs, and welcomed nostalgia. The energy was nonstop, everyone had a great time, and the end result was this being the best concert of 2017.


HHF_ScarfaceScarface opened the show with his hardcore, slow flow that got the crowd on their feet. Decked out in Michigan State gear, the Houston native performed all of his classic solo songs. Face even took it back to his time with group Geto Boys, rhyming their #1 hit “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”. Too $hort joined Face for his final song, much to everyone’s surprise. Those two on stage at the same time was epic.


HHF_Too ShortToo $hort came out the gate during his set with songs “I’m a Player”, “Freaky Tales” and other favorites, but when “Blow The Whistle” came on the crowd erupted. There wasn’t a quiet voice in the arena. When Redman and Method Man came out the crowd went nuts. From the time they hit the stage they were full of energy and antics to go along with their performance.


HHF_Red and MethMeth and Red were in sync like a perfectly-timed synchronized swim team as they splattered water into the crowd. Both men jumped from the stage to its speakers just to get up close to engage the crowd. Method Man even gave his hat to a young man at the front of the stage. Also during their performance Red and Meth let their two DJs do their thing of mixing, scratching, and cutting.


HHF_Lil KimLil Kim came out and was greeted with a thunderous roar. Her first time in Grand Rapids, Kim’s fans from the area were ready to see her. Dressed in a silver and black bodysuit that grabbed the attention of everyone while she high-stepped across the stage, Kim brought the type of energy she was expected to bring. The crowd responded as she displayed her lyrical style that earned her the nickname Queen B. “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” was the theme when Busta Rhymes took the stage, and he didn’t take it alone. He brought along his longtime friend and artist Spliff Star to add to the show.


Busta and Spliff Star_West MI Hip Hop FestivalBusta started his set by going way back with songs from his days with Leaders of the New School, then brought it forward, keeping us “all in check” like he claims on his classic #1 smash hit “Woo Hah”. Busta engaged the crowd with every opportunity given. As he got their feedback he kept them screaming for more.


Following West Michigan Hip-Hop Festival, spoke with Grand Rapids Hip-hop Coalition president Victor Williams who was among the thousands in attendance. Williams gave props to the entire headlining line-up, and also expressed special love for the night’s opening act, West Michigan legend La The Darkman. “It was amazing,” he said of the concert, “an epic night in Grand Rapids hip-hop set off by 616 hip-hop trailblazer La The Darkman.” |

CREDITS Written by Doug Sims aka DJ Metro and Mr. Joe Walker | Photos – Search Engine Exploration | | Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment | Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee | Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Site Editor – Doug Sims | Webmaster – Doug Sims | Twitter – @LiquidAEMag | Instagram – @liquidmagazine

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