|Photos by Marco Torres|
There is a female behind the decks onstage. Aftermath loves seeing females who can hold it down on the 1s and 2s. She has a bedazzled Macbook and goes by the name of DJ Superstar. Go on with your bad self, girl.
The audience is a bona fide rainbow coalition tonight at Warehouse Live. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud that Common has led us to the top of the mountain.
The last time Aftermath saw Common in concert was in college at a free 2001 show on the UC-Berkeley campus. He was a different rapper then. Like Water for Chocolate
had just dropped. He wore Birkenstocks and dated Erykah Badu. It was pre-Kanye, pre-Gap commercials and pre-starring movie roles. Not that there's anything wrong with change, but it will be interesting to see Common 2.0 live almost a decade later.
Whoa, DJ Superstar, we love us some Jay-Z too, but six Jigga tracks in 30 minutes? Why don't you two get a room already?
Our hypeman is desperately trying to get us crunk, but it appears that he is having a hard enough time getting himself crank. He's been checking his smartphone every ten minutes or so. What's the score on the Celtics game, homes? Do your job.
Our hypeman just asked us to put up our hoods. We threw up our customary "HP" to rep the Press
Aftermath usually gets stuck behind Tallest Asshole in the Venue. We lucked out tonight. We can easily see the stage over the reasonably-sized Lovely Ladies standing in front of us.
One hour deep, and one of the aforementioned Lovely Ladies in front of us is regretting her decision to wear heels to the show. She's in the one-heel-on, one-heel-off stance. Aftermath has been in your shoes before, girl. (Pun intended.) But we've learned our lesson. We opt for comfort over style when it means pulling a Britney Spears
all over a venue floor. Cute shoes, though.
Luniz's "I Got Five On It" is playing, followed by Rick James' "Mary Jane." Aftermath just got hit with the unmistakeable scent of... Yup, someone is definitely messing with that Endo-weed. Aftermath loves the rash of bewildered looks immediately following the lighting of herb at a show.
One thing you can count on at every hip-hop show is the One Dude Who Knows the Lyrics to Every Song. Tonight he's standing right next to us. He'll be here all night in case you forget the lyrics to "Paul Revere" or "Me, Myself and I."
And now we've reached that part of every hip-hop show where we feel like we're watching an episode of Hip-Hop Sesame Street
. We have a new hypeman onstage by the name of Se7en. He asks us to raise our hands if we love hip-hop. We all eagerly raise our hands to assure him that: "We love hip-hop, yes we do! We love hip-hop, how 'bout you?!"
Aftermath is waiting for the day that some asshole raises his hand to say: "Hi. Hip-hop? Not so much." That would make our day. Se7en goes on to tell us that there are four elements of hip-hop. Count 'em, kids! 1-2-3-4. Good! He tells us that the emcee represents one of these elements and that we're about to see this element in motion onstage.
9:31 - 10:20 p.m.:
Se7en, you lied to us. The next seven out of ten acts or so are not MCs in the strict sense of the term; they're spoken-word artists. That's cool, we guess, and we won't split hairs. But why are there so many of them?
By the third opening performance, the crowd is getting restless. The chatter grows into a clamor, drowning out the performer onstage. One of the Lovely Ladies says: "Why are they doing this? This is not what we came here for. They should have limited these performances to two max." Aftermath concurs.
Aftermath is asleep.