WORLD CITIZEN DIARIES @MCOBEAH
MC OBEAH is a recent signee to the SPITdigital roster of unique artists. His MCing alongside Chuck D on DJ LORD>2MP EAT THE RAT album earned him that spot. He has seen his World Citizen song evolve to real life after a Belfast visit in SEPT 2015. Between Lords album and his upcoming 2016 album he has kept the 'World Citizen Diaries' on tour with Public Enemy as they play arenas and stadiums across UK and Europe with The Prodigy.Here are his words
MC OBEAH WORLD CITITZEN DIARIES (PART 1)
On the day I started writing this it was my grandfather's birthday, along with a slew of other friends who I wouldn't have realized shared a birthday with my grandfather if it weren't for facebook. The relationships we have with our grandparents are very interesting ones. Its naturally difficult to relate to people who grew up in times and places that are so vastly different from you. My grandfather, John, is a very simple man. We have very little in common and sometimes I wonder about his perspective on me. He has always had very deeply rooted religious beliefs and because of that I at least know he believes I'm going to hell, which is pretty sad. But, I feel like he always gives the benefit of the doubt, unconditional love, and never brings up topics that he knows would cause debate. Regardless of our differences in opinions and perspectives, I've always had so much love and respect for him. He is good to people and knows how to make people feel welcome and loved. To me, this is possibly the most valuable currency in life.
I say that to say this, I wish I would've spent more time honoring my grandfather for his influence on my life. I intend to more and more as I grow and take stock of what's really important to me, but I know that one day he'll be gone and I will inevitably wish I had spent more time with him.
In 11 days I will embark on what will undoubtedly be my most life changing adventure to date. I'll be traveling all around Europe with Public Enemy on a tour with The Prodigy. Growing up, I always had a dream that my first trips overseas would be provided to me by my passion of music. That dream became a reality this year and when 2016 draws to an end I will have, in my first year of world travel, added to my passport stamps from Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium... I'm probably even forgetting some.
When my grandfather was young, he got to travel the world as well, but on much different terms. He fought in the Korean war. He has always been very quiet about his experiences. I have seen glimpses of emotion left over from whatever horror he experienced there. As excited as I am for my travels, it saddens me to think that my grandfather was given his opportunity in the name of death and war.
Its a very interesting feeling to believe for years that you deserve more attention for your craft than you receive and then all of a sudden be recognized in a way that makes you want to work so much harder. I want to deserve these opportunities so bad. So many people are telling me that I do, but I feel that I must get better every day. I may deserve all of this now, but that could change quickly if I slow down.
We arrived in Dusseldorf, Germany at about 8:30 AM. It was a pretty painless 9 hour flight with no layover. I took one of the xanax that had been sitting in my drawer for years. I hate xanax. That shit is evil and makes people forget entire days, but hey... Its clutch if you want to be able to sleep for 9 hours on a miserable airplane.
Needless to say I was a bit hazy as we got off our flight and went through customs. Most of the crew was all on the same flight. We gathered around baggage claim and waited on our luggage. When I grabbed mine off the conveyor I had immediate plans to open the suitcase up and get myself a hoodie. I knew it would be chilly once we got outside and was only wearing a t shirt.
As I put on my hoodie I noticed the smell of cat piss. Not a very uncommon smell in my life these days, but I was wondering how this could've happened and couldn't exactly identify where it was coming from. I figured I'd just wait until we got to the hotel and check all of my clothes out and in the meantime hope nobody notices that I smell like piss.
When we got checked in at NH hotel in Oberhausen, I went up to my room and took a look at all my clothes only to realize my cat had taken the liberty to piss directly in the middle of my suitcase before I left the house. She must've been locked in the room without a litter box, so in her defense it was probably my fault.
So, here I am with a full load of laundry to do on the first day of tour. If I had any experience doing this sort of thing, I would've washed them myself in the bath tub, but instead I opted for the laundry service the hotel offered, which ended up being a whopping 78 Euros within the first several days of the tour.
As exciting and amazing as it is to be on the road with the legendary Public Enemy crew, the first town on the tour was quite boring. For some reason we flew in two days before the show which left us plenty of time for the boredom to really set in. I mean, in reality, how bored can you really be when you get to be entertained by Flavor Flav in the off hours. I actually had a damn good time. I just can't imagine how fun it will be when we are in a more interesting city.
