Photos by Jared Harrison – Special Thanks: Tanki Nyane
7:47. Arrive with videographer, who is acting a little funnier than usual. Crowd is sparse. Tank, one of the promoters, is on stage hyping the brave fifteen or twenty around the stage with vigor.
8:00 sharp. First opener, Red Team, goes on. Two big guys with strong, syncopated flows over competent beats. Lots of practice evident. Slip between single- and double-time (think Twista) flows easily. Non-show personnel on stage at this time: five or six, including a girl who looked like an Italian Rae Dawn Chong hanging out with the DJ. “Come and get laced and get a little taste of this mic-ology”
8:19. COTD go on. Four guys with hooks like “I got a squad of goons/call it my goon team”
8:21. The photographer from the DI is here too. He and the LV guy pass each other on the floor, trade nods.
8:38. Politicking on stage between the promoters and people waiting to go on. DDDDDDJ CLAYMORE plays that airhorn sound effect about 70 times in four minutes. He alternates with the sound of a shotgun racking.
8:40. Millz goes one. One guy with an intense stage presence. He says “been spittin’ that shit since the towers been gone” and I can hear the crowd like that. He spits something crazy over the Show Me What You Got beat. He’s off the stage at one point, rhyming in the crowd. The soundguy, who thinks technically as much as he does aesthetically, sighs, knowing the cord mess he’ll have to untangle after the show. An r n’ b guy named Jaron(?) comes on with Millz and ends up getting the crowd vibing along. This is the singer’s first-ever live show, and he aquits himself pretty well. The photographer and I sent the videographer off to John’s to get supplies, and he hasn’t returned yet. The photographer is getting antsy for smokes.
9:20. After finding the videographer outside, the three of us head back in, in time for Izzy Dunfore. He’s got a good thing going with his dj/hype man, DJ Fate. Fate backs his rhymes up, scratches over beats—he’s got a lot on his plate. Izzy seems to have brought a crowd, and they sing along with hooks like “with a second set of lungs you couldn’t get high as me.”
9:40. The Midwest Money Movement has a kid that can’t be older than thirteen in their group. Videographer and I debate the Jermaine Dupri-esque pros and cons of a personnel move like that. They do raps about money, rims, and girls who won’t call when they say they will, and girls who are as bad as they want to be–“Shortie knows she bad/she like ‘Throw it in a Gucci bag’”.
9:58. The strict no-drinking rule for Videographer and myself is voted out, and drinks are procured. 10:24. Sid the Kid, the other promoter, on stage hyping the crowd with call and response stuff. He shouts out 50 Cent and G-Unit, and somewhere out there in the night, Curtis stirs in his sleep and mumbles get money into his pillow. There are at least 25 other people on stage besides Sid the Kid at this point, only maybe four of whom are going to be performing any time this night.
10:25. A-Spell and crew go on. Tracks like “It’s on Deck” and “(Would You Be My) Down-Ass Bitch”. The posse knows all the words. That’s like having ten hype men!
10:40. Sid the Kid requests that all non-performers leave the stage. Maybe 4 people go out the back door.
10:42. Sid the Kid intervenes again, ordering the dj to stop the music, “Hol up hol up hol up! If you’re not a performer, get off the stage” [this portion of the report has been redacted for legal reasons]
11:35. Next act is Chilly Chill from Minneapolis who immediately informs us that MINNESOTA IN THE BUILDING. We are convinced. His hype man is very active and on top of his hypin’ game. Chilly Chill’s got a big necklace and the lyrics to back it up.
11:44. 28 people on stage.
11:54. A fight tries to break out in the crowd, but it doesn’t go very far. Security is on point tonight, but not overdoing it. That goes in general for the whole promotion side of things. Show keeps on moving, no let-up.
Midnight sharp. Mike Page comes in a big dramatic entrance with the lights off. He’s got two full-time hype men! At one point during a call and response where he’s asking where the ladies are, who’s gonna get high tonight, he blurts out “Where all the horny ass fellas?” and videographer and I share a hug.
12:08. Among the mass of humanity on stage at this point, there are 3 guys videotaping (two of whom are trying to dance at the same time) and 2 guys taking photos.
12:14. The videographer, and many others in the building, break the smoking ordinance.
12:16. 35+ people on stage.
12:24. Sid the Kid: “If you are not Mike Page or part of his entourage, please clear the stage or the fire marshal will shut us down.” The sound man reveals that he is in fact, playing the part of fire marshal as well tonight.
12:27. Did he just say “Got a pretty-ass face and an ass like a horse?”
12:31. Videographer: “Oh there’s that lil thirteen-year-old with a gang of hoes!”
12:50-55. Sid the Kid throws tee-shirts to the crowd.
1:02. The crowd loves Wayne Wonder.
1:04. Promoters clear the stage, scurry around picking up bottles and assorted crap with an intense look about them.
1:17. Here we go. Yung Joc comes on. Crowd excited. Joc very excited, swinging towel, running back and forth.
1:23. We see LV photographer get the $ shot.
1:29. Lots of badgering the sound guy to turn it up til it pop.
1:33. Crowd loses shit for “Buy U A Drink”.
1:38. Lights on, Champagne sprayed, & “It’s Going Down”.
1:45. Videographer struggles to make words.