The first hour of Mochilla’s “A Suite for Ma Dukes,” was solid if not soporific. But when the surprise guests started rolling out, events rapidly turned memorable. Pos and Talib Kweli performing “Stakes is High.” Bilal, AmpFiddler, and the guy in Sa-Ra who doesn’t wear leopard, singing the hook on “Runnin,” backed by an orchestra that had just segued seamlessly from the song’s sample source: Stan Getz and Luis Bonfa’s “Saudade Vem Correndo.”Common coming out…in a tuxedo to give a polite two-minute address about the divinity of J Dilla’s beats.
Lonnie takes an “L” for this one. Was he too worried about being tardy to the Oscar after-parties that he couldn’t kick a few bars over “Nag Champa?” Was the Pivster waiting in the limo? The dude’s become the kind of guy who uses the word “hob-nob,” unironically. Erykah “On and On”Badu was rumored to be making an appearance, but she skates off on the “Just Had a Baby” card. Unless, she spent last night twittering.