On the second day in Oberhausen we had absolutely no plans as far as I knew. No shows were scheduled for that night and there clearly wasn't a whole lot going on in this little town. We were near Dusseldorf and Cologne which are much more happening places, but the venue in Oberhausen was pretty nice.
I wandered around for a bit by myself and then met up with Lou, took a walk down by the bus station and met a young guy who spoke barely any English who said he could get us some weed. He wanted me to walk with him though which we were both immediately skeptical about, but he offered to leave his passport with Lou to assure us there was no funny business. So I took a stroll with him and two cute girls through a train station to the other side and he grabbed me a sad little bag of pretty shitty weed. While he was gone I chatted with the one girl that spoke pretty broken English. I told her I was from Atlanta and she said 'Oh! Justin Bieber!'. And then told me she was 19.
I parted ways with them and met up with Lord, T Bone, Lou, and Flav and burned on the way back to the hotel where soon after we met Ivan Beslic. He is an artist whose medium is markers. He's originally from Croatia, but lives near Dusseldorf. He brought paintings he had done for the PE crew. One of the S1Ws (Pop, James, and Mike), one of the logo, and one of Chuck and Eric. We all chatted with them for a while and they said they're thanks.
Ivan and his girl Sachiko took Lord, Eric, and myself to Dusseldorf for a night on the town. First, we had dinner at a Japanese Restaurant in the neighborhood where Sachiko grew up. It was truly phenomenal. The bonito balls were my favorite. We went to the top of this huge tower by the Rhein River and then went to several bars and drank a lot.
At one point some obviously drunk white dude in a suit walked up to Eric and said 'I want some.' Eric said 'What?'. The dude said 'Fresh up'. We died laughing in his face and had no idea what that meant. At this point we were really drunk and this was hilarious, but in hindsight I think the guy was talking about cocaine. This was right before we got denied from a bar supposedly because of a dress code.
Then we were denied from another bar. The guy straight up said something along the lines of 'There is no hip-hop here.' It was pretty blatantly racist, but I doubt we really wanted to hang there anyways. One of the bars that we went to had a dope hip-hop dj playing and they made a damn fine cocktail as well. They're menu came in a cassette tape case which was pretty rad.
At the end of the night Ivan took us back to the hotel. He recently designed a wooden toed Adidas shoe and was trying to get PE to do a joint project with him. We'll see what comes of that. His family owns a hotel in Cologne and he offered to put us up there anytime we were in town. He couldn't make it to the show the next night because he had to help his mother out working at her restaurant.
This was the first show day of the Public Enemy and The Prodigy Tour. It was a low key way to start the run off. The show was in Oberhausen, Germany, which is quite a small town for such a show. It was, however, a great venue and there were tons of people there. I didn't get to perform, so I spent the set running around trying to catch some cool photos and video for promotional material down the line. I'll probably end up doing quite a bit of that on this trip.
As soon as the PE set was over, we headed back to the hotel. To be honest, there wasn't much that happened that was worth talking about on this date except the entire hotel getting evacuated early in the morning. Flav was the only one that didn't ever make it out to the street. Luckily it wasn't a real fire. Later I heard that it may have been T Bone's fault, which I got a kick out of.
We woke up in the morning had breakfast and headed to Hamburg. It was about a 5 hour drive. I sat up top looking out of the front of the bus and wrote the whole drive. This tour is my first "tour bus" experience. Its pretty amazing after spending years driving my own car or riding in an 8 passenger white van. Its a double decker, there are tons of bunks for sleeping and two rooms with plenty of seating (one upstairs and one down), a little kitchen area, 3 tvs, an x box, a playstation, and also 2 seats on the top deck looking out the front window.
Hamburg was a breath of fresh air from the moment we arrived. It is a much more developed city than Oberhausen. Our hotel was much much nicer as well. Oddly enough though, the venue was much smaller than the first one.
The show went well. I could see the crew getting tighter even by the second show. My beautiful girlfriend, Kelley, was kind enough to loan me her Canon camera for the trip, so I began to try to learn how to use it at this show. Its pretty funny to me that people are just assuming that I'm PE's photographer. People keep asking me why I'm with them unless I have the camera, then they just assume. I'm hoping that by the time this tour is over I will have developed some worthy photography chops (no pun intended).
Before the show started we met up with a gentleman named Gu who Eric had been in contact with on Facebook. He is from Kiel, owns a record label with his brother, and is also a front man for two punk rock bands. He is an awesome guy and I'm glad I met him, but he like everyone else we met in Germany at this point didn't smoke weed and acted like he didn't even have any friends that did. I was starting to think that maybe this is why Germans are stereotypically thought of as angry.
