Hip hop shows.
Yeah, maybe I'm just on a bad run right now. Maybe it's just Texas and New Mexico (and Oklahoma and Kansas). I mean, it's not like we're the mecca of hip hop down here. Maybe I'm getting old...too old for this ish. But I'm about to lose my mind up in here. I realize it's how artists make the cash (merch, door, etc.). I understand it's how artists develop careers, but I'm sick of it. Maybe, and just maybe, artists need to step their game up and bring it, f'real.
Either way, this ain't about the artists. This about the attendents. And this is, furthermore, about how much I hate these cats that crowd these shows anymore. And to be fair, yes, I fall into one of these categories. Let's be real: hip hop heads can be seriously annoying. I mean, it's like hating my own kind, but we get hung up on some really stupid ish sometimes. Listen to some old head talk about how they don't do it like they used to. Listen to some young buck talk about Aesop Rock like he's the second coming of Rakim. Listen to these college kids talk about Wu Tang like they was there! Shaddup, homie. You ain't even knowing. Go comb ya beard. Here's my watch...go pawn it and buy a new Jansport.
But I digress.
I believe I was talking hip hop shows. Let's get to the nitty gritty, shall we?
Let's break it into six different categories. First we have the...
This is fairly typical of this breed. This fella is perfect intent on simply filming the performance and enjoying it later instead of gettin down with his bad self and living in the moment. Nope, one hand holding the camera, the other in his pocket nervously rubbing his thigh. They are like tourists at the zoo who are mere observers. And a simple freestyle or adlib during the show completely throws their universe in an imbalance. "But that's not how it goes!"
The tough guy plays a very important role in the concert experience. Alot of heads completely misunderstand this breed. I'll put it this way. In every show, some dude's gonna act a fool and you'll think to yourself, "I wish someone would put them in their place," and if your show's like any show I've been to recently, the security is sparse at best. Well, tough guy here is your man. And if you're not a total prick (more than them--which is downright impossible), you're on their side. So long as you don't do something that bums everyone out. Just look at them like "security who paid at the door." 10% of the audience is a healthy amount, but it's a delicate balance that needs to be maintained. Anymore than 10% and you're likely to have either one a riot or, two, a massacre on your hands. Their usually quite disconnected from the artists (unless it's a Non Phixion show, of course) and only show up because, well, they like to flex. They're hoping someone will bust a free over the beat from "Deep Cover" so they can bob their head, but that bob is purely for their enjoyment and no one elses. They could care less what you think. They're much more prominent at rock shows, but that's because there's more pricks acting a fool at a rock show. More opportunity. If you gotta problem with these dudes, you might be a humanitarian or, more likely, you've done something stupid at some point that warranted some correctional measures. The tough guy is not to be confused with...
The fly guy is a cross breed, normally. For that reason, he makes up the largest portion of the audience--somewhere between 30-40%. The have both a short history of legal problems (usually misdemeanor) and a short history in hip hop. They're always a fan of the "something new"--something that was played at a house party or strip club and they roll with that. It could be an Atmosphere record or even Mims. Either way, their hand-to-mouth fandom is fairly representative of the majority of listeners out there today. He usually is wearing lots of white. That includes, but not limited to white Yankee caps (tilted of course) and maybe even the white doo rag, white undershirt, white sneakers. Their history would suggest a potential for violence at the show, but it usually is personally served unlike the tough guy who will just beat the snot out of someone because he doesn't like 'em. He's usually quite participative--he "throws his hands in the air" and says, "ho!" He doesn't want to be the life of the party, but he also doesn't want to be the party poops. He genuinely wants to have a good time, but Slim Shady here, at the end of the night, doesn't know a good show from a bad show because if the beat's loud enough, it's dope. I guess I don't really have a problem with these cats, except that generally, they ain't gotta clue about hip hop from more than five years ago.
The head is normally bored by the entire experience of the show. He wants, with everything in him, to enjoy it, but it's "just not like it used to be." This cat normally makes up about 5-7% of the audience but the percentage could change based on your metro. They usually show up with a Cold Chillin' shirt or something as a flag of their righteousness, but no one really cares. They might even get mistaken for someone's pops or, worse, a narc. Rarely will you find them up front, but rather about two thirds of the way back with their arms folded and only slightly bobbing their head and, more often, looking around the crowd for things that will ultimately piss them off. Their jaded, upset, full of discontent and they're usually only taking notes for a blog post where they'll blast the whole scene because they lack the ability to enjoy anything. As pissed off as they normally are, they'll buy some merch on the way out. They enjoy the DJ breaks and hope that someone will mix some "South Bronx" so they can bust their hands in the air and be noticed by the younger concert goers as a real head.
D'ere it is. Happy Wednesday.