Photos: Tiffini Williams
Manhattan Center in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City tonight, August 9th , was the talk of the town as G-Shock pulled out all of the celebratory stops for its 30th anniversary.
The crowd was symbolic of what the G-Shock brand and hip hop culture represent… the “ultimate tough watch that never breaks” meets arguably one of the most resilient, successful, and popular cultures in recent memory. Similar to the reputation of G-Shock watches, Hip-Hop has crushed the notion that a music genre is just one thing. Both embody much more than one adjective and one objective. Each are to be handled with care because of its durability, relevance, and respectability among the same audience.
If you are not paying close attention to the branding intricacies of everything Hip-Hop, specifically those on the clothing and accessories end, then you may not remember iconic emcee, Eminem, rocking a white G-Shock watch in the “I Need A Doctor” video. However, if you’re from The D like me, every step Eminem takes is a ‘press conference’ moment for the most part. He is that important to the culture, and has earned his place in the conversation as one of the most revered rappers ever. With his undeniable talent and cult-like following, Eminem has once again built a bridge connecting pop culture to the well-respected underground side of mainstream music with Joe Budden, Royce Da 5’9, Joel Ortiz, and Crooked I who are better known as the lyrical super group, Slaughterhouse.
Even though we have consistently seen Hip-Hop style represented through clothing and footwear, as a fanbase, we should get used to and comfortable with seeing it showing up in various accessories such as G-Shock watch styles. The urban, Hip-Hop culture, is all about style and flash but we’re also about longevity. There are much fewer fly by night products in this day and time. On the whole we’re a more sophisticated, exposed, and knowledgeable consumer base that not only wants to look and sound fly but wants to be associated with respectable and established brands such as G-Shock.
The crowd tonight represented everything Hip-Hop and everything fashion without missing a beat. It all felt as if the crowd knew what it was in store for but still unaware of what is was gonna get. In all actuality, we did not know about the Eminem and Slaughterhouse performance until the very end of the G-Shock press conference. You could feel the energy and anticipation in the air after the announcement. A lot of whispers in friend’s ears saying, “did you hear Em and Slaughterhouse are performing tonight?”. It was a complete throwback to the 90s if you may. By complete throwback I mean an unadulterated love for the music and the possible chaos that surrounded it. What was in the air, was both refreshing and unexpected.
Slaughterhouse opened up the event pumping up the crowd with tracks like “My Life” and “Throw It Away” as it waited anxiously for the legendary Detroit native. The most unorthodox, lyrically equipped emcee was introduced by the Shady Records recording artists. What was witnessed last night is the difference between good and great when it comes to a live show. Eminem went on the record stating that Hip-Hop needs Slaughterhouse not too long ago, and he clearly did more than put his money where his mouth was with a seemingly effortless performance alongside the quartet. As soon as he set foot on the stage, there was a wild uproar from the crowd as it began to recite every syllable to every lyric spoken in classics such as “Lose Yourself”, “The Way I am”, “My Name Is”, and more. The fun loving crowd was in awe of the superstar’s stage presence and impeccable delivery.
Last night was without a doubt a victory not only for G-Shock and Shady Records, but for Hip-Hop as well. If you were in attendance tonight and didn’t consider yourself a fan of the G-Shock watch brand, Eminem, nor Slaughterhouse, I’m pretty sure you were won over by the presentation and the performances.