Gu was extremely excited to get to meet the crew and see the stage from the other side for once. We didn't get to see the Prodigy set this night either and at this point I was really curious to see their set. Gu met us back at the hotel shortly after we got back and he, Lord, and I took a cab down to a little club called Golem. As fate would have it, a guy called E da Boss from San Francisco on Stones Throw Records was djing. He was doing an all 45 funk and soul set. We had some local beers and danced. We also met some really cool people from Hamburg.
When we left the club there was a massive fish market assembling immediately outside. This was possibly the most ideal thing to see when leaving a club at 4 in the morning. Its something they do every Sunday and it officially opens at 6, but there were people already set up selling fresh fish sandwiches at 4. God bless those beautiful people.
The next morning was a serious breakfast upgrade from the day before, which I would have assumed and been aware of if I wasn't so new to the tour game. I had a nice little breakfast and a mimosa. I talked to Chuck for a bit about a book he was reading about Merge Records. He was talking about the idea of building a strong regional infrastructure of different artists and key venues. This was music to my ears because that is exactly what my ATL family and myself have been doing for years now.
There is so much talent in my ATL circle and the other ATL circles. Its quite the Venn Diagram of artists and I think Chuck would be impressed if he knew more about it. I've thought about this for a while now. Its only a matter of time before he takes the time to see it. I hope to be able to help out my home team as much as possible.
After breakfast we loaded on the bus and headed to Munich. It was a 10 hour drive and we had the night off. I slept almost every minute of that long ass drive. It was great.
Munich was the biggest city thus far and seemed like it had a lot going on. The hotel (Sofitel) was amazing. Probably the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in. We went out in search of herb. Eric jokingly wet his finger, held it in the wind, and determined that "the weed is this way". So, we walked in that direction and literally didn't even get 2 blocks before we ran into a small group of young African guys selling herb on this little corner like it was crack or something. I'm telling you, these Germans need to lighten up. Its just weed people.
The next day I had plans of waking up early, eating breakfast, and going out to explore the city. I won't have that option as often as I'd like due to traveling during the day. At this point I'm aware of how dope breakfast is going to be, so I made sure to get there early. I was not let down!
This breakfast spread was seriously fit for a king. When you're a 'foodie' as they call it and you eat pretty much anything, this is heaven. There are tons of perks that come along with touring with PE, but this one was not anticipated. "Oh yeah, by the way... You'll be eating the most baller ass breakfast you could imagine every day for free." This is going to turn me into a morning person by the time we're done.
The spread consisted of a cereal section with every type of milk that exists, a fancy french cheese case with a whole honeycomb next to it, tons of breads (couldn't get past the croissants) with jams and butter, thinly sliced roast beef, charcuterie, the best damn breakfast sausage I've ever had, bacon, eggs, potatoes, salmon, pickled herring, tomato & fresh mozzarella, 10 different kinds of juices, tons of hot teas, sparkling wine, and I know I'm forgetting at least half of it. I didn't even know what a lot of the stuff was.
After breakfast I was ready to rent a bike and bomb around Munich for a while. Eric had the idea for the bikes and was trying to recruit more people to go with us. The night before in the lobby I picked up a coffee table book about Munich and the first page I opened up to had a picture of a huge statue of a hand making a peace sign and holding a microphone. It looked like a really dope statue and we wanted to find it and take photos.
We tried for an hour or two to try to get other people to roll with us, but no one was biting. I almost just left by myself several times, but I didn't want to be a dick. It was Eric's idea after all. Finally we got the bikes and set off.
There was an enormous park called the English Gardens between us and our destination. I thought it would be cool to ride through the park. It was enjoyable for a short while, but after several miles we realized that there weren't really any sights to see in the park. It was pretty much just trees and the occasional passer by. It was nice to be out in nature, but it got old by mile 5 or 6.
For 2 dudes that never ride bikes, we were pretty damn proud of ourselves for making at far as we did. Unfortunately we had no exact location for the statue. All we knew is that it was supposedly in an area of town called Unterfohring. So, we rode the 9 miles to that neighborhood and began to search. I had a picture of it on my phone also.
We must have asked 20 different people if they knew where it was. We showed them the picture and everything. No one had a clue if this thing actually existed or not and after about an hour or more of searching, we finally concluded that it must've only been there temporarily.
