Alamo Drafthouse's Action Pack series is back this week with the "Ultimate '90s Rap-Along" on Thursday night. If you haven't yet checked out one an Alamo "sing-along," they're basically the most fun you can have at a concert without actually going to one.
The set up is simple: They project music videos on a big screen with the lyrics captioned across the bottom, and singing/dancing in the aisles is absolutely encouraged. There are props (at a recent Lady Gaga sing-along that meant illuminated beach balls and glow sticks tossed through the air) and most dedicated fans show up in full on superstar regalia.
With certain artists, you have a good idea of what songs the evening will entail; if, for example, you're going to a Michael show, you know "Thriller" is going down. But, this week is a grab bag of rap hits from the 90s. That can mean everything from the good Dr. Dre to Ton Loc dropped down like it's hot to Snoop and tossed back around to DJ Jazzy Jeff.
While we do know this show features N.W.A., TuPac Shakur, Coolio and B.I.G., there are plenty of surprises in store. In no particular order, here are some (of many, many) '90s rhymes we hope to shout at the top of our lungs Thursday night. Keep in mind, they're mainstream-y for a reason (rap-alongs only work if the tuns are inescapable), and please note these videos are definitely NSFW.
Snoop Dogg: Gin and Juice
It's been covered over 20 times by ridiculously diverse artists, inspiring even a bluegrass version. Likely because having your dad yell "you need to get a jobby-job" is a near universal element of human experience.
The Notorious B.I.G.: Big Poppa
Edges out "Hypnotize" simply because it presents an opportunity to volunteer "true playa" status.
2Pac feat Dr. Dre: California Love
Instantly recognizable with an unstoppable bass line. Few humans possess the fortitude to deny its call to grind.
Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre: Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang
Let's be honest, they could play The Chronic in its entirety and not miss a beat.
Eminem: The Real Slim Shady
Think Slim ever figured out which Spice Girl he wished to impregnate? That line may be stuck in the '90s, but they are possibly regrouping for a twentieth anniversary tour.
Dr. Dre: Keep Their Heads Ringin'
Go on. Try to sing it without nodding your head Craig-and-Smokey-style.
Sir Mix-a-lot: Baby Got Back
Lil Kim feat. Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez, Da Brat and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes: Ladies Night (Not Tonight Remix)
It's easy to forget there's an unfortunate dearth of women in popular rap when virtually all of them jumped in for this remix. Hell, even Mary J. Blige showed up to the video shoot because: jet skis. Also see "Ladies First" by the Queen-herself-Latifah, which technically dropped in '89, if you want to "see a woman standing on her own two."
Queen Latifah: U.N.I.T.Y.
Speaking of Latifah, she let everybody know how to treat women. With R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
The Beastie Boys: Sabotage
Many of the best Beastie tracks were 80s creations: "Fight for your Right to Party," "No Sleep 'til Brooklyn," "Brass Monkey," "Paul Revere." This one -- inextricable from its iconic video (worth a re-watch in its own right) -- came screeching into the scene at 1994.
M.C. Hammer: U Can't Touch This
Please, Hammer, don't hurt us.
Jay-Z feat. UGK: Big Pimpin'
Jay later decried this one for its lack of substance, but the line "go read a book you illiterate [expletive] and step up your vocab," remains cathartic for many a teacher, writer and parent who was but a teen at its debut.
Ice T: O.G. Original Gangster
'Cause Ice never stopped being hard and never added glitter to his wardrobe. Coco's shimmery enough for both of them.
Warren G. feat Nate Dogg: Regulate
Any geek off the street knows where to find Mr. Warren G.
What would you add? Tweet us @GuideLive with your picks.