With the recent reboot of the Showtime at the Apollo airing on Fox hosted by Steve Harvey thought it would be appropriate to revisit some of the past memorable performances.  The original run of the show ran from 1987 through 2008. Many Saturday nights I remember as a kid eager to see who the headlining musical act was. The theater itself was established in 1913 with a seating capacity of 1,506.  It is a historical landmark set in Harlem New York. It was enjoyable just watching how the crowd fed off the energy of the artists performing at the time. Many considered the Apollo Theater crowd to be the barometer if someone truly had what it takes to be on the stage.  Below are a couple performances that wowed the crowd.

Eric B and Rakim

Eric B and Rakim performing the signature cuts “Eric B. Is President” and “I Know You Got Soul” from their classic album “Paid In Full”.  You can see how the duo commanded the stage and moved the crowd.

Big Daddy Kane

Big Daddy Kane with legendary DJ Mr Cee on the wheels of steel and Scoob Luva and Scrap Luva by his side ripping it up to “Smooth Operator” from his sophomore album “It’s a Big Daddy Thing”.

Naughty By Nature

Naughty By Nature moving the crowd from side to side with their signature hit “Hip Hop Hooray” off their platinum album “19 Naughty III”.


1996 was the year of the Fugees.  No one could touch them during the run of their classic album “The Score”.  Here they perform the cut “How Many Mics” which morphs into an all-out freestlye.

LL Cool J featuring Method Man, Redman, and Dmx

A who’s who from the record label Def Jam roster that absolutely crushed the competition during the 1990’s.  The signature posse cut “4,3,2.1” from LL Cool J’s album “Phenomenon”. Check out at the 1:27 mark when Dmx drops his verse with the crowd’s energy at a fever pitch.

Wu-Tang Clan

The legendary group performing “Triumph” off their double album “Wu-Tang Forever”. Never will there ever be a rap group where each member is as talented and gifted as the Wu-Tang Clan.  I give you the RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, Capadonna, and ODB!


3150cookie-checkShowtime at the Apollo: Memorable Performances
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