One of my vicarious pleasures is reading about all-time bad hip-hop gigs. Judging by the press coverage, they happen at the rate of about one a week.
I happen to be one of those cynics who think rap stopped being interesting shortly after Grandmaster Flash's first couple of hits. Reading between the lines, you sometimes get the impression a lot of pop critics feel the same way. But they soldier on, putting up with one indignity after another - the bad boys who arrive three hours late for an interview, the geniuses who are more interested in tracking down a KFC than talking about their latest gold disc. And then there are those luminaries, like Missy Elliott, who can't even be bothered to go through the motions in front of their fans.
The Independent's reviewer was well aware that the diva has quite a track record:
On her last UK appearance, in 2000, she performed a mere five songs before turning over the rest of the gig to a talent contest. Last year's double header with Kelis, the pretender to the throne, was cancelled because of - wait for it - lack of tour buses
True to form, Missy arrived horrendously late, and delivered the bare minimum. The Guardian was not amused:
The 60-minute set was stuffed with time-wasters: 10 minutes squandered on her protege, Jessica, a hoofabout by four of the dancers, the inevitable stupid contest to judge which side of the crowd was loudest. Have I mentioned the rollerskating display? So we were left with 40 minutes of Missy, whose powers as a live MC seem to have been diminished anyway by long periods of studio work
The Indy nevertheless tried to look on the bright side:
The sound was sludgy, though at least with backing tracks you could make out one hit from another.
Ah well, that's something. It's always nice to be able to tell what you're listening to.