Show date: December 29, 2007
@ Turntable Club
It was definitely a good weekend for The Fam. Timid rocked a show in Brooklyn with Cee Rock on Friday, and EJ and myself hit up Baltimore on Saturday. Of course, these things never go down without some sort of drama. Every Hip Hop experience comes with an action adventure story, so here it goes…
RAWKUS SHOW IN BALTIMORE
This was a show that was put together by the Low Budget Crew from Maryland, whose members are also part of the Rawkus 50. I got an email last week about a Rawkus show going down in Baltimore on Saturday and got in touch with the promoters. I had never performed in Baltimore before, and being a part of the Rawkus roster, I wanted to get down. They were enthusiastic about adding me to the show, even though it was last minute. Right off the bat, I have to give major props to DJ Roddy Rod, Cy Young, and Kaimbr for showing nothing but love.
On Thursday, I called EJ in New York and asked him, “What you doing this weekend?” He said, “Nothing really, why?” I said, “Come down and rock this show in Baltimore with me.”
So the plan was for EJ to catch the Chinatown bus from New York to DC, where I would pick him up on Saturday afternoon and we’d only have a few hours to rehearse the set. He ended up missing the bus, and assumed he wouldn’t make it in time. Finally, I was able to convince him to catch a different bus, and even offered to cover his fare since the ticket he bought was non-refundable. Since he just moved to NY and doesn’t have a cell phone yet, I didn’t know for sure if he ended up getting on that second bus or not. Hours were going by with no word from anyone, so I started preparing for a solo set without him. Then, at 4:00, I got a text message from his fiancee saying he got on the 1:30 bus. That meant I’d have to pick him up in an hour. When the bus came, he wasn’t on it. I waited around until 6:30 to see if maybe another bus would come in, but it never did. I was told the bus that came was indeed the one that left NY at 1:30. With no phone on him, I had no way of reaching him, plus MY cell phone battery had died so I left it home to charge. I was thinking, “Wow, life without cell phones, this must be what the old days were like,” before realizing this is what it was like just 7 years ago.
I ended up going back to my apartment to check my phone, and I saw I had 162 missed calls. Somehow, his bus left him off a block away from where I was waiting for him, and when I was leaving, he saw me drive right past him. He was down to his last quarter on the payphone, and was pleading for me to “come back and STOP this time.” 15 minutes later, I was back in DC and finally scooped him up. By now, it was 7:45. The show was supposed to start at 9. Neither of us ate all day, and the set still had to be prepared. Baltimore is an hour away. Not good.
Luckily, The Patriots saved the day. I called DJ Roddy Rod and let him know the situation, and he said not to sweat it because everyone was watching the game and no one was there yet.
He wasn’t kidding.
We got there after 10, and the club was COMPLETELY empty sans the homie Truplaya who catches all of our east coast shows. This dude has seen us in New York, Philadelphia, and more, but he’s from Baltimore so I knew he’d be there Saturday, even with a flu. He’s the man, plain and simple. (He even took the pics for us.) The club itself was nice, though when we turned onto the block we thought we were lost because it was in the middle of the ghetto with abandoned buildings, rats walking the sidewalks, etc. But there it was, The Turntable Club, the only sign of life amidst endless yards of neglect, its vibrating walls pumping a different kind of bass into the street.
The game finally ended, and by 11:30, the club did pack out. They were ready for a show.
So we gave them a show.
We came out to a “NY State of Mind” instrumental and let the Baltimore heads know that we had love for them, but we rep New York wherever we go (me being born and raised, EJ as NYC’s newest proudest resident). From there, I did one verse and hook off “Drastic Measures” from the Rawkus album, and one verse and hook off “Don’t Know Where to Lie” from the new release. Still being in the Christmas spirit, I gave out a t-shirt, CD, and DVD to the heads who were the loudest. EJ got some shine with a performance of “Bad Man” and then we debuted the new Fam song “Get Off My Ass” produced by and featuring Mr. Porter (aka Kon Artis from D12), but EJ cut me off 2 bars into the first verse, saying we should save that for 2008. We made up for the tease with the bounce track “Baby Baby” which served as our first collab of the night.
After my “Is you is, or is you ain’t my homegirl” line at the end of the verse, I cut it off, explained to the crowd the significance of the word homegirl in that sentence, and proceeded to teach them the “Homegirls” hook: “I’m trapped in my own mind, caught up in my own world/ No wifey, I’m gettin’ head from my homegirls.” We then launched into the “Homegirls” remix (with the EJ verse and mine where I say a variation of “back to the car” on every line). That song ALWAYS gets the crowd hype at shows, and Baltimore was no exception. It’s always great to see the dudes who were trying to act cool all night lose it and end up in tears from laughing at the punchlines and concept of that song. I don’t care where you’re from, getting head from your homegirls is something every man can relate to. It’s just the perfect fun, feel good song to do at shows. People were saying that should be a single, but we’d never get it on the radio without having to censor it beyond recognition. I ended the set with an acapella verse I’d never performed before, thanked Bmore for the love, and we left the stage. I was very pleased with the performance.
Next it was time for the Low Budget cats to do their thing, and they killed it. Kev Brown even came out and performed, which was a pleasant surprise to me because he’s another established artist. He used to get a lot of love on my radio show. When we were about to leave at the end of the night, he came up to us and said, “Hey, you guys were good.” I gave him a pound and said, “Thanks, you too.” Even the bartender thanked us for coming to Baltimore and performing, and when she had trouble swiping my credit card for the drinks we bought, Kaimbr told her, “Just put it on my tab. They came from New York to perform, I’m not going to make them pay for drinks.” It was just love all around.
We chopped it up with Truplaya (seen above) outside the club for a bit, and he was still excited about the show he’d just seen. He came to see us perform, but didn’t know who else was on the bill. It turned out to be an extra special night for him because he was familiar with Kev Brown, the other Rawkus 50 artists, and said he even knew about Cy Young before he got signed.
Overall, the show was dope, and the energy was crazy all night. 2007 was the best year of my professional career, from signing the deal with Rawkus to making my first magazine cover to seeing my name in XXL and more. This show in Baltimore was the perfect way to end it. As every year has brought me more success than the last, I can’t wait for what 2008 has in store for me. Or should I say, what I have in store for it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!