At this point, we are about 9 miles away from the hotel and we've both already ridden exponentially longer on a bike than either of us had in the past several years. Eric, however, is 20 years my elder so he is spent. He began complaining and giving me shit before we even got to Unterfohring, but by this point, he was absolutely done. He was cursing my name for talking him into going with me.
At first he wanted to take the bikes on the train, but we couldn't really figure out how it worked. So, then he stopped a cab. We crammed both of the bikes into the backseat of a hatchback and I squeezed in with the bikes on top of the folded down back seat with my head sticking out of the window like Ace Ventura the entire ride back to the Sofitel. I already know that Eric is going to fuck with me about that for years to come, as if I forced him to come with me. I was pretty persuasive, which I tend to be, but he's a grown ass man. I didn't put a gun to his head. I felt bad though.
As I lay in my bunk typing this, he just leaned his head in and told me "my lawyer will be contacting you" in reference to how sore his legs are. LOL
The show in Munich was special because, as fate would have it, Anthrax was playing the next night in town. Since they were already there, Scott and Frank came down and sat in on Bring The Noise to close the set. When we ate dinner at the venue I ended up sitting with Chuck, Scott, and Frank and listening to legends converse, chiming in every now and then. They seemed like really awesome dudes. The fanboy inside me was shitting himself.
We also finally got to see a bit of The Prodigy's set. It was dope as fuck! I would've needed a pair of earplugs to endure the whole show though. It was unbelievably loud. After about 4 songs we headed back to the hotel where we sat and had drinks and chatted with some girls from the show who T Bone invited back. They were interesting and nice. One of them was a singer/songwriter by the name of Gladys Mwachiti. She let us hear her perform one of her songs on a youtube link and we were impressed. Hopefully years down the line when I read this again she will have a successful career.
I slept very little the night before this, but still managed to show up to breakfast at about 6:15. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of tour. We ate and then headed out to Frankfurt.
The hotel in Frankfurt was called Roomers. The bar in the hotel was recently voted the best bar in all of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The place was not as nice as the past 2 hotels, but there was something charming about it nonetheless.
We had very little time to experience Frankfurt. As soon as we got to Roomers we had to throw our bags in our room and head straight to the venue. It was the biggest venue on the tour thus far. We also were informed when we got there that this was a place that Hitler had made one of his famous speeches. It was a pretty heavy thing to wrap our head around, but also amazing to think of how far things had come in less than 100 years. Now a group like Public Enemy has the platform to speak about peace and equality in a building where Hitler preached his hate and bigotry.
This is PE's 104th tour, so over the years they have made many many friends on the road. Also, in this age of technology, there are tons of super fans who have basically become friends of the crew through facebook, twitter, etc. Some of these people are really cool and know how not to be overbearing and others not so much. At the end of the day they are all great people and valuable to the crew. Everyone wants die hard fans.
Our Frankfurt fanboy was a gentleman name Giovanni. He is arguably the biggest Public Enemy fan in the damn world. He has in his home what he calls the PE Museum. Its basically an arsenal of merch and memorabilia that he's amassed over the years. He had been messaging me leading up to the show because he gathered through facebook posts that I would be with the crew. Needless to say, he was really excited to see the show and meet everyone and get some signatures, etc.
Frankfurt is the closest large city to German wine country, so I was hoping maybe I could get my hands on some good wine or maybe, if we had enough time, break away and go see some vineyards. Naturally, that didn't happen, but when I mentioned that to Giovanni he said he had a friend that owns a winery and that he would bring some wine for us, but of course, he didn't smoke weed and couldn't help with that.
I had told him based on my estimation of how long the bus ride would take and what time we were leaving that we'd be getting to town around 1. For whatever reason we didn't arrive until 3:30 and had to leave for the venue at 4. So, we didn't even have time to dial in to the wifi to hit him up and let him know it was taking much longer than anticipated.
When we got to the venue, he showed up almost immediately in the guest room. He told me he had been waiting all day to hear from us. He seemed slightly annoyed but like he was trying to hide it. We took a walk to his car to grab the wine and some other gifts he brought for the crew. While walking I took the time to try to explain to him how he should act around the crew. I tried to tell him as politely as possible without sounding like a dick, but I could already tell that this dude might get a little out of hand. He has the best intentions, but not the best conversationalist.
