When: Fri., Oct. 18, 8 p.m. 2013
It's a shame for N.C. Central University when the nearby UNC-Chapel Hill can afford to shell out $90,000 for weak homecoming concert headliners—rappers Wale and Ace Hood—while NCCU's Marching Sound Machine has had its budget cut by nearly $95,000 over the last two years. But this weekend, down on O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium's gridiron, where the Eagles will play Morgan State, the Sound Machine's peppy halftime performance will prove the band's worth. That show alone is enough to win the NCCU-UNC Battle of the Homecomings for the Eagles.
Add to that, though, two 9th Wonder-hosted nights in downtown Durham's DPAC featuring the god emcee himself, Rakim, boom-bap tag team Pete Rock & CL Smooth, slick-slangster duo Camp Lo, pioneers of the "bum-stickety bum-stickety-bum" rap code Das Efx, hard-hitting golden-era duos EPMD, Nice & Smooth and Lords of the Underground, and the battle looks a lot like the rest of UNC's football year. For the ladies, Boston's new jack swing nasty boys Bell Biv Devoe headline Saturday night's concert with hits such as "Poison," "Do Me!" and "When Will I See You Smile Again." Thanks to NCCU, it's the 1990s all over again in Durham, which is just how 9th Wonder and this weekend's legends like to keep it. Pharcyde and Brand Nubian join in. —Eric Tullis