Tag Archives: Smooth Bee

Live Review – Nice & Smooth

Photo By Karen “InchHigh” Dabner McIntyre

Venue: The Jazz Cafe, London  Date: 4 March 2012

I’m going to cut to the chase here and go on record as saying that legendary duo Nice & Smooth’s one-off show at London’s Jazz Cafe was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a long, long time. The undeniable chemistry, animated rhymes and party-starting beats heard on so many of the Bronx pair’s late-80s / early-90s classics always seemed tailor-made for the stage, but the question many heads might have been asking themselves as they entered the venue was whether Greg N-I-C-E and “the black Blake Carrington” Smooth Bee could capture that same infectious energy from some twenty years ago?

Arriving onstage to the sound of Doug E. Fresh’s timeless 1986 anthem “Play This Only At Night”, Smooth Bee (dressed in white felt bowler hat, dress shirt and suit jacket) and Greg Nice (in similar attire) immediately launched into the 1991 banger “How To Flow”. Before the audience even knew what was happening, Greg Nice had jumped offstage and was in the crowd, dancing, rapping and giving out high-fives to anyone within arm’s reach. “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow” soon followed, with the track’s trademark Tracy Chapman sample drawing cheers from the crowd and Nice putting an amusing x-rated spin on the song’s hook.

The pair’s contrasting personalities worked just as well onstage as they have done on wax over the years, with the rambunctious Greg Nice bursting with energy as he jumped and shouted across the stage, whilst Smooth Bee chose instead to saunter through the performance, smiling widely and delivering his rhymes in his inimitable slick vocal tone, clearly enjoying the fact that the crowd knew his verses from cuts such as “Cake & Eat It Too” and “Return Of The Hip-Hop Freaks” word for word.

Aside from the beats and rhymes, the duo’s constant flow of industry stories and amusing exchanges kept the audience upbeat and entertained. From recalling their early beginnings as beat-boxer for T La Rock and ghost-writer for Bobby Brown respectively, to Greg Nice telling career tales involving Mary J. Blige, Chuck D and Jay-Z with Dolemite-like style, the pair held the attention of the crowd with apparent ease.

With the good times rolling, what happened during the duo’s performance of their 1992 Gang Starr collabo “Dwyck” was as unexpected as it was moving. Halfway through his verse it initially seemed that Smooth Bee may have forgotten his own lyrics, with the emcee faltering during certain lines. But it quickly became apparent that the NY legend was overcome with emotion. “Guru was my motherf**kin’ heart,”said Smooth, fighting to hold back genuine tears as he reminisced on one of Hip-Hop’s greatest talents. It was a poignant moment, with Greg giving his man a supportive hug before Smooth then said he wanted to perform the undisputed classic again from the top which sparked rapturous applause.

Following this memorable scene, Nice & Smooth then proceeded to lead the crowd in singing along to the brilliant “Hip-Hop Junkies” and first album favourite “Early To Rise”, before they returned to drop an acappella version of “Harmonize” as an encore and take their final bows.

It’s always difficult to fully communicate the atmosphere and feeling of a live event in a written review, something which is even more apparent in this instance. Part old-school house party, part stand-up comedy routine, part gospel church sermon, but all Hip-Hop, Nice & Smooth delivered a spectacle of a show that will surely be remembered vividly by all those in attendance for a long time to come.

If you weren’t there, you missed a night destined for the history books.

Ryan Proctor

Smooth Bee delivers an emotional tribute to Gang Starr’s Guru while performing “Dwyck”.

New Joint – Nice & Smooth

Nice & Smooth – “No Delayin'” (Lyrics To Go Ent. / 2011)

This is a dope concept – making a brand new video for a classic old-school track that didn’t have an accompanying clip back-in-the-day – Greg Nice and Smooth Bee are the first up to bat with this cut from their 1989 self-titled debut album.

Hip-Hop Junkies – Greg Nice / DJ Eclipse / Torae

Greg Nice interview with DJ Eclipse and Torae on their Sirius show “Rap Is Outta Control”.

Ever wondered where the title of Nice & Smooth’s classic collabo with Gang Starr “Dwyck” came from? Greg N-I-C-E fills in the blanks…

Step By Step – Nice & Smooth

Greg Nice and Smooth Bee circa 1991 speaking on working with Bobby Brown and recording their sophomore album “Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed”.

Thursday Throwback (Part 24) – Nice & Smooth

Nice & Smooth – “Old To The New” ( RAL / 1994 )

It’s hot outside and this joint always reminds me of the summer of 94 when my friends and I had nothing better to do than chase girls, hang out, tell mother jokes and debate the brilliance of debut albums from Nas, Jeru The Damaja and Outkast.

Shoutout to the homies DB and DJ Maniphest who I know will each be cracking a colgate-grin whilst watching this clip.

Plus, if you didn’t know already, this is, of course, where the name for this blog came from.

Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed – Nice & Smooth

Footage of Nice & Smooth performing their classic 1991 single “Hip Hop Junkies” at Lord Finesse’s recent birthday jam in Japan.