A lot was made of hip-hop's 50th anniversary during Saturday night's New York State of Mind Tour stop at Target Center.

It was about time more was made of the genre's veterans, too — acts like the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and De La Soul, who teamed up for the action-packed, revue-style concert.

The same arena where early rap giants LL Cool J and Public Enemy played to a measly 2,000 people on the Kings of the Mic Tour in 2013 — that one gave new meaning to "throw your hands in the air!" — Target Center was reassuringly crowded if not packed on Saturday for the NYC hip-hop trifecta, with about 9,000 fans on hand.

Not only did a good-sized crowd show up, but the co-headlining Wu-Tang crew and Nas also found a good way to present their classic tracks in a new, energized way, using a six-piece backing band to help meld their set into one long marathon performance.

In the opening slot, the remaining two members of De La Soul, Posdnuos and Maseo, also found a novel way to tour without co-founder Trugoy the Dove, who died in February: They recruited fellow New York rapper Talib Kweli to join them — an influential voice whom they influenced.

Only 15 minutes after Kweli helped start the party with "Stakes Is High," though, De La's set weirdly came to an abrupt halt. That was it. It was the second arena hip-hop show in a row where fans were shortchanged by the veteran opener, following Busta Rhymes' spotty set with 50 Cent at Xcel Energy Center last month. They didn't even have time to deliver "Me, Myself and I."

Fans got their money's worth the rest of the night, though, as more than three dozen songs came flying at them in a rapid-fire, 2¼-hour procession.

Wu-Tang's first of three sets started with their producer/leader RZA taking the stage on a high riser with the band, where he started a chant to introduce GZA, the first in a rotating cast of Clan members. GZA's "Liquid Swords" soon bled into Raekwon's "Incarcerated Scarfaces" (accompanied by footage of Al Pacino's Tony Montana), followed by Ghostface Killah's "Mighty Healthy."

Nearly all the Wu crew joined in for "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" and "Bring da Ruckus" before letting Nas take over. And did he ever.

"Happy birthday, hip-hop!" the rapper born Nasir Jones — who turned 50 this year, too — yelled after delivering "Hate Me Now" and "Get Down" with the potent flow of a 20-year-old.

"Fifty years, and I think we're just getting started."

Nas was just getting started with his initial 30-minute set, highlighted by a biting performance of the Mobb Deep track "Eye for a Eye (Your Beef Is Mines)" with Raekwon. Following Wu-Tang's second set, he returned for an even rowdier half-hour run featuring more of his older classics, including "The World Is Yours," "Nas Is Like" and "If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)." Their braggadocious tone rang all the truer a quarter-century later.

Wu-Tang's second set dug deeper into the oldies, too, particularly from the group's 1993 debut "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)."

One of the loudest cheers of the night came with the arrival of Method Man, who had missed many prior stops on the tour due to actor work but showed up Saturday to the tune of "Wu-Tang Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit" and his namesake song. That led to a run through "C.R.E.A.M." and "Protect Ya Neck" with all the crew — and most of the crowd — in tow on vocals.

The live band added a little oomph and energy to the Wu-Tang set, but the group sounded tighter and mightier during the Soundset festival at the State Fairgrounds in 2018 (a sorely missed event that also hosted Nas and De La). RZA freestyled through a moving tribute to Prince to star the group's third set, which got a little messy and goofy.

Nas then ended the night appropriately with his ode to hip-hop, "One Mic," with the lines, "All I need is one mic, one beat, one stage." Saturday's show suggested that a whole bunch of mics and beat-makers are needed for classic-rap acts to fill an arena, but the bundling in this case worked like a charm.