If you were anywhere near a television set, online or on Twitter, I'm sure that your Saturday evening was held hostage by Kanye West mania! For me, it was an entire night flooded with G.O.O.D Music. It all started at MTV studios with the debut of his "Runaway" movie and an in-depth, live Q&A immediately afterward. Kanye was in rare form and seemed extremely ecstatic and gratified that the world finally saw this piece of art.
The night didn't end there for me. Following the interview, we headed to Platinum Sounds Studios, owned by Wyclef Jean and bassist Jerry "Wonder," in midtown Manhattan. There, I watched Ye carefully sift through song selections on his laptop for what was to be a surprise performance at Williamsburg's Brooklyn Bowl (one that I almost ruined unknowingly by mentioning it during our Q&A session). G.O.O.D. Music artists CyHi Da Prynce and Consequence filed into the studio, and soon after music mogul Andre Harrell arrived, it was time to caravan over to BK.
It was about 1:45am when we arrived at the venue. It was an anniversary party for Fools Gold, Kanye's DJ A-Trak's record label. ATL MC Donnis was onstage warming up the crowd of hip-ster-hop enthusiast with a medley of viral favorites, including "Over Do It," "Gone" and "Tonight." Cyhi Da Prynce took the stage with a lively show fueling the anticipation of Kanye gracing the stage.
I stood next to Chicago G.O.O.D. Music artist GLC and Southern Cali representative Freddie Gibbs when the anticipation became reality and relief for the crowd. CyHi cued A-Trak to drop "So Appalled," the rumbling, screeches and howls reached the night's peak, and the man of the evening stepped onto the stage just after 2 a.m.
I watched off to the side as Kanye performed a five-song set of all recent G.O.O.D Friday and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy heaters. He wore the Roc standard — "all black everything" from overcoat to sneakers. The outfit was completed with truck jewelry that included his Horus chain and a bundle of gold chains that he switched to once the Horus head seem to get too heavy. It was like the entire audience was a press pit full of flashes and video recording devices. In about 15 minutes Kanye went through "Monster," "So Appalled," "Devil in a New Dress," "Runaway" and "Power," in which Kanye lead the crowd into the staple hand-clap intro. The crowd was in a G.O.O.D Music trance when in a split moment he was gone without a trace, leaving the stage to chants of "Kanye, Kanye, Kanye!"
Backstage, it looked like a scene out of the classic Run-DMC movie "Krush Groove." Legendary Wu-Tang Clan master GZA, was standing in the wings when I greeted him with a "pound." I jokingly asked, "You want me to grab the mic for you?" and he replied, "Nah, I got this!"
It was like clockwork when A-Trak dropped "Liquid Swords" and GZA appeared onstage, greeted by a frenzy of lyric-loving, Wu Tang faithful who violently jerked their necks to the RZA produced drum tracks. It was a great night for hip-hop.