Can I Kick It? Rap Stars We Have Known, Sorta

My friend Brooke and "perfect gentleman" Coolio
Here's a thing that could happen: Maybe you are in a restaurant ordering dinner when suddenly there's a flurry of activity among the waitstaff and a buzz among the patrons. You just came in for a bowl of pho...and so did Jay-Z. (Guess who's getting his meal first.)

In all our oohing and aahing over music celebrities, we sometimes forget they are also human and occasionally may wish to step out for dinner or a drink or to shop or to attend church or to do some other thing that is part of real life.

When this happens, everyone breaks out a cameraphone because that is a thing now, having a phone that is not connected to a wall by a wire but also fits in your pocket and takes photographs, too.

Recently I got to wondering how often this happens to people I know. So I reached out to my small circle of friends on Facebook and Twitter to ask about their chance encounters with famous musicians.

My survey was highly unscientific, but it yielded a very obvious and unexpected result. It would seem that hip-hop artists are the most approachable and willing to hang out with us regular folks.

This indeed turned out to be the case, at least among my friends and family. Pretty much everyone who responded had a story about some rapper they kicked it
with -- except for an awesome story my friend Jacob shared about a Swedish death-metal band.

"I hung out and smoked cigarettes with the guys from Twiztid when they played the Engine Room back in 2005," he recalls.

I found this a bit weird. Jacob has very diverse music tastes, but I never pegged him as someone who would be at a Twiztid show, much less chain-smoking Camels with the band.

"We talked horror movies, I got autographs and then had to head home," he says.

A$AP Mob and Geoff
Geoff is another friend, also with a broad musical palate. He has met some legends like Black Flag founding member Chuck Dukowski and MDC's Dave Dictor, both of whom were fantastic, down-to-earth people, Geoff says. And so were the A$AP Mob members he met last year.

"I met two of the guys from that group that A$AP Rocky started at the last Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin," he says. "I was watching Kreayshawn to kill some time, and Ty Beats and another member of A$AP asked if I had more of what I was smoking, 'cause it smelled good."

Sometimes meeting famous music folks is good for the bottom line. Last fall, a bunch of us met at Flying Saucer downtown to conduct our fantasy football draft. One of our friends, Rolando, is a photographer and artist. He designed a popular T-shirt for Houston Texans fans, and we all had to sit around drinking $8 beers while we waited for him to deliver one of those shirts to Bun B on draft night.

We didn't mind. Aside from meeting one of the all-time greats, he was making paper, and we all respect that.

"The year before, he tweeted he had to have that shirt, and once he did that, I had a line of folks waiting for the shirt, but we never got to meet up," Rolando says. "Then I ran into him at Boondocks, we talked for a bit and he told me on the next batch he would come to me and get one.

"Once I had a new batch ready, I text-messaged him, and he came down and got one and tweeted it out," he continues, "and I had a line of folks again."

The story continues on the next page.

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Does it count if we didn't realize he was a rapper when we met him? So, my friends and I were eating dinner one night at Pappadeaux, the one on Richmond.  There we were, three gals enjoying the palatable yummies when suddenly this guy approaches our table.  He beelined for my friend Michelle, (they always do) lol, he invites himself to our table, sits down, talks to all of us for a good fifteen minutes until finally, realizing that we don't have a clue as to who he is, (I really think he wanted to yell out, "Don't you know who I am?") he starts singing/rapping -there's another term for it I'm sure, but I'm at a loss right now.  My friend laughs and says, "You should go on American Idol!"  He looks like we punched him in the face.  He thanks us for our company, tries one last time to hit on Michelle, and then leaves.  Not a second later, two girls who had been watching the whole scenario, came up to us and showed us a cd.  It said 'FLORIDA'  "No!  Not Florida, Flo'rida! He's a famous rapper!"  Clearly, we need to expand our horizons in music.    Bonus?  He paid for our meal and sent drinks to our table.  Nice guy, for a state.  ha!

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