hip hop happenings through the eyes of the elusive but serenely enthused concert attendee
on sunday night, i went to a brother ali/ghostface/rakim concert with the ineffable kerry.
as someone who attends concerts with sincere rarity, the ones i do go to i try and absorb with studied concentration and eagerness.
and hip hop concerts are on another level especially. they embody a raw energy that seizes the venue into a collective raised fist. there is a freshly bruised simmering tension that envelops one’s consciousness when listening to live hip hop, and it’s hard to relate it to any other situation.
oh, and just like any other good concert, there are people moved to ridiculousness through the power of art. and that’s really all one can ask for at the end of the week.
FYI, we were standing one floor one up looking down on the stage so think aerial view of action. this is probably mostly irrelevant information.
x-zibit A: pimp my dodge
the concert had a live band accompaniment by the rhymthm roots all-stars (LA-based) with a lot of percussion. yes, that means not only drums but cowbell (omg), triangle, some steel fancypants contraptions as well as some horn business. beats were dropping from the sky practically. the concert was part of the Hip Hop Live! tour sponsored by dodge/flow.tv so that was kind of funny when the quasi-underground rappers were like ‘hey, goooo corporate america! and no i didn’t get paid to say that. or did i?’
x-zibit B: counterculture shock
hipster kid at concert who was wearing a honeybee sweater (yellow and black horizontal stripes), skinny jeans, a sinful haircut with matching facial hair and who seemingly showed up as extra credit for a college course. i don’t mean to only judge him on appearance but rather also on behavior. though it was unclear whether he had familiarity with the artists performing (i barely did), his raised right hand during certain songs was the best part. its slightly curled fingers were halfway between confidently beat-punctuating and sheepishly waving at a neighbor who just caught him nude tanning in his backyard.
x-zibit C: leader of the snack pack
i like when musicians tell stories/anecdotes in between their songs. and sure enough, ghostface told a story about sleeping on his tour bus and waking up one day and wanting some of his oreo cookies. well it turns out some groupie girls ate all of his cookies. so he went on for awhile about how “mother@#$^ in’ b!t*()es ate my cookies!” and then naturally into a song about it. another surefire example of art imitating life imitating sure, ok.
theodore unit, his posse, didn’t seem thrilled about the incident either. i’ll let you decide for yourselves their collective grievance with the wayward women in question.
ghostface was also wearing a piece of bling that looked like a gold chain with a healthy-sized 6-month-old human baby hanging from it.
x-zibit D: supafan’s kryptonite is proximity to idols
i think kerry and i can easily agree that the best part of the night was the supafan who was watching the show in our vicinity. he basically had a spiritual reawakening during the show. he was jumping all over the place doing the dance from kid ‘n play for many of the songs (the funky charleston). but then he would dance his way over to the balcony to glimpse a mere peep of his heroes, and then shake his head. he had one friend who he would sometimes go to for pep talks during the concert or to charge back up for more dancing.
at one point, rakim announced “let’s take it to level 10!” and supafan started to proclaim “i can’t take no more!” like a new convert to a fervent religion. sometimes he would say this to himself. sometimes to the nearest person. always with conviction. he said it to kerry at least 4-5 times in succession. i’m sure supafan’s friend also got to hear more than a few “i can’t take no more!”s as well. a few times supafan indicated as if he were going to throw himself off of the balcony. i am guessing these gestures were an attempted demonstration of adoration, but i considered these instances the lower points of the night. i was always more than slightly relieved when he went back to a fast, snappy rendition of the running man.
i take awful concert photos.