Friday: Bun B, Lupe Fiasco & Lola Monroe Hail Trae Day
5:01 p.m.:Pulling up to the fourth annual Trae Day. Good crowd already. Good. Some immediate questions:
First, How long will it be before you can go to/talk about Trae Day and not have to mention the way 2009's ended? We put this question to a bunch of people. Most of them said it'd be about 2013 before, barring it being absolutely pertinent to the conversation, you could ignore it. The most unexpected answer came from a woman:
"Two years after the shooting. I'm gonna say two years because if you go get a pap smear and it comes back abnormal, they check you for abnormal pap smears at your next two doctor appointments. If they come back normal twice, then they stop checking. If nobody got shot last year, and nobody gets shot this year, then you can forget about it. Write about that. Call it the Abnormal Pap Smear Timetable."
It makes sense, we suppose. But in the grossest way possible.
Second: Has Trae become indispensable yet? He seems extra vital to the Houston hip-hop landscape these days. And if he's not yet indispensable, he's at least become indestructible, right? The man simply will not die. Two movie quotes come to mind:
Ever seen Rounders? It's a movie from the late nineties where Matt Damon plays a card player. John Malkovich plays this Russian guy that Damon has to play at the end of the movie. During their heads-up match, Malkovich, having bloodied Damon early, remarks on how difficult it is to beat him, saying, "[I] can't get rid of him; kid's got alligator blood." Trae has alligator blood.
Remember in Casino when Robert de Niro's character Sam Rothstein says of Joe Pesci's character Nicky Santoro, "No matter how big a guy might be, Nicky would take him on. You beat Nicky with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he'll keep comin' back and back until one of you is dead." Trae is Nicky Santoro.
So, rather than before where you could wander in from any direction, there are two spaces to enter, each of which has a set of officers wanding people down to make sure they aren't carrying a weapon. Makes enough sense. The funny part though: The officers are wanding little kids too. Not 13-year-old-type kids; 5-year-olds and whatnot. Have you ever seen a 5-year-old get wanded for weapons? That shit is extra bizarre.
5:48: This year, there are a bunch of aired-up bouncey things for the kids to play in (house, rock wall, obstacle course, basketball goals, velcro wall), as well as a train ride and free school supplies. If you've not yet taken your kids to Trae Day, you might consider doing so. It's fun.
6:12: Oh snap. A guy in a sleeveless button-up shirt? Awesome. That's pretty much the definition of business casual.
6:20: Did you know that when you drink drank, you're supposed to use two Styrofoam cups because the second cup acts as extra insulation? There's even a saying that's become popular - "Two cups to keep the ice cold," as it were. We mention this not because they serve drank at Trae Day (they don't), but because they serve sno-cones, and several guys here have adapted the extra cup philosophy to better enjoy them. It's like the time our uncle came home from prison and showed us how to make a grilled cheese sandwich using an iron and a paper bag. Thug survival tactics are the best kind of survival tactics.
6:24: To this point, several performers have already been onstage. Show was up there, Killa Cal-Wayne was up there, Onehunnidt was up there, a 14-year-old with three white backup dancers was up there. Right now, Rod C, intimidating because his spine throws his head forward like Vertigo from Primal Rage, and Jay'Ton, intimidating because he's goddamn Jay'Ton, are up.