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10 Things You Learn at a Goodie Mob Concert

Goodie Mob
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

The full Goodie Mob lineup finally returns with their new album, ‘Age Against the Machine,’ after a 14-year absence. It’s a triumphant comeback that finds the group traversing between futuristic backdrops and boisterous beats. The quartet has been performing since the early ’90s, yet they’re still finding ways to take chances.

It’s an ambitious effort, which is why it’s admirable that Goodie Mob united for Live From T5 Concert with JetBlue on Monday (Sept. 9) at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y., which was more of a sidestep rather than a self-appraisal or promotional event. The rap collective came to satisfy and opted to perform just one song from the album, ‘Special Education.’

The legendary southern group moved through classic tracks ranging from ‘Soul Food’ to ‘Cell Therapy’ and even went into CeeLo‘s solo material, including ‘Crazy,’ from his work as part of Gnarls Barkley. After about an hour on stage, the quartet accomplished its mission by satisfying the crowd and educating some as well. Here are 10 Things You Learn at a Goodie Mob Concert.

1. ‘Cell Therapy’ Gets the Crowd Hyped

‘Cell Therapy’ — an ode to those paranoid by the government and one’s own habits — got the biggest reaction of the evening. Even bigger than CeeLo’s ‘Crazy.’ That sort of positive energy would have most audience members anticipating the next song. The chants corresponding to the song’s hook and the body movement were too on-point and rhythmic to be simply driven by the pre-hype though.

2. You Don’t Have to Know the Lyrics to Have a Good Time

As well-respected as Goodie Mob is, the quartet doesn’t really have an oeuvre of stadium-moving quotables. While the audience and passersby were enjoying themselves, there was a slight look of bewilderment on some of their faces as the group performed tracks from their catalog. That’s not to say there was any discontent though; that look was only temporary.

A few members of the audience could instantly recall ‘Crazy,’ the most popular song performed. One audience member mumbled, “There was something something something about that place” instead of using the proper line of “so pleasant.” At least he tried.

3. CeeLo Songs Get More of a Reaction Than Goodie Mob Songs

The audience was by no means anemic as Goodie Mob performed its first three songs: ‘Soul Food,’ ‘Get Rich to This’ and ‘Special Education’ sans Janelle Monae. But the crowd got more animated when the three fellow Goodie Mob members — Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo — stepped aside to allow CeeLo to perform two solo tracks. The singer did ‘Bright Lights Bigger City’ and ‘Crazy’ before going back into Goodie Mob material. He reminded the audience he had to do so since this was a Goodie Mob concert after all.

4. Hardcore CeeLo Fans Are Open to Goodie Mob Material

CeeLo Green does preach open-mindedness, so it’d make sense for his fans to follow the same belief. One 49-year-old woman arrived to the airport from Burlington, Vt., in time for her birthday when she unexpectedly came across the concert. “This was my surprise present,” she said. The attendee said she was a big CeeLo fan, but walked away favoring the Goodie Mob songs more. ‘They Don’t Dance No Mo’’– the final song of the concert — was her favorite.

5. Goodie Mob Isn’t Afraid to Take Chances

The JFK concert attendees included many passersby, airport workers who were just interested at the sight of a hip-hop group performing in the middle of a terminal and teenagers. With an audience this diverse, it was a bit of a surprise Goodie Mob elected to go with its 1995 single ‘Soul Food’ as the show opener instead of opting for newer material.

6. Critically Renowned Hip-Hop Groups Like to Do Normal People Stuff Too

The concert ended and attendees were on their way out of the airport after a swift meet and greet with three of the Goodie Mob members (sans CeeLo). As the group left, they say Khujo — still dressed in a black garb — was having a drink by the bar. He thanked people for attending as they passed through the exits.

7. You Can Actually Re-Create Chemistry

The audience was at its most hyper when Goodie Mob went through its final two songs, ‘Cell Therapy’ and ‘Soul Food.’ This wasn’t just because the crowd was trying to savor the final moments of the show. Energy is a contagious thing, and it was reinvigorating to see the four rappers feeding off of each other, doing those songs and cheering T-Mo on as he did his short dance solo. It’s been well over a decade since all four collaborated, so to see them mesh together this well was impressive.

8. Goodie Mob Are Very, Very Busy

The energy was even more impressive given how busy CeeLo said the group was. The bald entertainer said they had just flown in from Las Vegas, and he’d been up since 6:30 AM that day. The grind doesn’t stop even after more than 20 years in the game.

9. People Will Stop What They’re Doing for a Goodie Mob Show

If one were to look around the airport, they’d see security members, workers and travelers temporarily postpone their activities to enjoy the sights and sounds. Perhaps the workers were on break, but regardless, the concert was able to pull people from different corners of the terminal. This included employees from the Baked By Melissa and Cheeburger Cheeburger stores located across from each other, which is pretty impressive given how tasty the former’s cupcakes are.

10. CeeLo Loves to Converse With His Audience

CeeLo spoke to the audience right after he ended his mini-solo set. The singer praised Jet Blue for embracing hip-hop, thanked the crowd for being there and stated his belief in music. “Music should no long separate us,” he explained. “It should bring us together.” Throughout the concert, he joked about having to postpone a massage appointment because he wanted to perform longer. It’d be quite heroic if he was serious about rescheduling the activity though, putting his own pleasures aside for our own.

Next: 10 Things You Learn at a Big Sean Concert

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