While I’ve been studying in Copenhagen, I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground for concerts of any sort, an act that is now beginning to take its toll on me. After carelessly missing one of my favorite bands, Cymbals Eat Guitars, playing at a local venue, I was sure to not miss any further opportunities, even while not in Copenhagen. Since that flub, I’ve “attended” “three” hip-hop “concerts”, those of Oddisee, Lil’ Yachty, and the one and only Drake. All hip-hop artists, yet entirely dissimilar from one another. The common thread throughout, though, was the amount of effort each artist appeared to put into their individual performances and outreach to the audience.
On March 2nd, I was traveling in Paris with fellow takeplug contributor Will Walkey, having recently said goodbye to our dear friend, AND FELLOW TAKEPLUG CONTRIBUTOR (I never realized that it was a takeplug vacation), Matthew Hughes. Having suffered this tremendous loss in personnel, Will and I ambled around the city, wondering what us two boys could get up to that night. In a self-described stroke of genius, I had the bright idea of going to a concert, specifically the Oddisee concert. Oddisee is a producer/rapper from the DMV/DC area, whose new album The Iceberg was recently released February 24th of this year. While I had heard a few of his songs before, and a fair amount of his beats (check out this heater he cooked up for a cut off of Joey Bada$$’s Summer Knights), I was more or less unfamiliar with what he was all about. But, I knew I liked him. He was performing at Paris’s La Place, a cultural center specifically designed for hip-hop music/culture, a location that Will and I dubbed as the melodramatic “Center of Hip-Hop”. We walked over to the Center of Hip-Hop, only to find a bunch of French kids dancing in the hallways, a tradition that we had clearly interrupted and made uncomfortable. After humiliating ourselves in front of the cool Parisian teenagers, we finally saw a poster for the concert with Oddisee’s face on it, which directed us towards two women and a guy by a cash register. We were walking over when I, and I alone, realized that the dude standing next to the register was none other than Oddisee himself, probably figuring out some details regarding the concert. As a side note, I am unbelievably bad at interacting with celebrities - I once ran out of breath talking to then rookie-phenom Mark Sanchez in the lobby at a Broadway play, so I was nervous to complete this interaction, but it had to be done.
I then walked up to the counter and asked whether or not there were tickets left, obviously acknowledging the Center of Hip-Hop’s employees, and then delivering a super-casual, “Oh! What’s up man?” to rapper Oddisee: the smoothest pleb-celebrity interaction you have ever seen. This is where things take an incredible, takeplug-article worthy turn. Oddisee was super graceful and kind throughout my entire conversation with him, letting me know that I had “slept” on the concert being tonight, as it was sold out. As I kicked the proverbial dust at my feet, Oddisee jumps in with a “Let me tell you what I’m going to do”. He pulls out his phone and tells me that he’s gonna put me on HIS PERSONAL FUCKING GUESTLIST, all I need to do is give him my phone number and he would later contact us. So it’s his mother/father-in law, and Will and I on his guestlist. Oddisee did not have to do this at all, but he did. He made us fans in about thirty seconds, even if we never actually got into the concert.
Oh yeah, we never actually got tickets.
But, that’s not the point. The point is is that we left the Center of Hip-Hop giggling like schoolchildren and went and listened to his new album in our Airbnb, while drinking 25 cl bottles of organic French beer and eating really nice potato chips. Oddisee clearly gave a shit that we liked his music enough to try and buy tickets to his concerts, so he tried to show us that he cared in any way he could. In all of these concerts I’ve attended, the level of care each artist has for his fans has come out, or not, in some way or another. Oddisee gave a shit about us, so we gave a shit about him.
- Colin Finn