With Vanessa and Adam back in NYC, I was the last man standing for the remainder of SXSW. The day’s plan was pretty simple. I had interviews with Travis Porter and Mystikal on the menu before heading to the Shady 2.0 Showcase. I’d decided to take a break from the Illmore to go the Interscope party the previous night, but heard I missed out on Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, A$AP Rocky and Mac Miller, so that was definitely going to be my after hour spot.—Carl Chery (@cchery)
Friday March 16, 2012… 2:50 p.m.
I head out to the Westin hotel to meet Travis Porter.
Friday March 16, 2012… 3:25 p.m.
B. Dot a.k.a The Hipster Killer picks me up and we head Downtown. We listen to 360′s Everywhere and Back in the car on the way over.
Friday March 16, 2012… 5:00 p.m.
After getting a bite to eat, we walk down to the Spotify House. It closes soon, but I’ve been meaning to check it out all week, so we head over.
Friday March 16, 2012… 5:10 p.m.
I get a text from Sarah Cunningham from The Chamber Group. She’s with Mystikal—who just got done performing at the Fader Fort—and they’re ready to link up. I tell them to meet me at the Spotify House. I don’t know why I was expecting only he and Sarah to show up, but I warned the door man to make sure there won’t be any hassle once they get here.
Friday March 16, 2012… 5:20 p.m.
Mystikal and company hop out of a van. It turns out that the homie Erik Pettie from Universal is with them. Makes sense. There’s also a few other folks who are part of Mystikal’s team in tow.
Friday March 16, 2012… 5:30 p.m.
I interview Mystikal right on the side of the Spotify House. This guy is full of energy. I’d love to witness a convo between him and DMX. Between their vocal texture and how animated they are, it’d be incredible.
Friday March 16, 2012… 5:45 p.m.
The interview went great. We head inside and find out that there’s a ping pong table in the house. Mystikal is ecstatic and challenges me to play. I tell him I’m not good and he gives me a disappointed look.
Friday March 16, 2012… 5:50 p.m.
Mystikal quickly grows bored of an opponent he deems unworthy. Some dude on the sideline talks a big game, so Mystikal asks, “Excuse me. You mind if I whoop his ass right quick?”
Friday March 16, 2012… 6:00 p.m.
This guy is still playing. It turns out he played a lot of ping pong while on lock up for six years. He’s super competitive and talks trash throughout the game. By now, there’s a small crowd gathered around looking on as the newest Cash Money acquisition showcases his ping pong skills. Some know exactly who he is. Others, are way off base. “Ayayayaya,” some dude shouts. “Wrong song, wrong artist,” I shout, irritated.
Friday March 16, 2012… 6:10 p.m.
This dude is still playing and it’s serious business. At some point, he kisses the net for luck. On one play, he slides into the sand and appears to have scuffed the brand new Converses he just got at the Fader Fort. “You’re gonna mess up your sneakers,” shouts one member of his entourage. “It’s alright. I’ma get some more,” he responds. Mystikal beats his second straight adversary—some barefoot douche—and tootsie rolls as a celebratory dance.
Friday March 16, 2012… 6:20 p.m.
Mystikal has won three straight and he won’t leave. His entourage tells him it’s time to go, but there’s more pressing matters at hand: ping pong.
Friday March 16, 2012… 6:30 p.m.
B.Dot and I head out to the Fader Fort to kill a little time before the Shady 2.0 showcase. We bump into Combat Jack.
Friday March 16, 2012… 6:44 p.m.
Right in the middle of our conversation, some random dude introduces himself. “Is it cool if I bust this freestyle,” he asks. B. Dot says no, but dude starts rapping anyway.
Friday March 16, 2012… 6: 55 p.m.
I head out, but bump into one of my favorite people in the game, Richie Abbott. He tells me to stay so we can head to the Shady joint together. Out of nowhere comes Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and the rest of the Top Dawg crew. I head back into the Fader Fort with them.
Friday March 16, 2012… 9:30 p.m.
We get to the Shady joint. I’m not on the list.
Friday March 16, 2012… 9:32 p.m.
They found my name. I’m actually V.I.P.
Friday March 16, 2012… 9:34 p.m.
I have a professional camera, but no photo pass.
Friday March 16, 2012… 9:36 p.m.
Ray Alba and Dennis Dennehy hook me up with a pass and I’m back in business.
Saturday March 16, 2012… 1:03 p.m.
I’m with Richie and Jessica from People Magazine. On the way out, we regroup with B. Dot and bump into Sway from MTV and Devi Dev. We all hop in chariots and race one another on the way to the Vibe house. That’s Sway behind Richie’s head right there.
Saturday March 16, 2012… 4:00 p.m.
Me, TC from Smoking Section, Dan Solomito and a few others split and head to the Illmore. Dan and I struggle getting a cab, but we get there.
Saturday March 16, 2012… 4:30 p.m.
Dan introduces me to Kevin Mylott. “Hey, nice to meet you,” he says. “I’m Chip the Ripper’s manager.” “Oh yea?” I reply. “Where’s Chip at?
Saturday March 16, 2012… 4:31 p.m.
I turns out Chip was right next to me. I walk up to Chip and say something to the effect, “what up, *****?” We both laugh and hit it off right away. It was never beef between XXL and Chip. The back and forth that took place on Twitter when the 2012 XXL Freshman cover was revealed, was all in fun. Kevin, Chip and I chop it up for a few minutes. Lots of laughs. We’re on the same page. We exchange info and make plans to link up the next day.
Make sure to tune in tomorrow as XXL takes part in The Smoking Section and Hardknock TV’s Hoop X Hang tournament.