We hadn't been back in the dressing room for 3 minutes before Brother Mike was looking at this dude like 'Who the fuck is this guy?' He didn't want to leave the room because he was afraid he might not be able to come back in, so he just stayed there for hours. He was also trying to get on stage for the set, but I told him that I'm the new guy and couldn't authorize such a thing. I would've felt bad, but at this point he was completely dismissing my suggestions on how to behave and trying to strong arm his way into the situation he wanted.
He didn't make it up to the stage, but enjoyed the show from the crowd. As the show was about to begin, Eric brought 2 cute blonde girls to Lord's side of the stage. They hung out the whole time and took pictures. It turned out that they worked at our hotel. They seemed like really smart, cool girls and on top of that, they had weed!!
We all went back to Roomers, smoked with the girls, and hung out for a little while. Flavor kept everyone entertained. Eric had some of his weed cookie left. He was about to eat the rest of it and exclaimed 'To the moon!' then he offered Flav some. To that Flav responded 'Nah G! I'ma go to the moon too, but I'm using different transportation!' It was pretty great. After that I hit the sack. It was an early night for me.
After the usual morning routine, breakfast, load on the bus, we headed to Leuven, Belgium. This is the first show of the tour I got to perform at. I was really excited and so ready to get on that mic. We got to Leuven at about 2 pm, so after we dropped bags in the room, we took a walk around the town before heading to the venue. It was a really cool, quaint little place. I immediately realized that some of my favorite beers from Belgium are dramatically less expensive than they are in the states.
This was the first show of the run that was a Public Enemy headlining show, so they had a much longer set planned than all the others. It was a much smaller venue also. I was stoked to perform for many reasons. I knew that several members of the crew hadn't seen me perform yet and at this point were probably wondering why I was around.
The road crew consists of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, DJ Lord, Khari Wynn, T Bone Motta, Davy DMX, Pop Diesel, James Bomb, Brother Mike, Sister Paulette, Malik Farrakhan, Sammy Vegas, Lou Rock, and last but not least The Drew. Drew is the sound man and resident irritant. I guess every family has one. I was warned about his attitude from the jump many months ago, but at this point I was well aware of his M.O.
We checked and it sounded really good to me, but Drew was saying we were all "fucked" because their sound system wasn't loud enough. At the end of the day, I thought it was the best sounding PE show I've ever heard. I could hear all the vocals loud and clear and since it was a headlining show, they played a two and a half hour set. It was incredible.
Drew was busting my balls telling me that I had to really bring it or I'd have to pull the bus for the rest of the tour. I'm glad he did though, because it really helped get me hyped up for the set. Aside from getting pretty winded, I held down the set very well. I got a great response from the crowd and I didn't fuck up at all. Flav also brought me out to rap towards the end of the PE set while he played drums.
After the show we stayed up all night and drank Belgian beers and joked and laughed outside of the hotel. It was a really special night for me and probably my favorite show I've ever played at this point. Leuven is a great town. I'll forgive them for creating Stella.
We rolled out of Leuven at 7 in the morning and I carried on my routine of sleeping on the bus almost the entire 13 hour bus ride to Vienna. We arrived at about 8 PM. Eric and I took a walk around the area around the hotel and noticed that the city was remarkably clean. Also, we assumed that there must be very little crime in Vienna because all of the shops on the street we explored had extravagant window displays with expensive merchandise. All I know is, that shit wouldn't work in Atlanta. I didn't see any homeless people either except 2 very young women. That image really stuck with me. She looked to be of middle eastern descent and I assumed she was a Syrian refugee. She was very visibly pregnant. It made me reflect on how little I knew about the conflicts and how fortunate I am to live the life that I do.
It was a pretty low key night. Several of us went out to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. It was Lord, Flav, Brother Mike, Paulette, Lou, Sammy, and myself. When we first sat down this hilarious Moroccan dude approached us and said he was a huge fan. We took photos with him and he bought our first 2 bottles of wine. Dinner was phenomenal which was a nice break from the pretty average meals we've been having the whole time. We had Octopus, Veal Tagliatelle pasta, tirimisu, etc.
At one point Flav was fucking with me because I was going against Lord's suggestion of limoncello. He told me that if he didn't like it I'd have to sleep in the bus for the rest of the tour. I knew he was joking, but he was acting all serious. "You better hope I like this shit Adam!" Then after that he said something along the lines of "Yo for real tho, I like you G. I fuck with you. Let's toast to Adam y'all!!" That was pretty damn cool.
