All-Access: Def Jam Vendetta

I kept my ear to the ground at my station’s (97.9 the BEAT) promo meeting last week. Method Man was coming out on May 29 to battle our listeners in Def Jam Vendetta. I thought to myself "cool, I’ma fall through." I invited my girl Suga since she’s a Meth fanatic. May 29 – Dalla, […]

I kept my ear to the ground at my station’s (97.9 the BEAT) promo meeting last week. Method Man was coming out on May 29 to battle our listeners in Def Jam Vendetta. I thought to myself "cool, I’ma fall through." I invited my girl Suga since she’s a Meth fanatic.

May 29 – Dalla, TX

2:00pm: Suga hit me with like 3 emails tryna make sure I was still taking her to the station with me. We actually beat Meth to the station so we walked around the mall for a bit (yes, the radio station is in the mall). And by the time we got back he was in the studio. Now, the studio is all glass in the front, so it’s easy to get mofos’ attention. I dared her to hold a sign up for Meth. She did… "can you c## sign my jeans pleeze?" Meth knodded a definite "no doubt" and about 45 minutes later Suga had Meth’s autograph and a Wu symbol drawn on left ass-pocket of her jeans. She was taking pics but I was more interested in trying to find his label contact so I can hook up an interview… As we were leaving, a small squad walked up to the studio… somebody said something about being with Cadillac Tah. It didn’t register. About 30 minutes after that I heard Keith Murray on the rival station hyping up the Def Jam Vendetta tour. Somebody else told me they’d heard Joe Buddens on the radio too. *oh s###!* That’s why Meth’s ass was in town. The tour was sponsored by the rival station so I knew I wasn’t getting access but I wanted to go anyway… it was time to start making calls.

9:00pm: I couldn’t find anyone to go with me and I was about to get mad. I damn near called it a wrap before I remembered hearing Tah’s name. On a last ditch, I 2wayed my little sis that works at Murder Inc. Girlie works quickly because within about 4 pages I had a contact name and an all-access pass. I got Suga on the phone and she said she’d roll out with me.

11:30pm: Dex Diamond from the INC was our connect, but as we’re strolling past tour busses I heard somebody call me… it was my date from prom back in ’96! I hadn’t seen that character in like 4 years. Shadow had been working for Def Jam forever and I damn forgot. He told me that the venue (Blackberry’s) was on some b#######, complaining about the Vendetta street team’s shirts, charging extra to male clubgoers that came dressed casual, and they damn near cancelled the concert. *psht* Gotta love Dallas. This is why tours like this usually skip us. Anyway, Dex came and got me and Suga. We got out of paying a $20 cover charge, copped some all-access wristbands and got a spot right next to the stage to see the show and play paparazzi.

12:00am: Meth was the host. He didn’t perform.. the most we got was an "M-E-T-H-O-D." Cadillac Tah was the first to perform. Him and his peoples did their thing. I feel kinda crazy admitting that I only knew which one Tah was by looking at the posters in the club. (Tell me it’s a regional thing and I won’t feel so bad.) They did about 5 songs, what would have been a decent set if the audio didn’t keep f###### up. They lost their big speakers too many times to count. They even got the crowd involved by getting them to chant "fix that s###."

Joe Budden was next up, his roadies warmed the crowd up for him before he rushed the stage in a HOODED VELOUR WARMUP. Damn. I was sweating FOR that cat. We’re talking about Texas, yo… where it’s 90 degrees at night! Joe and his hype man are definitely two cats high on life right now because they ran back and forth across the stage like it was going out of style. He even climbed on top of the 4-foot speakers for a verse. When they took a breather to talk to the crowd, he asked Dallas to represent… then told us we needed to be quiet because we lost to the Spurs. His set was about 5 songs long as well. He did "Focus" and had to come out his jewels before he did "Pump it Up." Mad energy… mad sweaty. And he never came outta that big Philly cap that damn near covered his eyes.

In between acts Suga and I took flix with the artists. I had to go holla at Joe for a minute… I’m still kinda partial to him because he was my first artist interview for Dex made sure we got introduced to everybody, bought us drinks and was a good host. He had some stage time during Tah’s performance. When it was done he was back with me and Suga. He looked out for me because he’s tight with my little sis, but I think my booty-ful friend Suga got special attention.

1:00am: When Freeway came on deck, I promise that was the livest I’ve seen the crowd. East Coast hip hop gets spins out here but of course never to the degree they do in the East. Free represented lovely, flowing past the end of tracks a few times. Cats were really digging that. He asked the crowd how many of them bought his album and he got a pretty decent response. I was shocked because Dallasites are really laid back when it comes to crowd participation. They rocked along with him to cuts from his album but everyone went crazy when he did "Roc the Mic." (partially because local artists sampled the beat to make a Mavericks playoff theme song last year, but anyway..) Mister engergy himself, Joe Budden came back to the stage to play hype man for Free.

CNN brought up the rear of the show. Capone and N.O.R.E. Kicked some unfamilar songs (damn, I’ve been in the south too long… either that or I don’t watch enough BET). But of course you know they had to unleash "Superthug." They performed "Nothing" at the end of their set, inviting any chick that was willing to come dance with them on the stage. Hey, I’m no wallflower, so I got my ass up there right next to Capone, singing right along with them. Stage lights are HOT, feel me. As the rest of us walked off the side of the stage, N.O.R.E. stepped right off the front into the sea of girls.

1:50am: The Vendetta roadies started cleaning up their stuff and the deejay spun some ish us locals were used to hearing… some Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz, Ying Yang Twins, Lil Flip and a whole lot of UGK. By then most of the artists had picked their chicks for the night and left, while thier roadies were still out mingling with the local flava. Freeway and the dudes from the Roc stayed til the club was over–which was just another 10 minutes. We shut it down early out here, man.

In three hours I’d taken 35 photos, got a Joe Budden tee shirt, had 2 drinks and been hit on by 4 locals and 3 roadies. (Those are low stats, I’m a lot more low key than I was in my early days). Dex stuck with me and Suga. We shot the s### with him and few familiar faces from the club. Me and a cat named JC talked about food and living in Dallas as opposed to NY. I found out my little sis got a little credo behind her name because everybody that heard I was fam treated me real nice. I got home as my mom was waking up for work and I’m running on 3 hours of sleep right now.