Word on the street is that the "security" of Brogden Hall will cause more harm than good. 140 deputies, streets blocked off, helicopters, SWAT guys, ERT guys, dogs, UC officers in the mix. Imagine 3,000 excited 14-25 year olds standing in line for 45 minutes to get inside a show. Half of them leaving because of the hassle. The buzzkill will soon be amped back up once lights dim and the music starts. Thump, thump, thump, get ya hands up, ya hands up, hands up, holla, holla!
Overly anxious concert goers will stand up, dance about, egg people on. Pop, lock and drop girls will cause vulgar shouts from the testosterone pumped boys in the hood. It will all be in rowdy youth style fun, something us old farts forgot all about when we hit 30... or 50.
More and more people fill in empty seats finally after making their way through TSA grade anti-terrorist security. The crowd begins to shift. Creeping to better vantage points, filling halls and exits, pushing their way closer to the stage. An argument, an arrest or two, a wiff of reefer rolling thru the crowd, boooo's start up when the show slows silently then the lights come on. Show's over. Lil Wayne hasn't even left his tour bus yet and everyone has to go home.
The big money ticketsellers balk at the heavy fist coming down on this night of entertainment, my God it was a show featuring BET's MVP Artist of the Year, here in Wilmington and those tickets make money yo. Who would have thought putting on a show like this would have such financial risks.
Some angry youth want payback when their tickets become worthless. Promoters forced to sue anyone they can so that they can refund the ticket sales and pay Lil Wayne for stopping by and beeping the horn. What was hyped by the press and Causey, as a potential shootout at the gym, gang thug against gang thug turns deadly violent against the deputies, is a disappointment to those touting this show as a Stop the Violence rally.
But when all hell breaks loose, kids being kids, feeling ripped off a wrong move can set this tendebox a blaze in an instant. And when it does catch fire the only way for these law enforcement officers can stay safe is to go on the offensive. Pushing and moving the crowd deep into a pocket to be rounded up and controlled.
Possibly a few bandana wearing soldiers of fortune will break ranks and cause heartache for the community. Possibly, if someone makes the wrong move.
But if everyone survives the show, the "After Parties" (plural) will be held at the National Guard Armory and at the ILA Hall on Kidder Street. Do I need to say anymore? That is an entirely different box of matches.
Word on the street is that it will be a night to remember, one way or another.
Let's hope someone doesn't make a wrong move.
The right move was made by Cumberland County officials when Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy wowed a crowd of 6,000 at the FSU Homecoming held at the Arena. When I talked with officials with FSU Friday I was told that the university requested no added security for the concert.
"…most important hip hop album (Lil Wayne's newest release) of decade."
"He's (Lil Wayne) the perfect artist to own this time – the best rapper alive. Hear! Hear!"
VIBE MAGAZINE November Issue
Think about it, these rappers are businessmen. In this day and age artists make little money from record sales. They now make their big money from the shows. Lil Wayne will make something in the neighborhood of $50,000 for his one and a half hours of performance. $50,000! And that's not counting merchandising. A friend of mine who managed a small no-name touring band said they grossed $5,000 a show from t-shirt sales. Lil Wayne and his posse' might take in ten times that...net! This is business, BIG business. And Lil Wayne, his manager and his record label are not going to want headlines saying how he instigated a riot. The million dollar lawyer who will represent Weezy on his pending weapons and drug case does not want that sort of publicity. These guys are all about the DOLLAR. The "gang" stuff is a front. Sort of like Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. So there is no need to panic, to bring out the 140 deputies, tax the citizens of the county $30,000 in overtime pay to have these deputies stand watch for a few hours. There was no need to over react. Had the folks been allowed to go to the Lil Wayne concert same as they did last year when it was at UNCW, there would have little to no violence. Certainly no more than has been at any Hoggard v. Hanover High School football game in recent memory.
But what gets me in all this is why the HYPE? What purpose does that serve? Do they have intelligence from snitches that a gang war was to start in the gym tonight? Or were they using their racially challenged mental intellect that just because a large group of predominantly black youth gathers in one spot it will automatically cause death and destruction? Tell that to Fayetteville State University. Newspaper headlines declared "No extra security planned for Lil Wayne concert Sunday, sheriff says" What was that all about? Everyone knew different. You can't call up 140 deputies and keep it a secret, so why lie to the public, to the media? Is Causey setting a trap? Is this a tactical strike against teenage rap fans that can afford $40 tickets?
Besides Causey being dosed up on some sort of medication causing irrational thought and paranoid delusions, what political statement is he trying to make? Is the idea to worsen racial tensions, and create a bonding with ALL gangs focusing on the police? Or is it just a brain damaged Manuel Noriga type of military wannabe waving his imaginary wand at the troops sending them into harm's way.
God bless all those men out there tonight. Keep them safe. They are just following orders. And Lord protect these kids, for they have no idea what they are walking into tonight.
Please, please nobody make a wrong move tonight!
*** Since the event turned out to be uneventful I thought about deleting this post but this was written 12 hours prior to the show and we even talked about it on the show Saturday, so I felt it should be left up to the reader to decide if this post is still relevant or not.***