Covering a concert always has its fun and of course interesting points. In this case, coverage of the Summer West Fest in Phoenix, Arizona started off as an adventure in its own. Just imagine, temperatures averaging 118 degrees Fahrenheit and not knowing just what to expect. Still recovering from the festival life of Coachella, Bonnaroo and even Hot 97s Summer Jam, The Summer West Fest was to be something different and classic with the lineup. The West Coast all-star lineup proved to be just that with Mack 10, WC, DJ Quik, E-40 and headlining was The Game.
What made it a whole lot different was experiencing the backstage lifestyle with someone who had never experienced it before. As a journalist, most of the time you’re rolling solo dolo, with a fellow journalist and photographer or in my case a friend that was a fan as well. Having the honor of taking my friend Kenya along for the ride (she drove thought) I was about to learn something myself. For the first time in a long time there was an actual Meet & Greet put on by Petey America, a voice I was conversing with via telephone finally had a face. The Game, late for his part, still managed to do his photos with fans and autography signing. In between that, great spins from DJ JohnBlaze and hosting from Justus.
Then it was show time. The bass was booming Mack 10 performed hits and paid tribute to the legendary Nate Dogg with Ain’t No Fun as the crowd sang along. But backstage was a whole other world. Groupies galore and as a journalists, they were more of a hindrance than a help. But that’s how it is and the greenery was hard not to smell. Exchanging between dressing rooms, it was apparent that everyone was getting along. Trying to conduct an interview during a show was absolutely crazy and come to think of it, attempting to do so was insane. E-40 talked of dropping five albums at one time, Mack 10 told more of his role behind the scenes of shows.
The Game explained the difference between Blood Money and The Documentary 2 while pertaining the Black Wallstreet/ Blood Money La Familia to my change of braids. All the while Kenya got a deep look into the crazy antics taking place backstage. What stood out was everything that was normal to me, the respect between artists and others, groupie love and business was all a big rush, presented akward situations to Kenya. From Deebo aka Tiny randomly in the back chillin’ with us to being asked why greenery wasn’t a preference and being weird for not doing it.
In all, Ali Bombaye was played at ignorant levels and we got a good show. Backstage…you had to be there to understand.
Tatiana’s on Twitter (@TatianaTot) & this was just a tip of the iceberg of what really happened. Hit her to get the real scoop.