Show date: September 24, 2008
@ Fish Eye
It’s 7:00 in the morning right now, and I haven’t slept yet since last night’s show. That’s usually a sign that things went pretty well. Either that, or really bad — but I assure you it’s the former. This wasn’t even billed as a “show” per se, so I myself didn’t know what to expect going in. I was just contacted by the promoter, K. Woo, who told me she was throwing this party at a spot called Fish Eye in Brooklyn. She arranged for me to appear on the flyer and make a special guest appearance. On the flyer, it was being advertised as Get Ready for Miami: The Pre-Miami Carnival Event. (In the middle of Canarsie. Go figure that one out.) Nonetheless, when I spoke with K. Woo over the phone, she told me I could also perform if I wanted. Later, she’d ask if I’d do “Dreams Come True” so that became the plan. I brought Timid along with me, and we rolled into BK thinking it was going to be some kind of reggae club night with a short performance in the middle.
Here comes the fun part of the story. Timid always gets hungry right before a performance, so we hit up a Burger King near the club. We pulled up at 10:44 PM. Despite the sign on the door saying they closed at 11, and all the lights being on, the doors were locked. So, we got back in the car and tried the drive thru. After a few seconds of silence, I was like, “They’re probably just going to ignore us.” Timid said, “Probably.” Then a quiet voice whispered something that I’m assuming translated roughly to, “Can I help you?” but only because I’m not sure what else could be said in such a situation. While trying to decipher, I heard a faint “Hello?” When I tried to order, she said: “Hold on.” So I held on. After a few seconds: “Hello?” again. This exchange actually happened three or four times before I was finally able to order some Whopper Junior and Veggie Burger value meals. That’s when a new phrase was introduced into the conversation: “What kind of drinks?” My “Coke and Sprite” reply was promptly met with another “Hold on.”
Believe it or not, things got stranger.
I pulled up to the window to pay, and the lady stuck her hand out as if she was signalling for me to stop. Not knowing why she’d make such a gesture, I slowly moved forward, when she screamed out, “WAIT!” Wait? Why? “THE VEGGIES NEED TIME TO COOK! CAN YOU BACK UP A LITTLE?”
W… T… F!!!!!!!!
That was our exact reaction. We weren’t allowed to see the veggies being cooked? Timid and I were perplexed, and trying to come up with explanations for what was going down. Possible theories included the staff secretly finishing a blunt behind the counter and the place getting robbed often before we arrived at the conclusion that there was no party and we were actually being filmed for a new spin off of Punk’d. Incredibly, we eventually got our food but never did figure out why we couldn’t peak in before it was served to us. I think we were too shocked to ask, but we did check our burgers to make sure they weren’t tampered with.
As it turned out, K. Woo was not an Ashton in training, and the party really did exist. The spot itself wasn’t too easy to find, though. It looked to be an industial area, and the outside of the club wasn’t too lit, so it blended in with the warehouses. The inside was a whole different story. It was set up quite nicely, resembling the kind of lounge you’d see in downtown Manhattan. We grabbed a table and a few people came up to talk to me, including a dude who used to intern at Rawkus. The atmosphere was nice and chill, until they started the performances. That’s when it morphed into an actual show — which is fine, but not what I was expecting. A few reggae singers blessed the stage, and there was one other Hip Hop act named Supa who gave me props, and his demo CD. He actually did straight-up underground rap, which contrasted with the party vibe we were coming with. By the time I got called on stage, I was in the mood to do something more lyrical, which was further fueled by some dudes at the side of the stage screaming, “Pizon! You better go in!” (NY Hip Hop slang for “You better come with it”). For the sake of sticking to the gameplan and honoring the promoter’s request, we did “Dreams Come True” anyway, but right when I mentioned that Family Business was coming soon, featuring Mr. Porter from D12, Timid interjected with, “Let’s do that song.” That was not something that was planned, but we did have the instrumental on the CD so we rolled with it. It was an intimate enough setting to amend the show from the stage. That enabled both of us to “go in” (pause?). As the beat faded out after the second verse, I just kept rapping until I was spitting acapella. When I stopped, the crowd went crazy so that was my cue to exit. I had given both the promoter and the fans what they wanted.
Right before I stepped off, I picked up a flyer and asked who there was actually “ready for Miami,” and most of them didn’t even know that’s how the show was billed. My parting words were: “Fuck it. I’m always ready for Miami.”
Thanks to everyone who showed love after the set and gave me their business cards and/or CDs. I’m down to build with anyone. To the dude from Bed Stuy who was asking where I’ll be next, come out to the NYC Marathon show on November 2 in Harlem if you can. To everyone who took pictures, post them up or send them to me on MySpace. There should also be video footage surfacing soon. Before I wrap this up, shout outs to K. Woo, Timid, Supa, Keishera, Troublesum (Reggae’s Next Superstar), Joe Manigo, DJ Fiyah C, the whole Fish Eye, and everyone else in the spot. We need to do it again soon.