Friday, April 08, 2011

8 APR 11: Waka-Whatta?

So has anyone asked the Columbus Civic Center staff why they held Spring Fling in South Commons one week before the Muscogee County Schools' spring break? Even Brookstone, Pacelli and St. Luke coordinated their vacation times to match the public schools -- although no one's bothered to turn off the St. Luke school zone lights on 11th Street.

Perhaps the Columbus Civic Center held it early because of Thursday night's event - a "2-K-11" spring concert featuring several rap stars. It probably would sound too old-school and corny to promote it as the "tip-top in hip-hop."

True confession: I know very little about rap and hip-hop music. I liked the first couple of songs by The Sugar Hill Gang 30 years ago, but a downward spiral seemed to start from there. When I heard someone named Eminem had an album, I asked if it was the red one or the yellow one.

Even when I hear "Christian rap" music on WBOJ-FM, I change the station. And I'm a bit surprised country music fans have accepted Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem" - which has rapping at the speed of a pickup, as opposed to C.W. McCall's "Convoy" 18-wheeler.

But I suspect a big crowd attended Thursday night's rap-a-rama at the Civic Center. Reserved floor tickets cost 55 dollars - but for a show like this, it was almost worth pawning one of your gold teeth.

The biggest star at Thursday night's was a rising rapper whose name I actually knew. Waka Flocka Flame was featured awhile back on National Public Radio news. His home base is Atlanta, although some East Alabama residents can be forgiven for thinking someone named "Waka" is from Montgomery.

(Waka Flocka Flame actually gained that first name from a catch phrase of Fozzie Bear on "The Muppet Show." And that middle name makes me wonder if he submitted an audio clip to be the voice of the Aflac duck.)

Waka Flocka Flame was joined at the Civic Center by another rapper named Twista. Someone will have to tell me if he brought up the departure of Kurt Schmitz....

Twista rose to fame almost 20 years ago under the name "Tung Twista." Now this is truly bizarre - a man being required to cut off his Tung to enter a witness protection program.

Another act at the Civic Center rap roundup was the team of 8 Ball and MJG. I was surprised to read this duo has been rapping since 1992. Why, Kobe Bryant hadn't even started wearing number eight for the Los Angeles Lakers then....

I grew up in the Kansas City area, so I'm "big-city" enough to realize "8 Ball" used to be what people called Old English 800 malt liquor. Perhaps they still do, and I'm missing it now. My big beverage number these days is far below 800 - it's a Coke Zero.

But if you're waiting to read a review of the rappers -- sorry, try The Courier. While I went to Winterjam at the Civic Center in March, I stayed home Thursday night to continue Serious Spring Cleaning. Perhaps someone with a 55-dollar ticket will be "gangsta" enough to post pictures on the big star's website - you know, Flocker.

The rap concert meant the Columbus Cottonmouths couldn't practice inside the Civic Center Thursday, to prepare for tonight's semifinal series opener in Augusta. WTVM showed the team using the new skating rink next door. So apparently the rink finally is fit to use - and the Cottonmouths won't have to worry about any "checks payable."

SCHEDULED THIS WEEKEND: An interesting theory behind recent events in Phenix City....

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