USA – Atlanta ~2011
Naturally while I was in the USA I wanted to soak up as much….errr…culture, as possible! This is my vague aim everywhere I go I suppose, after all before you know it, the trip, holiday, or stay, is over – and you are back in your “ordinary” setting, almost like it didn’t ever happen at all! You are just left with the memories…so why not make ones that are worth remembering? Ones that are unique to the place you momentarily find yourself?
Makes sense, right?
Well, one thing that is undoubtedly HUGE in the USA, particularly in Atlanta...is rap music. So when a friend of mine told me that one of my favourite artists, Wale, would be performing at an intimate venue within the next week – I didn’t even have to mull over whether or not I would be in attendance, it was a simple:”YES, YES, YUSSS!” Or you know…like, words of that nature.
After all the way he constructs his songs, the topics he touches on, and his overall lyricism, are something which I had deeply admired for some time! My friend told me that an up-and-coming local act, who is popular in the area (Waka Flocka Flame) would be supporting him. I thought this was fair enough. But…I didn’t have a clue who this young chap was, so I did a little research of my own…
Here’s an example of what my search came up with – this is taken from his break-through track ‘Hard In Da Paint’;
“what the fuck you thinkin’ n***a, I won’t die for this shit – or what the fuck I say – BRICK SQUAAAAAD! – front yard broad day with da SK – BA BA BA BA BA BA BOW!”
Alright Mr, Waka, to each his own! And just for the sake of comparison, here’s an example of Wale’s lyrics, taken from his track ‘Bittersweet’;
“understand every imperfection – I just embrace it, and take it in within my essence, with little effort, soon they will respect it – I am the smelling-salt, to whomsoever narcoleptic!”
The astute among you will probably notice that they are two very different artists. But this didn’t stop me from heading there anyway, why not see what the people loved so much about Flocka?! When we arrived there it was packed out, and we could smell those weeds cigarettes things strongly (what are they called? I wouldn’t know..) Anyway, we pushed, and squirmed ourselves awkwardly to the front, and waited it out. I was squished in, and my arms were locked into a T-Rex position…but at least I had a good view. I wouldn’t get to do much dancing, or bouncing, or anything else of that matter – I could probably do a great mime of a bongo player, but that’s about it.
After a couple of, errr, sub-par warm up acts – it was announced that the home-town hero Waka Flocka would be coming out…the place went fucking bananas! It became apparent that most had came to see him, rather than the main act himself, Wale…
Out he popped, bringing ear bleeding bass along with him, it was thumping so loud that I thought my heart was going to burst out of my rib-cage…but with that said it was all a pretty exhilarating display – before long he was diving into the crowd, I didn’t exactly know what was going on but I sure was enjoying it!
There was pushing, and shoving – my arms were free at last! But then some huge sweaty titan had his arm around me all of a sudden…a long slug like trail all across my shoulders, and the back of my neck. It was the man himself! He was shaking his head in a mad frenetic motion, flicking it, and swirling it along to his booming beat. (A bit of one of his deadlock things slapped me in the eye, which kinda hurt, but I didn’t have much time to think about it!)
Security moved him away, and he pushed on to the other side of the stage – grasping arms outstretched trying to catch a feel. He made it back up to the steps with huge difficulty – but it’s at that moment that Wale came out. It was kind of weird to have him there all of a sudden, I enjoyed hearing his material, and he is certainly a cool guy in the flesh – but the crowd wasn’t right for it…in fact he kept making apologies, and at one time even said “I know you came here to see Flocka, and don’t know the words to my songs – but just vibe with me anyway”… I wanted to be like “I DO, I DO, MR. WALE – I DOOOOO!” But then I thought I would come off like a goody-two-shoes at school, a teacher’s pet, you know? And anyway, it’s not like he could have heard me amongst all the ensuing crowd madness.
When the show was over, everyone was grinning from ear to ear – it had been a fantastic night after all. I realised that in the hustle, and bustle I had lost the cap I was wearing..,probably during the whole Waka Flocka man hug dance situation, or whatever you want to call it. I’m not mad or anything, but if he wants to send me a new one, that would be fine with me.