I’m not sure if I have a true bucket list of performers I’d like to see, as I’ve seen the majority. KRS? Yep and it was amazing. The Roots? Baddest yet. The Wu, both as a whole, the solo sets and splinter groups? Yep, yep and yep. PE @ their peak. Cypress Hill when they first lit the blunt. Saw The God MC in A, as well as my favorite nigga Bigga. Kanye? Yessir. I’d like to catch Boosie but it looks like I’ll be waiting a couple of years for that.
“Who’s the best emcees? Biggie, Jay-Z and Nas…”
That’s where it gets cloudy for me. I’d obviously remember if I saw Biggie and I don’t recall that. Specifically Nas and Jay are hazy for me. I think I saw Nas around the time of whatever album “If I Ruled The World” was out and his pink suit was in. I remember him doing one of the shortest sets for a headliner ever. And in my mind, I swear I saw Jay perform during the Hard Knock Life tour. But coincidentally around the time the millennium was threatening to wipe away the earth so I was partying like it was indeed 1999, my system filled with the adrenaline that fast living creates, alcohol and other stimulants.
So in recent years, I wiped my list clean and started anew. And on Friday, I’ve been afforded “media access” (quotations because I’m not sure what media access means) to see Jay-Z, along with Wale & J. Cole, as they come to perform @ Vanderbilt University for the Nashville stop of the current tour.
Anticipating it? Yes and no. It’s well documented that Gotty™ hitched a ride on the Wale bandwagon early, dating back to when “Dig Dug” was still only getting regional burn. Saving you the word count, I’ve tracked & supported his career faithfully, despite TC’s objections to my lauding of his mixtape performances. As well, I saw him perform earlier in the year and walked away with my faith intact.
J. Cole? Well, reflect back to A3C, where he headlined one of the nights for Perfect Attendance. Uhh…I was on stage snapping pics for that. Dude’s tall. Oh yeah, and he can rock. Furthermore, Tinsley keeps me updated on everything Cole-related so…yeah.
But now Jay-Z? After the Fuse show, I realized that no rapper before and maybe not after will amass the body of work that Jay has. Say what you will but the man performed for two hours…and you knew the words for at least one and a half of those hours. Think about that. Imagine yourself @ a karaoke bar where they played nothing but hits you still probably would have to sit out a few songs where you didn’t know the words. Not the case with Jay.
So, again, yes and no.
A resounding yes applies because it will afford me the chance to finally meet DJ Neil Armstrong. Basically, without Neil, we probably wouldn’t be in the position where I could ask the events manager “Hey, let TSS get media access to this show.” If you’re unfamiliar, back in the days when we were still heavy bootleggin’, I posted Neil’s catalog, he found us and politely asked us to pull it. I agreed and politely asked for an interview in return…nevermind the fact that I’d never conducted an interview before in my life. Thus, the lighter was sparked for our first Session, I’ve remained in contact with Neil, yada ya.
The only suck ass part of the whole deal is I won’t be given backstage access. Well, I could but only under the pretense that it would be to conduct an interview and then be ushered back out. Jay’s got that joint locked down tighter than 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and I’m not about to have Julius sideswipe my ass for lookin’ @ Beyonce’s ass (Technically, I’ve already been in arm’s reach, Jay, and I didn’t act a fool). I asked Neil and I could hear the apprehension in his voice so I didn’t press the issue. Wale? Enh, like I said, I “know” Wale @ this point through his music, his Twittering and briefly spoke with him last time he was in the city (Me speaking to an artist = “Hey, I like your music. Keep making it” and then I’m off to smoke a cigarette). Lastly, we’ve interviewed him previously. Only thing I want to chop it up with him about is getting a connect @ Beaverton or razz him about the ‘Skins. The lovely J. Cole Session was just a few months ago so no need in really going back to rehash that.
That’s one thing about me: I really don’t have much to talk to about with artists. That’s TC’s bag. Hell, I barely carry on empty conversations with people in my daily routine. When I see Pill, we talk about shit other than music. Same for Mike. I like Buff1, as he’s a cool character. Joe “Tall Can” Scudda had me talking about college football & blogging.
So even though I have media access that will probably have me in some camera pit with 80 other motherfuckers where there should only be 40, catch me in the crowd with the rest of the plebeians. I’ll snap a few pics and have a report for everyone, doing my blogger duties. But if one of you knaves steps on my sneakers, coverage will be cut short fam.