Saturday, June 11, 2011

June. Even More Amazing.

I know; after such an amazing Mayo, after the wonderful experiences and all the love, how could June be more amazing a mere 11 days in? After going on my first cruise, my first experiece out of the country, my first real vacation in ages, how on earth could a-little-over-a-week-into June be that much better? Well, for one thing, I got to see my favorite band, The Legendary Roots Crew, live again. This time was a little different from the others. This time was something like a hip-hop fairy tale.

I had been discussing going to Philadelphia for this year's Roots Picnic for months. I love hip-hop, and as mentioned in previous posts, I love seeing The Roots live and ?uestlove is among my favorite people alive because of his talent, drive, intelligence, and contributions to the music world. It's all respect. (Admittedly, my post from last year's show was a bit of an exaggation on my crush. I read back on it and realzed that my sarcasm doesn't always shine through clearly in my writing. D'oh.)

After coming back from the Bahamas, and spending far more money than I intended, I actually worried that going to Philadelphia was not feasible. And quite honestly, had my travel companion not already purchased her tickets and made arrangements to go, I'd have talked myself out of it. You only live once, though, and I decided to go for it. In the interest of saving money, we decided to fly to Philadelphia. Neither of us had ever been on an airplane before; and the day before the trip, we both got butterflies.

The flight was fine. It was smoothe. It was beautiful. It was..short. We landed in Philly about 45 minutes after take-off. We shuttled our way to the hotel, and went to a casino for a while before retiring for the evening. Let's just fast-forward to the show, shall we?

12pm. Saturday, 6/4/11. We walked around, and bounced from stage to stage. We networked and spoke with Phillyfolk.

We bought t-shirts for the music festival. Duh.

We noticed that okayplayer was having a contest. To enter, one either tweeted or signed up for their mailing list. I'm not one for things like this; I don't gamble because I'm not fond of the disappointment you feel when you've not won. However, the winners of the drawing won the opportunity to watch The Legendary Roots Crew and Nas from onstage. We'd be foolish not to try, right?

So we tweeted. And signed up. And had people retweet.

And enjoyed the show. Saw some people I didn't know of. And some people that I did. Some soul, rock, rap. Donn T. Yelawolf. Oh, and did I mention Esperanza Spalding performed with The Roots? With all apologies - I was so excited, I didn't get a much better photo than this:

Sometime during the course of the day, my companion and I tweeted about how amazing we thought Amanda Diva to be. And she tweeted us back. I am fully aware of how nerdy that sounded.

The performances were great. Wiz Khalifa had several special guests that included Freeway and Beanie Sigel. Wiz's set was over at 8:30pm. Once that was over..the winner of okayplayer's contest would be announced.

They only picked two winners.

Amanda Diva came on stage to announce the winners.

My companion wanted to listen. I didn't want to get my hopes up.

Questlove snare roll..

She announced my companion. And I was excited! But I won't front like I wasn't a little salty. I mean, we came from NC together. We signed up on everything together. I know that it was a supposed random drawing, but it didn't seem likely that the odds were in my favor. So I stood. And waited for the announcement of the second winner.

Questlove snare roll..

Me. I won. I froze. I screamed. I waved. People rejoiced for me. RIGHT HERE. I WON. OH MY GOD. THAT'S ME. IWONIWONIWON. I ran to the side entrance of the stage.

Nas rocked. The Legendary Roots Crew rocked. As expected. They are my favorite live hip-hop act. They're utterly and always amazing. Did I mention that I met Kamal Gray and James Poyser as they walked to their keyboards?

And that Questlove and I kept making eye-contact during his set? Which, I know is probably a typical fanatic thing to say since he was lookign in my direction and I wanted it to happen. I know that it sounds ridiculous. I'm a very rational human being and I don't feel the need to defend myself. I know what happened.

Great show. We hung out, excited, processing the events of the day, when my comrade pointed out Questlove leaving the stage. My thought was, "damn. My only chance to meet him." Yet, who could even be mad after such an awesome day? Not me. Not at all.

Then we saw Black Thought. And talked to him. And took a photo with him. I'd be ruining my no-photos-of-myself-on-the-blog rule if I posted it. And then we saw Yelawolf. And talked with him. And took a photo with him. And I got felt up by him. There was far too much energy for me to process what was going on.

I was hot and sweaty and wanted to go back to the hotel to change clothing before attending the official after-party.

I was tired from standing up all day long. While I pledge allegiance to the fashion, and am quite flexible in what I wear, I'm generally a dress wearing gal for parties. However, I wore ripped jeans, a tank-top, and Converses to the show.

And our hotel was on the other side of Philadelphia.

And we'd been having the time of our lives.

So, screw it. Let's go to the official after party wearing the same clothing that we wore to the festival. We'd be fools to miss the party because I wanted to get pretty! Onward we went.

We sat and ate fish and grits with Phillyfolk. We talked about our excitement.

We watched Questlove walk right into the venue. And I respect the artistic zone, so I was not going to be that girl to disturb his music high while he was on the way to the dj booth. Nope.

We entered the club to party. We intentionally moved near the dj booth. And I lost my five-foot-tall protege among the people inside. I'm standing by myself, listening to the music, just a few feet from Questlove. And a guy unintentionally bumps into me and I nearly fell. I was caught. He was face to face with me and apologized. It was Captain Kirk Douglass. Guitarist of The Legendary Roots Crew. I was stunned. He apologized and moved to talk to Questlove; on his way out, he bumped me and apologized again.

We partied. We went outside for air. We went back inside for a moment, and I danced with a guy from another state for a while, while my homegirl had to handle some business. And while this guy is in my ear, my friend comes back and grabs my arm and takes me over to Questlove. She introduces herself and explains that we took our first flight ever to see him. And that I love him.

And then he grabbed my hand. And I blushed. And he smiled at me, and made his way out.

I wish the story ended with me losing a glass slipper, but I wore Converses to the party. I didn't give him my phone number or scream out my level of devotion to him. Instead, I was civil. Classy.

And it was the best weekend of my entire life.

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