Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Almost Shot Mic Geronimo


Halloween. 1994. Sophomore year of college. Don’t know how or why exactly, but I am the treasurer of the Black Student Union. This was my brief foray into student government politics, and I still have my Robert Rules of Order to prove it. More importantly, I am the check writer! Any and all funding for student events must be sanctioned by the President, Vice President, and myself. The president of the Black Student Union was a TRINIDADIAN-American woman, so President Obama isn’t really that ground breaking. It is also quite convenient that my comrades and I happen to deejay parties, so I wonder who is going to get the no bid contract for all events that semester? All student government organizations receive a budget that needs to be spent in it’s entirety or it may be reduced the following year, so we proceeded with a Brewster’s Millions mentality (I wonder if that’s why congress buys 1,350 screwdrivers?). Needless to say, I was cutting $1,200 checks for an hour’s worth of deejay services and violating all sorts of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Easy to talk shit about Halliburton until you wield all the power and your cousin Vinny owns the bidding company. It’s not just a cute saying- Absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Extracurricular activities on campus leave something to be desired and we are trying our damnedest to bolster some sort of “this is the place to be” reputation. It ain’t happening. I have a brilliant idea to throw a party and have Mic Geronimo and Cash Money Click perform @ Crystals, or was it the Que Club? There weren’t that many clubs in Queens at that point, so pick one (whichever one was close to the library and across the street from the bus stop). Mic Geronimo is my boy’s cousin somehow so it wasn’t too hard to pull off. I met the manager, worked out the logistics, booked the venue, printed out some pumpkin colored fliers and we were off to the races . . . And I wonder who we can overpay to deejay the party?

Imagine if you will, a small group of barley post pubescent 19-year-old’s running around New York City with thousands of dollars of equipment in a U-haul truck. Does the phrase “Tourist in Time Square with expensive cameras around his neck” mean anything to you? We are basically begging to be robbed just for being progressive entrepreneurs. Needless to say, we also had a mini arsenal in the truck, but only for preventative measures. This is the early 1990’s after all, and Brooklyn was still the Wild Wild West. No one was a thug but no one was trying to lose all we had worked for either (like guns somehow prevented that if someone really wanted our equipment). Where we got the kind of firepower we had I will never know, nor did I ask, but we had some serious moose hunting side canons at our disposal. I distinctly recall the Desert Eagle that was so heavy , I could barely lift it, the Tech Nine, and the cute little .32 caliber revolver reminiscent of the innocuous pee shooter fired in Harlem Nights after the Tommy gun discharge would subside (“Don’t shoot that little motherf*cker no mo!”). It’s so crazy to me that I was in any vehicle ridin’ that dirty, but who really thinks rationally at that age? And yes, that is my piss poor excuse for bad decision-making, as this could’ve easily been a prison memoir had we been pulled over on the wrong day.

It’s party time! Oh it’s party time! Having a party! Doesn’t matter that there is a another party going on simultaneously upstairs in the same club and half our crowd could potentially be at the right venue but the wrong party (thanks for the heads up dick face club owner). Doesn’t matter that the rappers are running late (I’m as shocked as you.) Doesn’t matter that our crowd basically consist of the deejays a.k.a. my boys, the student union delegation a.k.a. my boys, 3 special invited guest who seemed to be the only ones who saw the ORANGE fliers a.k.a. our girlfriends, and I believe a cockeyed bartender with a parrot on her shoulder and hair growing out of the unicorn shaped mole on her chest, to give you an example of how paltry our venue seemed. And I am certain there were problems with our deejay equipment. Although I cannot recollect specifically, I can most definitively attest that EVERY party taking place in the five boroughs between the years of 1979 –1997 had equipment issues. The staggering amounts of non-union reggae deejays and “Trevor the ’Lectrician pon de weekend” audio technicians had reached endemic levels.

