Despite spending countless hours hoping for a return to previous years via Zoltar wish or plutonium-fueled Delorean, it’s not happening.
This is a deflating truth, and it makes the “I Love the 90s” tour — starring retro hip-hop luminaries Rob Base, Coolio, Salt-N-Pepa, and Vanilla Ice, and scheduled for Sept. 29 at the Seneca Niagara Casino’s Events Center — a step in the wrong direction.
You have to move on from your mornings spent with “Yo! MTV Raps!” and nights spun by DJ EZ Rock. You have to stop bopping to lyrics like “slide, slide, slippity slide” or “shoop, shoop-pe-doop.” And you definitely have to stop frosting your bangs, breakdancing in oversized blazers and repetitiously watching the cinematic masterpiece that is “Cool as Ice.”
And you should — next week. The nostalgic lineup provides a sonic escape to simpler times, so consider the following as reasons to make a brief return to the beats of your youth.
You love the '90s — and the '80s
Years go by and memories get fuzzy. Same for the promoters of this tour, who are touting two of their performers’ biggest hits — Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” (1986) and Rob Base’s “It Takes Two” (1988) — as sounds of the wrong decade. Should this matter? Absolutely not. The synth-driven, Spinderella-spun beat of the former served as one of its genre’s earliest (and most salaciously forthright) double entendres; and the latter can still, nearly 30 after its release, turn any party upside down.
Roll the dice with Ice
Reality star. Jet ski racer. Zubaz-wearing Miami Hurricanes fan. There are many flat-brimmed hats for Rob Van Winkle, known more widely as Vanilla Ice. But for a guy keen on Roger Rabbiting through Queen bass samples, rocking mics like a vandal and waxing chumps like candles, he’s turned in a fairly eclectic run in the spotlight. What will he do this weekend? Recite lines from the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”? (See: “Ninja Rap.”) Revert back to his dreadlocked reinvention as a “Roll ‘Em Up” gangsta rapper? Revisit ballroom moves from his stint on “Dancing with the Stars”? Unpredictability is its own reward.
When Coolio canceled his planned August appearance at Canalside, it not only crushed those eager to count to four, get their women on the floor, then get up to get down. It opened the door to genre descendant T-Pain, who turned his fill-in opportunity into summer’s most over-attended concert bash. Would it have been similar with wiry-coifed artist born Artis Ivey, Jr.? Unknown. But if there’s a competitive spirit brewing within the MC responsible for hits like “Fantastic Voyage” and “Rollin’ with My Homies,” he’ll bring his best aside the Falls, eager to show locals what Parliament-influenced (and Auto-Tune-free) work he could have unleashed under the Skyway.
Closing statement: The present is complicated. As a momentary departure, revisit some of hip-hop’s favorite hits and groove with your finest memories.
What: I Love the 90s, featuring Salt-N-Pepa, Coolio, Vanilla Ice, Rob Base
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 29
Where: Seneca Niagara Events Center
Tickets: $45 and up