Today we will take a look at a chronological breakdown of 4/20/14 though the eyes of "Seth Freder". He is very similar to AofA contributor Sam Robinson, but is so totally not him. Definitely not him.
8:20 AM PST (4:20 PM in London)
"Seth" wakes up to the sounds of chirping birds, and the neighbor's loud barking German Shepherd ever. Take bong rip #1. Strain of choice: Girl Scout Cookies. They do their job, but unfortunately, the resulting munchies cannot be sated because there are no more trefoils left. Note to self: STOCK UP ON TREFOILS.
9:20 AM PST (4:20 PM in Sierra Leone)
After some well earned morning sex for cleaning the apartment and taking out the garbage, a leisurely bike ride to Noah's Bagels for a Cinnamon Raisin bagel appeases the hunger pangs, and allows me to get some P.U.T.S hype going, blasting "L.A. Song" in my headphones. Bong rip #2. GSC again. The girlfriend asked me why I got texts saying Happy Holidays from a few friends. "They know you aren't Christian and don't celebrate Easter, right?". How cute.
12:20 PM PST (4:20 PM In Rio De Janeiro)
After watching The San Antonio Spurs put on a classic Spurs-ian performance to beat the Mavericks in their Game 1 matchup, I prepared for the brunch double date with the lady and her married friends. They didn't quite seem to get the memo on what day it was, and my green tinted haze was pushed aside for a more amber/blonde hued buzz. (Beer). Also, kudos to Samuel Adams for releasing Summer Ale at the beginning of April.
3:20 PM PST (4:20 PM in Denver, CO)
After a delicious brunch at Public School 310 in Culver City (Croque Madam FTW) and a delicious Midas Touch, by Dogfish Head (THE BEST BREWERY. PERIOD), we head back to the apartment to start the pro-rolling preparation for Rhymefest LA. After reading in the official PR release that this would be a 420 friendly venue, the sneak a toke, edibles, and other security-thwarting devices were put aside for classic joints. Many, many joints. 7 in total. Was this a bit excessive? Maybe. (SPOILER: there were still 2 left at the end of the evening). But better safe than sorry. And of course, with the brunchers all a bit sauced on beer and Bellinis, even they partook in some bong hits to celebrate the holiday. Strain of choice: Blue Dream (a personal favorite).
Also: this was the point in the day where my girlfriend learned that 4/20 also happens to be a certain former dictator/asshole's birthday. But fuck that guy.
4:20 PM PST (4:20 4:20 4:20 !!!!)
You all know what happened at this point...
5:20 PM PST (4:20 PM in Anchorage, Alaska)
My cohorts for RhymeFest LA arrive to help finish pre-rolling, and eat some pre-festival pizza, as one does. The strain of choice for our motley crew: Amber Haze. With bellies full, a few pre-trip bong rips, and SLR cameras in tow, we set off for what we are expecting to be a wild evening.
7:20 PM PST (4:20 in Honolulu, Hawaii)
I had to skip 6:20, because did you know that there are ZERO land masses in the world that are exactly 2 hours behind us, according to the World Clock? (hawaii doesn't use Daylight Savings Time, so they are 3 behind until the fall). So to recap, we arrived at the press check-in for RhymeFest LA, which already had a 100+ person line for the main entrance. We got our passes in a jiffy, and went though our special secret entrance (baller!) to find...an empty room. With two guys rapping on stage, and one dude standing in the middle of that empty floor bopping along. Apparently, things were a bit delayed, which is to be expected for an event like this. What I did not expect was to find out that People Under The Stairs weren't scheduled to perform until 10:50 PM! On a Sunday Night! And Pharoahe Monch was listed as 11:45 - ???. Since we didn't want to wait for 4 hours, we decided to run over to a sports bar to watch the Blazers-Rockets game (An OT thriller).
10:20 PM PST (already 4/21/14 in most of the world, was really hoping to run with that gimmick longer)
After watching 1 helluva game between the Rockets and Blazers (if only we had a Nuggets vs. Blazers series...it would have been perfect), 2 beers, 3 rounds of the Buck Hunt arcade game at the bar, and too many liquid cheesed nachos to count, we headed back to RhymeFest LA, hoping to catch the end of 2MEX or Defari, and with just the right amount of time to prep for People Under The Stairs. When we walked in the buliding, there definitely a few more people inside than before:
As is the case with most Hip Hop/Rap/R&B shows, they are running a bit behind. Defari takes the stage about 10 minutes after our return to the Ukraine Theater. He had a very old-school feeling to him, with slower, more emphasized word play. Three of the latter tracks of his definitely had my head bobbing, but then again, it was around that point where joint #3 came into play. But the crowd did abide, and his encore brought rousing applause.
HOWEVER, there was one person I couldn't stop looking at, and that was the man who I dubbed "The Euro Dude in Red"
This guy was NOT shy in the slightest about being smack dab in the middle of the stage with his pro-sumer video camera, filing away, even as Defari had to circle around him a few times to get to different ends of the stage. He just stayed stationary, pivoting and rotating around like he was on a pedestal. PUTS wasn't even a big enough deal to outshine his need to be right in the middle of the action. At times, as you will see below, it looks like he is the third member of the group.
11:20 PM PST: PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS
People Under The Stairs. Finally. And they do not disappoint. In a 40 minute performance, they play no less than 10 of their hit tracks, including the first performance in Los Angeles of "One Up Til Sun Up", on their new upcoming album. THis is them doing it for the first time in public, at SXSW:
Then, Double K breaks a song down into some of the best beat-boxing I have witnessed firsthand. Later, Thes One busts out a drum machine and goes ape shit with it, hitting it off his head, body, and even off crowd members. People jumped, waved their arms, and smoked enough weed to turn the Ukraine Center into a foggy morning in San Francisco (Or a warm San Francisco Knight, the closing song, if you will). Below is some of the better pictures and video I was able to capture:
12:20 AM PST - HOME
After a great 40 minute set from People UnderThe Stairs, we decided we could not stay out until 1 am on a Sunday evening, so unfortunately we missed Pharoahe Monch. The final tally: 5 joints, 4 beers, 3 bong rips, too many nachos, and 1 great day. I sound like that white guy Dave Chappelle talks about...
So another 4/20 comes and goes. A few lessons learned:
1. Don't have a huge, awesome hip hop show go 'til 1 am on a Sunday, or working folk like myself can't make it through the whole show.
2. Don't try to use an SLR camera in a darm setting unless you really know how to use it.
3. Don't stop celebrating.
- Seth Freder