This past weekend there were plenty of amazing events and parties going on in NYC for the Big Game weekend. None had more history or had been in the making for as long as the legendary Tunnel party that took place Friday at B.B. King’s.
Most of the key players from the original Tunnel days were in the house. Jessica Rosenblum, creator of the Mecca party which started it all, was in charge of guest list. Funk Flex, NY’s biggest Hip Hop DJ who made his name at The Tunnel, was back behind the decks rocking the party during primetime. Cipha Sounds, who had tested some of NY’s biggest tracks for Flex, was behind the decks, once again opening for his mentor. Big Kap, the man that had controlled the crowd before a young Flex had perfected his mic skills, was back at it, keeping the crowd amped and engaged. Derrick Parker, former Hip Hop police officer who had kept close watch of the Tunnel parties for the NYPD, was working security at the front door.
Security was much needed at the door, as a long line of fans stretching half a block couldn’t wait to get inside B.B. King’s and party to some REAL Hip Hop, an element that has been missing from the ever-changing NY party scene. Flex made sure everything was as it was back in the original heyday of the Tunnel. There was no bottle service, meaning rich guys who wanted to buy a bottle to look cool and stand and around on couches were out of luck. Guests certainly bought bottles but they came with no funny sparklers or real estate. Just as in the original Tunnel days there were fans, industry vets and rappers all mixed into the same crowd with no velvet ropes to separate them. Everyone shared in the moment together as Cipha Sounds and Flex dropped hit after hit. Cipha and Flex held nothing back, dropping both original Tunnel classics and new street bangers.
Plenty of artists came out to pay homage and support the return of the legendary Tunnel party. Red Alert could be seen standing next to Funk Flex throughout his set, almost like a proud parent watching the culmination of everything he helped build. Rappers and producers such as, Uncle Murda, Raekwon, Jim Jones, Fred the Godson, Troy Ave and Statik Selektah could be seen hanging out on the main floor, rocking with the rest of the crowd. Flex even brought some of his friends on stage for some surprise guest appearances and performances.
Flex introduced DJ Khaled who got on the mic and let the crowd know how much NY and the Tunnel meant to him coming up in the Hip Hop scene. He then introduced MMG artist Meek Mill who performed a few hits off his latest album and gave the crowd a huge energy boost for the second half of the night. Immediately after, We The Best artist Vado hopped on the mic and promptly ripped through a couple of his newest tracks. The highlight of the night however, came when Flex brought out one of the best groups to ever have the Tunnel rocking in the 90’s, the Infamous Mobb Deep. Everyone in the crowd watched as the duo performed classic Tunnel bangers such as “Shook One’s”, “Survival of the Fittest” and “Quiet Storm”.
All in all it was a triumphant return for one of NY and Hip Hop’s most influential parties. It was the kind of party NY needed to bring the Hip Hop scene back to the essence and remind us all what made it so special in the first place. The Tunnel party will return to B.B. King’s in March and is sure to be even bigger the second time around.