At this point I'm starting to fully gain the respect of all of the crew that I could tell were unsure about me. Honestly, the fact that they would be unsure of me doesn't bother me at all. I would be too. Up to this point they know nothing about me except that I'm Lord's homie and Chuck cosigns me.
The hotel in Vienna was also a Sofitel, but was not quite as nice as the one in Munich. However, the architecture was much cooler. I got up early in the morning and took a long walk down to the Danube River just to see some of the sights. I was surprised how much graffiti was there. Never thought of Austria as a big graffiti hub.
This was also my Love, Kelley's, birthday and it felt really odd to not be around for her on her day. The time difference has really blurred the lines between days in relation to my contact with my people back home. I felt like I had already made a sufficient effort to show her birthday love, but when we got to the venue she expressed that she was kind of upset that I hadn't called her yet. In my defense, the last time I had the opportunity (wi-fi) I knew she was asleep. So, already there's a bit of strain on the relationship, but honestly I think she's doing a great job handling me being out here. Its not an easy thing for a girlfriend to deal with.
The venue was really nice and it was a great show. At this point, I'm really starting to get the hang of the Canon camera and am capturing some great shots. After the show, we were back at the hotel smoking a joint out front and getting ready to go to Lord's first after party DJ set of the tour. Drew came outside and began to tell us the news of the attacks in Paris and Beirut.
We didn't understand the full scope of the situation at first. We were distracted and just piling in the car to head to The Loft for Lord to play. We had an extremely long drive the next day to Zurich and had to leave Vienna at 3 in the morning immediately after Lord's set. All we knew was that some terrible shit happened in France and loved ones were reaching out to us to make sure we were ok.
We got to The Loft, began drinking and hanging in the back room downstairs. Lord rocked the house properly and luckily they had a mic, so I MCd and got the party hype a bit. No real rhyming, just pumping up the crowd and such. It was an absolute blast though and set quite a standard for the rest of Lord's gigs on this tour.
As soon as he finished at 2:30, we took a cab back to the hotel and I retired to the bunk on the bus where, yet again, I slept for about 10 hours straight. It was a tense scene as we all rushed to load on to the bus. I was quite drunk after the VIP treatment at the after party and was trying to have as little interaction with the older heads as possible. I know I'm being watched and evaluated to some extent and I know I'm being judged at least somewhat for my penchant for partying, but I know I can still gain they're respect at the same time.
I slept most of the bus ride from Vienna. When I woke up I sat and talked to Malik for a couple hours. He is a super interesting guy. He told me stories from his adventures over the years. He and his brother were the first pair of brothers to be drafted to the NFL simultaneously. Tony and Charley King were there names. Tony since changed his name to Malik Farrakhan.
After having a career in football, Malik started modeling and was pretty successful. He worked with Richard Roundtree (Shaft), John Witherspoon, etc. He was also an actor. He was in the Richard Pryor movie The Toy and also was the only African American in The Godfather. Later, he began doing security. He told me stories about being in South Africa with Nelson Mandela's wife while he was in prison and also said he was friends with Princess Diana. This guy has had quite a life and it is pretty amazing to hear his stories. He's also a really genuine, nice dude.
He told me that the only reason he is working for Public Enemy is because Louis Farrakhan specifically asked him to. That blew my mind.
We got to Zurich about noon. There was a strange feeling in the air as the details of what had happened in Paris the night before began to unfold. Three heavily armed terrorists went in to The Bataclan and killed around 110 people. Now, obviously, our heart goes out to everyone across the world who suffers through such tragedies. The sympathy shown for Paris in the social media has left many thoughtful people wondering where the love for Africa and Beirut is. These types of atrocities happen all over the world all the time, but for some reason this Paris attack really struck home for Americans.
The Bataclan attack struck home for us because it happened at a concert, at a place that Public Enemy has performed in the past several years. When you think about huge terrorist attacks like that happening, you just don't think about it happening at a smaller concert. I mean the place isn't a small club or anything, but its not some massive arena either.
The venue was walking distance from the hotel and we didn't really have any time to go explore during the day unfortunately. Zurich seemed like an amazing city. It was my favorite thus far after the night we had there. The show was great, probably the best response yet. I saw mosh pits for the first time on the tour.
