Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Whether You See Me In Streets Or Catch Me At Shows.

I guess dating someone in the industry has really brought me back out to hip hop shows. Lots and lots and lots of hip hop shows. New and classic and everything in between, and though each show is vastly different in content, it seems as if show after show we are connecting eyes and hands, and rubbing up against, the same people. Maybe not exactly the same people, but without a doubt, the same types of people. The community is small in Calgary, and even smaller yet are the categories of folks at these shows. Without further adieu, here is a comprehensive list of every type of person you see at Calgary hip hop events:

1. Nerdy white dude wearing dirty dad sneakers that really "loses himself" when Eminem comes on. This guy has paid a babysitter for the evening, and gotten the next day off of work, so fuck the wife, fuck the boss, he's going to make it count.
2. Dude with smelly-ass dreads and a bad attitude. This guy usually has a wide open section around him, and won't crack a smile the entire show.
3. Crop top bitches that come to shows just to ice-grill everyone. They don't care what's playing, so long as it at least FEATURES Wacka Flocka.
4. Energetic b-boys, and exactly three b-girls. Move out the way when someone throws on a heavily-sampled track. Don't even play around- these guys are significantly better at dancing than you will ever be. Just clear some space and let them amaze you.
5. Fake ID kids that are ditching out on homework tonight and have just puked up Bacardi Breezers two steps outside the bathroom door. Tonight's resting spot is either the backseat of mom's station wagon in the parking lot, or two steps outside the bathroom door.
6. Dude that knows every word to every song ever, and hopes the act will appreciate his hard work memorizing his lines. You're welcome.
7. Group of young thugs that recklessly smoke joints and wear sunglasses in the club like they can actually see where they're going.
8. Dirty-ass chicks that hope they can sneak behind the stage for a quickie with the artist before the show, and end up getting too coked-up to last through the set.
9. DJs, sample nerds, artists, and clever tongue-in-cheek hip hop lovers.  They deeply discuss whether Kanye's 'All Falls Down' sample was better when sung by Syleena Johnson, or lifted from Lauren Hill (and on that topic, should he have ever used the Lauren Hill sample in the first place, considering the fucking mental state that woman was in when "Mystery of Iniquity" was recorded?). Do not ask this group about J Dilla, because you will never, ever hear the end of it.
10. Hipsters that like hip hop in a kind-of "just-joking/but not really joking" way. Their love of hip hop is surface. They love new rap, but only the really dumb shit. 90's hip hop only exists for these folks in a Wu-Tang/Biggie vs Tupac/anything-featuring-112 way, because anything more might cause feelings. They will be enjoying cheap beer and are deeply conflicted on what to do when the n-word comes into play.
11. Music-festival types that pride themselves on their wide variety of musical tastes, and don't hesitate to tell everyone in earshot that they "even like classical". Bitch, nobody likes classical.
12. Ironic twink-y types that try to break down hip hop's blatant homophobia with real sassy jokes.
13. Really dark-skinned dudes that plant their feet and don't move from a single spot all night, and would kind-of blend into the wall if it weren't for the occasional head-nod.
14. Guys that spend the whole night complaining to everyone that they're "too old" to be out at a show. They showed up with #1 on the list at about 8PM, and may or may not make it past the opening act.
15. Sneaky ass-grabbers. I don't see you, but I feel you at every. single. show.
16. Chains, Rolex, grills, all-over print, saggy pants, branded fitted, and just about every other hip hop cliche crammed onto a single body. 
17. Music writers who never look up from their phone, and constantly mental-noting how scathing this review might be.
18. Bored girlfriends that just hope the show will end soon so they can slink into some sweatpants and catch the last half of Gilmore Girls.
19. Folks that get kicked out for being too wasted, but somehow just keep sneaking back in. They can be annoying as fuck when they're directly in front of you, but their resilience is nothing short of inspiring.
20. Die-hards that demand a seventh encore as the bar staff sweep around his feet. Never lose hope, man.

See you at the next show, Calgary (especially you, #1, because you are by far my favorite). 

~sarah p.

Jams Of The Week (Sample Progression- Patrice Rushen's 'Remind Me' Edition):

~sarah p.