The talent has finally arrived and not a moment too soon. Mic Geronimo, as did all rappers at that time, came fully equipped with the Menacing Entourage Limited Edition Hip Hop Package (“new and improved with 25% more thuggin!”). Thank God they were ALL late too because that gave the crowd an opportunity to swell from a meager 12 individuals to a fire code violating 14, creating an optimal performance environment for egotistical artists. I hope Marshall Bill isn’t too busy tonight for he may have to break all this up… using only his inside voice. In any event, it’s basically now or never and it’s time to get on with it. Lights, camera, “What?! What do you mean they don’t want to go on?” Apparently, Mic Geronimo and friends (mainly his manager) felt that it was a waste of their time to perform for the 14 people in attendance, but still felt that they required payment for services not rendered. Madame President of the student union felt that they could all kiss her ass and without saying so, basically said so. So in one corner we have the student union college kids who really have no idea how individuals from different “urban” backgrounds can react when money and entitlement is involved. In the other corner we have “Give me my Fucking Money” Rappers. In the middle we have, yes you guessed it, yours truly. I literally have the check in my possession and although I am merely the treasurer, I booked the talent and I am the dominant male here so the decision is somehow ultimately mine (notice how I was P. Diddy in the beginning and now I am "merely" the treasurer.

Amidst the escalating tension, I had managed to break away to the U-haul, retrieve said .32 revolver from the glove compartment and made my way back into the club, unnoticed. No one ever searches the promoter after you’ve gone in and out about 30 times. Plaxico would’ve been proud. And off course, the gun was for preventative purposes only. After all, these rapper savages may have guns and I am a mere college student. Lord knows what kind of shady backgrounds and broken families they come from. I will not fall victim to the ignorance of these firearm-toting hooligans (insert sarcasm here). Voices are escalating in larger increments, shoulder blades are tensing up and it’s looking like it’s about to be that time of the night. All my boys who would’ve supported whatever decision I made, violent or non-violent, just happen to be present for better or worse, and they are ready to support whatever decision I make. Everyone is yelling at me from all directions and after about 15 more minutes of all this posturing, I had had enough. I reached into my right coat pocket, pulled out the burner, pointed it directly at Mic’s head, screamed “Thug life!” and pulled the trigger . . . . Not buying that story huh? Ok. What REALLY happened was, I reached into my left coat pocket, pulled out the check and handed it to the manager. We all chalked it up to a terrible fucking night and lived happily ever after.

And I can’t believe you really wanted me to shoot him. Ya’ll are so violent! Read the title again. I said “ALMOST”. Sheesh!

I definitely felt like a pussy for: a) paying for services not rendered, b) succumbing to fear of the unknown, c) succumbing to fear in general. However, I was: a) 19 years old, b) it wasn’t that unknown what would have happened if I opted to take the “go fuck yourself” route, c) I knew I was in the Death Wish phase of my life, hence the choice to even retrieve the gun from the car, so I was even more conscious of my actions, d) Fuck principalities; It wasn’t my money, e) they did show up ready and willing to perform and f) how would my ego feel if had to perform in front of only 14 people (probably about as bad as throwing a party and having only 14 people show).

The funny thing about is, through all that excitement, all my close friends would’ve probably voted me “Least Likely to Ever See the Inside of a Prison Let Alone Brandish a Firearm”, and they would be right. I have never been arrested or even seen the inside of a precinct let alone a holding cell or jail (so much for my street cred). But you never know who is in the wrong frame of mind on any given day, so it is probably always best to just take it the fuck easy! The moral of the story here is Don’t ever book Mic Geronimo for your Halloween parties!

Sidebar: Would I have really shot him if we all started fighting? Honestly, who knows? If you asked me if I‘d be in a position to shoot a rapper in the first place, I would’ve probably chased your crazy bald head out town, but ain’t life grand? All I know is that guns change options, and if you live long enough, you learn the answers to all sorts of questions you never imagined the universe would ask in your wildest dreams. Sidebar complete.

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