Rapper Rob Base didn’t think his 1988 hit with DJ E-Z Rock, “It Takes Two,” would ever be a hit, let alone a legendary smash, when they wrote it.
“When we were putting our records together, we were putting them together for the neighborhood we grew up in, maybe the tri-state area,” Base says with a laugh about New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“Then it (‘It Takes Two’) got bigger than big. We didn’t know it would be all over the world. Hip-hop was still building up. Songs like that weren’t around at that time. We just wanted to be different.”
Base will perform the song with a co-headlining show, “Legends of Freestyle,” with Coolio at the Tempe Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 21.
“It should be fun,” he says. “We’re definitely going to bring back the old school. There’s going to be a lot of audience participation and we’ll be hitting them with the classics. It’s going to be a good time. Every time I hit that stage, it feels like 1988 again.”
The only thing missing is DJ E-Z Rock, who died in 2014 after a diabetic seizure at age 46.
“I definitely miss him,” Base says. “We were best friends since the fourth grade. He’s not physically there with me, but it feels like he’s still with us.”
At “Legends of Freestyle,” Base says it’s fun mingling with the crowd, which is a healthy dose of those who grew up listening to Base and Coolio and their children.
“What’s so special is some of the kids weren’t even born when the records came out,” Base says. “They know the songs word for word. They know the songs from their parents playing it around the house. Like, for example, when I was growing up, my parents played James Brown and stuff like that.”
He’s looking forward to visiting Arizona.
“I love being in Arizona,” he says. “They always show me mad love out there. They definitely know how to party.”
“Legends of Freestyle” with Coolio and Rob Base
Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, 480.350.2822, tempecenterforthearts.com, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, $20-$30.