After PE played everyone but Davy, Flav, Sammy, Lou, and myself went back to the hotel. We all stayed and checked out some of The Prodigy. We mobbed through the crowd to the front of house area (the place where the light guy and front of house sound guy are located in the middle of the arena) and stood to watch the set for a while. After a min some girl tapped me on the shoulder and started bitching at me about the fact that Flav was standing on the platform in her way and she couldn't see the stage.
It was so loud that I couldn't really communicate what I wanted with her. All I was trying to say is "We won't be here that long, just hang tight and we'll be out of the way." Then the girl next to her asked if she could get a picture with Flav. Clearly the first girl didn't know who he was. She was only concerned with him getting the fuck out of her way. It was way too loud for me to try to communicate any of this to him and I knew we would be splitting soon anyways, so I just let it ride.
The next thing I knew an empty cup bounced off of my head and hit a couple of the other guys too. Lou, not aware of the discourse I had just had with these chicks, turned around and started trying to demand to know who threw the cup. I really thought someone was about to get slapped for a minute. We could tell things were getting tense, so we just went ahead and got out of there and walked back to the hotel.
An MC named Gambit who is signed to SlamJamz Records was with Chuck in the lobby when we got back. We all sat and chatted for a while waiting for the time to head to Lord's after party. When we arrived there we realized why the party was at a 'secret' location. It was held in a dude's home. That doesn't really sound like the most appealing party scenario, but it was actually pretty awesome. He had a bar with fancy drinks and a cocktail list. He had a huge vinyl collection that was spread over several of the rooms. The turntables were set up in the living room.
They brought us a bottle of single malt scotch, tequila, and vodka, plus a magnum of Tattinger Champagne and two bottles of Moet. Lord played a great set that was much different that the night before. Everyone loved it and it was a party that could've gone on quite longer than it did. The neighbor ended up complaining and the guy whose place it was shut it down at about 2:30. After that we headed to an after after party.
As we all gathered outside the party to head to the next spot I noticed a dude standing in the crowd that looked really familiar. When you're in another country you don't expect that the person you see who you think looks familiar is actually familiar. You just assume they look like someone you know. Then I heard him speak and he clearly had an American accent, so then I had to ask. "Yo, whaddup dude? You look hella familiar to me. What's your name?". "Alchemist" he said. Oooooohh shit!!! I'm thinking to myself. I had just played a show with Alchemist a month ago in Atlanta and that's why I remembered his face so vividly.
So, we all mobbed down the street to this other club that I cannot recall the name of. When we walked in Young Thug or one of the 30 other rappers that sound the same was playing and the place was PACKED. Our crew tonight consisted of Davy, Lord, T Bone, Eric, Flav, plus Ella (an S1W chick from Sweden who was cool as fuck),
Gambit, Alchemist, and all of our new friends. When we walked in to the club Lord was trying to push his way through the crowd to put his back pack behind the DJ booth for safety. So, I thought I should follow him to make sure none of these people try to get in his bag. It would've been pretty easy given the circumstances.
As I followed closely behind Lord with the sole intention of protecting the bag I realized that this was the most dense crowd I'd tried to weasel my way through in a long time. I had a bunch of young douchy Swiss dudes looking at me like they were about to swing on me because of it and no one else seemed to be paying any attention. For a moment, I thought it might get ugly, but luckily it didn't. We made our way upstairs to a room that the club owner designated for us. As I began to roll a joint, I heard Flav from the other room on the microphone. I guess the DJ recognized him and gave him the mic. I heard him giving shout outs to all the crew that was with us including myself.
This was one of those truly surreal moments. I'm standing in a club in Zurich, Switzerland by myself rolling a joint and I can hear Flavor Flav giving me a shout out on the mic in the next room. Soon after that, he and everyone else had made their way back in the room. Ella had started a conversation with a young Iranian dude who was chilling. Somehow a cypher got started and the Iranian dude started to rap. I'm thinking to myself "Let's do this! I'm ready to spit something too." When the guy was done with his verse I was about to start and out of nowhere Lord started rapping. Me and Flav were looking at each other like, "Damn!!" I had no idea Lord could spit." Then I spit something and got my props and Flav dropped a verse to put the cherry on top.
To paint the picture, we were in an old run down looking room. The lights in the room started to flicker on and off around the time we started rapping and were completely shut off by the middle of the session. It added to the vibe of the cypher and it was really memorable for me. Soon after we decided it was time to get the hell out of there and grabbed a taxi back to the hotel. We stopped by McDonald's on the way back to my dismay. I really thought I'd be able to make it through this whole trip without consuming that bullshit, but no such luck.