Saturday: Hip-Hop For HIV Concert At Reliant Center

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Photos by Rizoh/ See a slideshow
From left: Paul Wall, Johnny Dang, C-Stone
Hip-Hop for HIV concert
Reliant Center
July 31, 2010

2:55 p.m.: Here now. It's crazy packed. The line to get in reaches back, back, back. Good to see. Before we get inside though, we should clear up a few of the plot points for the day:

First, a bit of background info on the event: The Hip-Hop 4 HIV concert concept has been around for four years now. The way it works is simple: First, you get tested for HIV at one of the free testing stations around town. Then you get a free ticket to the show. Pow. Done.

More than 15,000 people got tested this year, according to The Box. It's a great concept that has generated great results, and is apparently due in large part to former Houston politico and current insurance power-player Borris Miles.

By the way, Miles is the most alleged political gangster of all time. Though a bunch of accusations have been laid at his feet, none of them have ever stuck. He's like the J. Prince of Houston politics.

The best Borris Miles story: In 2008, he allegedly stormed into a holiday party uninvited because he was mad at the party host for investing in a rival insurance company. He allegedly had in his possession a bottle of wine and a gun.

He allegedly threatened the host, referred to himself as a "gangster" and a "thug," then kissed said party host on both cheeks and then on his mouth. He then allegedly took out a gun and placed it in said party host's hand. Then Miles allegedly kissed another man's wife. Gangster.

Second, it's hard to discuss anything The Box is doing nowadays without Trae's name getting brought up. Though the lawsuit has been dropped, the two are still at odds with one another. More on this later. For now, to the show...

2:57: Dallas's Party Boyz are standing on stage now. Actually, most of the Party Boyz are standing on stage. One of them is lying on the floor humping it. Is that the type of thing they're doing up in Dallas? Go ahead and add this to the "Reasons We're Glad Houston Isn't Dallas" list.

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3:08: Paul Wall is onstage. He opens with "Still Tippin'" and "Chunk Up the Deuce." Nice picks for openers. The crowd is amped. Wall is bouncing around stage very confidently. He's in fine form, very in control.

3:10: Serious Question: Let's say you went to get tested because you wanted to get a ticket to the show. That's the only reason you went. You really, really wanted to see the show. But then you get the results back and find out that you have HIV. (The positivity rate for these tests is 6 to 8 percent.) What then? Do you still go to the show? It seems like maybe that might kind of be a little too close to celebrating. Anyone reading this want to speak on that?

3:16: Are security guards supposed to be taking pictures of the acts that are performing? That doesn't seem proper. For all he knows, all kinds of foul shit could be happening behind him.

3:17: Johnny Dang just came out. He's on a track from Wall's new album. He has never performed before, but he has a mike in his hand. That can only mean...

3:17:30: Yep, Johnny Dang is rapping. Holy Christ. The crowd is going apeshit. The universe is spinning out of control right now. Excellent.

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3:19: Wow. Dang is super likeable. He smiles like mad the entire time he's on the stage. Backstage, he shakes hands and takes pictures. He's a rock star now. #OnlyInAmerica

3:20: It's worth mentioning that the piece dangling off of Paul Wall's chain is a diamond-covered, built-to-scale model of a Screw cassette tape. See, now that's classy. That's how you do it. Well done, Mr. Wall.

3:35: The Box's J-Mac and Madd Hatta are backstage. Turns out, they read the Definitive Guide To Which Houston Rappers You Should And Should Not Fight posted here last week. When we introduce ourself to J-Mac, he literally (and playfully) picks us up with one arm, hollers across the room, "Hatta! This is the one that be writing all them articles," then carries us over to Hatta. It's hard to look cool when someone is carrying you around in their arms like an infant.

We all talk for a second about the event, then J-Mac, who has been mentioned in three previous posts in the last two or so weeks, says that he hopes more is written about him. He says it in a manner that implies it'd be nice if it were some nice things, rather than the jabs we've been taking at him. He can probably bench press at least 300 pounds, so...

3:35:04: Did you know that J-Mac doesn't sleep in a bed like the rest of us? Nope. He sleeps inside the carved out belly of a 22-foot-long great white shark that he killed with his bare hands. True story.

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