Just a few weeks after Raekwon‘s “Only Built For Cuban Linx II” album release, I was back in NYC for Ghostface Killah‘s “Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City” album release. Myspace.com has been running free RELEASE concert series along with Digiwaxx and Socialight Entertainment. I can’t say that I’ve been a hard core Wu-Tang fan for years, but I’m becoming one now as the result of covering these events. I have to say that I’m falling back in love with that NY style hip hop that seems to have lost its market share on the airwaves. It takes me back to Teamsters Union party days back in undergrad at Morgan State University when emerging artists at the time like Wu-Tang would test out their skills on the black college crowd.
Tonight, I made my way by train from Queens to Manhattan, a feat in itself for me, to get to the Hiro Ballroom at the Maritime Hotel. After the crowd management fiasco outside Raekwon’s album release at Santos Party House, I was prepared for the worst. As you read in the event recap, this was not a red carpet affair. This was for the fans. I liked that notion and it also meant that I would not be battling for a spot on the sidewalk with a superimposed red carpet.
There were lines forming and being dissolved outside Hiro as various bouncers and authoritative figures gave conflicting but decisive info. I’m learning my lesson to be linked to someone on the inside, which I was, so I just began to ignore direction and just make a move towards a shorter line by the door knowing they’d be letting press in first. That was not without drama because some guy kept yelling if you don’t a press id, you’re not getting in. He proceeded to repeat that to me even though I said I was confirmed and actually on the list this time. Disorganization aside (pet peeve of mine), I got in unscathed.
Security was tighter getting into Hiro than Santos. They really checked through your bags and patted people down. I didn’t have much. Just me and my cute little red digital camera that makes life so easy for me these days. My Nikon is missing me, though, and I feel less credible without all the photographic equipment like other press, but honestly in these venues, this camera allows me to be much more versatile and gets good enough quality shots for my blog.
Nerd alert! Sorry. 😯
When I got in, I had a flashback. This was the spot I had been to last year to watch my first DJ battle. Not knowing what to expect in terms of press coverage, I made my way to the stage and hovered with the other media folks. They were snapping away at this and that…and I wasn’t. You guys don’t want to see a picture of the venue or some random people under a disco ball. You want the main attraction so my attention was focused on that point in the night.
I was rockin’ out to DJ dB’s mixes, waiting for the show to begin.
Here’s some video I put together from the opening acts…
I was so in the zone that I hadn’t realized how packed the place got before Ghostface came on. It was a large crowd, different than when I was here before for the DJ battle. I’m glad that I copped a good spot next to the stage. People love their Wutty-Tang! 😉
Here’s video footage that I put together from Ghostface’s performance…
Camera man ass…
Unfortunately, of all the people in the entire venue that night, lucky me seemed to pick the exact spot that some official videographer on stage wanted to stand so I had his ass in my face once Ghostface came on (you can see a little of what I mean at the end of the Ghostface performance clip). I was pissed, to say the least, because I was constantly ducking and diving around him to get a photo. At least I had the small camera with me so I could reach around without taking up too much space.
The videographer and I had a Radio Raheem style turf war that I ultimately lost, and I was tired of camera man ass in my face. As Ghostface’s concert progressed there were a few more camera people on the stage and I decided to go for it. They tried to make me get off, but I worked some magic and also lucked upon someone that recognized me (or so they said). Shouts to Droopy Morales who let me hang in the back of the stage. I don’t know if it was better for photo taking, but I at least no longer had camera man ass in my face.
It also put me closer to the performers…and groupies. You know you ain’t a legit rapper without your boys and hot chick groupies lined up in the back! LOL
Here are some of the photos I took tonight…
Yes, there was a fight on stage during Ghostface’s performance. Thank God, I was on the opposite side of where the drama went down, and it seemed to stay off to the side. The negative gossip camera whores rushed to get some of the action, and I just stood and waited for things to settle down which, thankfully, they did. Ghostface was frustrated but responded well by chalking it up to “family matters” and asked for peace amongst everyone.
Ghostface addresses situation with Rza during concert…
I had read earlier in the week from AllHipHop.com about court precedings between Ghostface and Rza about how the royalties were split back on the early Wu-Tang albums. Read the story “RZA breaks down the Ghostface Killah lawsuit” in All Hip Hop for more. Ghostface took a moment during his concert to share his side of the story. I didn’t get all of it on camera (didn’t see the moment coming), but I got enough that you could get the gist of his position on the situation. The end of the clip is Ghostface just trying to lighten the mood and get back into concert mode.
Things that cracked me up…
When DJ dB played “You’re A Jerk” by New Boyz and the crowd started to boo angrily. New York keeps it real, son! 😆
The crowd was on a “ready to boo” roll as Cipha sounds jumped in with DJ dB and tried to rectify the situation saying something like “it’s the computer that made the mistake”…whatever. Anyway, the next song that was met with a see of boos was that song “Rotate” by N.O.R.E. featuring Ron Brownz and Busta Rhymes. I was entertained by the crowd and the DJs scurrying to win the trust of the crowd which was in that indefinite waiting period for the headliner Ghostface to take the stage. I wish I could remember the song that finally won people over, but this part was more funny to observe.
my rockstar moments 😎 …
When Hot 97 morning show DJ Cipha Sounds pointed to me and the girl next to me and commended us for being lady fans of hip hop who knew the lyrics and sang along to the songs the DJs were playing. Cipha finished by saying something like “that’s beautiful, you don’t always see girls supporting hip hop like that.” 😛
Hanging on stage with the rest of the designated groupies, posse members, and camera folks during Ghostface’s performance in the name of no more camera man ass in my face.
Making MySpace Music‘s photo set. 😉 See below. (girl to right of me with blue shirt and jeans is other girl who got Cipha shout out)
I did snag a few Ifelicious drops before the building cleared. I kept forgetting to tell them that it was for my blog/Ifelicious TV, but it’s all good nonetheless.
K-Salaam gives Ifelicious shout out
E-Money shows Ifelicious some love…
I did manage to catch Ghostface’s attention right before he walked off the stage for the night and got a photo that’s in the slide show. He didn’t seem particularly happy which struck me odd compared to the drop I got on the red carpet a few weeks earlier. At the time, I figured he was just annoyed about taking a photo which I understand or maybe he still had some of the night’s backstage drama on his mind. I know I read in several articles that people observed that he seemed a bit tired, like he’s not able to command the stage like he used to. I don’t know about all of that, though.
- Ifelicious Thoughts– EVENT RECAP 9/30/2009 Ghostface Killah in concert at Hiro Ballroom in NYC
- Ifelicious Thoughts– Digiwaxx and Myspace presents Ghostface 9/30/2009 in NYC
- Ifelicious TV channel on YouTube– www.youtube.com/user/ifelicious
- Myspace Music Hip Hop Blog– Kid Cudi battles Ghostface and Redman, Jadakiss, Large Professor
- Altsounds.com– Ghostface Killah to perform for Myspace Music’s “RELEASE” concert series
- Fast Forward Weekly– Ghostface Killah: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City (album review)
- Island Def Jam– Ghostface Killah “Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City” Tracklisting
- HipHopDX.com– Presents Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City (album review)
- Twitter– GhostfaceKillah
- Myspace– www.myspace.com/ghostface