De La Soul, Black Sheep at North Coast Music Festival: A Call That Demands A Response

We’ve explored the culture of the call-and-response in hip hop before. And thanks to our friend Todd, who attended the North Coast Music Festival in Chicago this summer, we have an excellent live example of how De La Soul & Black Sheep created and executed a purely amazing call-and-response moment.

As Todd told me, the moment occurred during the De La Soul’s set while they performed the Black Sheep classic track “The Choice Is Yours” with help from Black Sheep‘s emcee Dres.

As you’ll see in the videos above and below. The scene was electric. And Dres and De La Soul had the crowd in the palm of their hand. Unfortunately I wasn’t there, but I still get pumped just watching the videos!

The video above shows how the first part of the moment developed as Dres fires the crowd up and then gets them to all crouch down.

At first he doesn’t get what he wants. But on the second try, he triumphantly has fans following his command and shouting “Engine engine number 9…” which are the lyrics to “The Choice Is Yours.”

The video below shows the final moment when the crowd surges together to their feet.

It’s really awesome to watch, especially knowing how hard it can be to get fans to all do something like that together.

And what I love the most about this moment is that the Dres and De La Soul and the music earned the moment. I’ve seen De La Soul live before, I know that are a classic example of live hip hop group that plays music that demands a response.

Which is the complete opposite of those DJ and emcees who demand fans put their hands in the air at the start of the concert even though they have even earned the right for fans to respond that way.

Now, if you were in a band, wouldn’t you like to have that kind of response, trust, and respect with your audience?

The Mic Is Yours

Now you can speak up. Just like Talib did.

What show have you been to recently where the call-and-response wasn’t earned by the artist? What shows have you been to where it was? Were you in this De La Soul/Black Sheep crowd? Tell us all about it the comments below.

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  • Todd

    What a great show. Artists of all genres can learn from how well they control the crowd. If you were in earshot, you were paying attention.