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The Skinny Black Man
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July 26, 2004

2 more days and......OH MY GOD!!!! 

It's 3 days until we leave and I'm completely freaking out! I feel like I have a million things to do (I still haven't finished packing(see earlier post)) and not enough time to do them. So, instead of talking about that, I'll tell you about last Saturday night.

Saturday was long and tiring, and I was in need of some serious relaxing. Luckily, I already had plans to go to a party with my friend Walsh. I show up to the party, fashionably late as always, and the gang (Walsh, Tim (Walsh's brother), Hunter (another party friend), Sarah (a girl we hang out with sometimes) and Sarah's friend, Angela (who Hunter is hitting on)) are all there. The party was not too exciting and a little weird (some girl walked by me and touched my butt, and didn't have the common decency to introduce herself) so we decided to leave. We decide to head over to "Fox and Hounds", a bar we've been to many times before, and I knew that would be an interesting choice (I'll explain later).

As I was walking up to the bar, I noticed Summer standing outside. Summer is the lead singer of a band called "The Jagermeisters." A band we've seen many times before, enough times for them to know who we are for various reasons. (I'm keeping you in suspense on purpose.) She didn't see me as I slipped past her and I was a little relieved, I thought I might make it through the night unnoticed. Nope. I went inside and the others were already there. I sat down at the table and immediately the waitress comes over to me and says "Hey, are you going up tonight?" I giggled a little and said "I don't know." Walsh looked over at me with a shit eating grin on his face and nodded. Walsh knew what was going to happen. The waitress took my drink order and left. Sarah had ordered some chicken fingers before I arrived and the busboy came to deliver them a few moments later. Apparently he didn't see me at first, because when he did, he said "Hey, man! Are you going up tonight?" Walsh, Tim and I all started laughing. "I don't know. We'll see." "I hope you do," he replied. Sarah, Angela and Hunter are now completely confused (as you may be) and ask what's going on.

About six months ago, on a Friday night, we stopped into the Fox and Hounds for a couple of drinks. It was a good night. Lots of people, lots of drinks and the Jagermeisters were jamming as always. It was getting pretty late in the evening, when suddenly Summer starts beat boxing. "We should do some rap," she says. The odd thing about that is the Jagermeisters cover rock songs, exclusively. "We should do 'California Love,' but I don't know the words. Does anyone know the words to 'California Love?'" Like I said, it was late in the evening and I had about 5 'Black and Tans' in me and was feeling pretty good. I stood up and shouted "I do!" before I even had time to think about it. "Come on up here!" I made my way through the crowd and started thinking "What the hell am I doing?"

Obviously, I'm no stranger to the stage, and don't have a problem having attention focused on me, and while I've always had dreams of being a rock star, I realized long ago I couldn't sing. And with the exception of "The Untouchable Posse," a rap group I was apart of when I was 13, I've never rapped before. All that didn't matter now, though, because I was standing behind the mic. The drummer asked me if I wanted a specific beat, and I told him to play whatever and I'll just jump in. He started playing. The beat was a little fast, but that was the least of my problems, because as I looked out over the crowd, I realized I couldn't remember the first line of the song. I started bobbing my head, and trying to run through the lyrics in my head. Suddenly, I got it! And right on time, I started "bustin'" lyrics. The crowd was getting into it and the performer in me started to get a little comfortable. It wasn't until I was almost done with the first verse that I realized, I couldn't remember what the second verse was. And it was impossible to try and run lyrics in my head, while saying other lyrics at the same time. I hit the chorus and Summer started singing.  My mind was on hyperdrive trying to figure out the first line to the second verse, but I was quickly running out of time. I was in full panic mode and yet trying to look cool as each beat went by "I'm going to look like an ass!" Then it happened, right on cue I just started freestyling. The crowd who was into it before, suddenly erupted. People were getting up out of their chairs, clapping and dancing. I started dropping in things like "The Fox and Hounds" and "the Jagermeisters" and "the girl sitting over there," and the crowd took it up to the next level.  I don't know how long I went on like this (couldn't have been that long) but I finished the verse and the crowd cheered.  The band was still playing, like they expected me to go on, so I obliged.  I went into everybody's favorite "Baby's got back."  It was officially "on" at that point.  But once again, I couldn't remember the second verse, so I started freestyling again.  And then I noticed, the band was following me!  Having never lead a band before, I didn't know how I was doing it, but they were watching me and changing up exactly when I did. I t was AMAZING!!!  I freestyled for a while and ended the verse very distincly and right when I did, the band brought it down.  The crowd was going nuts.  So, I talked to them a little bit (still don't know what I said) and then went into "You know what I like? I like, I like, I like big butts!!" Chanting it over and over again and then the band started in with me singing in the breaks.   And exactly when I was ready, we ended the song on the down beat.   The crowd went absolutely bananas!  I walked back to my table and everyone was giving me high fives and pats on the back and when I got back to my table the waitress came over and bought the entire table a round.  After the band wrapped it up for the night, Summer came over to me and told how great she thought I was and that she had a recording studio and wanted me to come in and work on some stuff with her.  Um.....What!?!?  Needless to say I was on cloud nine and that lasted for a couple of days.  I meant to call her, but never did and chalked up the night to a one time experience...until a couple of months later when we went back.  As soon as Summer saw me she said "You'd better get ready, cuz you're coming up here!"  And I did, but it wasn't as good as the first time, which I figured would happen.  After that I kinda knew the next time I was there and the Jagermeisters were playing, I would have to go up.

So, in fact, when Summer came back to start the next set she spotted me and said "Hey, you're coming up here!"  And it didn't take her long either.  About 2 songs later, I was up rocking the mic and I have to admit it was better than the second time.  More cheers and high fives and some people went out of their way to come over and tell how cool they thought it was.   I ended up having a converstation with a guy who lives in Hawaii and works in LA 3 days a week.  (That is a hell of a commute.)  And when he's in Hawaii, he gets together with some musicians and they jam every Monday night.  He gave me his card and all but invited me to come and jam with them if I'm ever in Hawaii.

As hesitant as I was to do it, it turned out pretty cool.  And they are starting to treat me like a rock star there.  The funny thing is, I don't think I rap that well, I just think I know how to work a crowd.  I told Summer the next time I come, I'll be prepared with something original.  It makes me giggle just thinking about it, but since I said I would do it, I guess I'll have to.

Stay tuned, I'm sure I'll end up talking about it here.

This has been an official message from The Skinny Black Man

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