In Entertainment, Music, News

By Ed Condran

DJ Cassidy is about to pass the mic at Bakkt Theater at Planet Hollywood. Who can blame DJ Cassidy, who is hosting a star-studded residency? Some of the most iconic figures in hip hop and R&B history are part of “DJ Cassidy’s Pass the Mic Live!” shows slated from July 5-20.

The rotating guests, who are a who’s who of recording artists who changed the face of ’90s music, are beyond impressive. The Wu-Tang Clan’s intense Ghostface Killah and his co-conspirator, the dynamic Raekwon, kick off “Pass the Mic” on July 5.

The July 6 show features Public Enemy, which is led by the fire-and-ice combination of Chuck D and Flavor Flav, who resides in Las Vegas. It’ll be a special gig since the venerable act, which raised the bar for hip hop with its dense production and brilliant wordplay, doesn’t perform often.

Sengalese-American singer Akon, who possesses a golden set of pipes, will perform July 12 and 13, his setlist certain to include the hits “Locked Up,” “Lonely,” “Smack That” and “Beautiful.”

Songwriter extraordinaire Jermaine Dupri, who helped Atlanta reach the top of the rap and R&B echelon, will bring it with brash Da Brat July 19. The latter made a name for herself with hardcore wordplay. And the inventive Too $hort and the clever Warren G close out the residency July 20.

The guests change, but DJ Cassidy will be on hand each night with a veteran crew of entertainers. Slick Rick, who is one of the most sampled recording artists of all time, will keep the music going.

Ja Rule, who helped make gangsta rap commercial, the charismatic Fat Joe and Doug E. Fresh, who is known as “The Human Beatbox,” will all take part in every show.

It’s a welcome step for Las Vegas since there’s not been much hip-hop on the Las Vegas Strip. The urban sounds will combine with Las Vegas style to produce a contemporary Rat Pack vibe.

“I am truly honored to share a stage with my musical heroes,” DJ Cassidy said. “Public Enemy, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Akon, Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, Too $hort and Warren G, all of whom will help us redefine the Vegas residency in ways the Strip hasn’t seen since the days of The Sands and The International.

“Just as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop united in Las Vegas to form The Rat Pack, Ja Rule, Fat Joe, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh and I will unite to create an experience that will go down in Vegas history.”

If You Go

Bakkt Theater at Planet Hollywood, 8 p.m. July 5-20,

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