I've been working full time in this here rap interwebs for about five years now, and in that time I've racked up some balls crazy stories and experiences. Not because I'm particularly special, but because if you're a mechanic for years, you're going to have crazy car stories, and if you talk to rappers daily for years, you're going to have some crazy rapper stories.
But apart from what you can get out of me in person via some alcohol, I haven't told a lot of those stories on the interwebs for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I don't want to be a "look at me namedrop!" d-bag. Second, part of the reason I've been able to accumulate the stories that I have is people trust me to keep my mouth shut.
Here's what changed: I got tired of hearing that "what do you know, you're just a guy behind a keyboard" shit from people who haven't done half the shit I have. (Sometimes I lose the battle to stay humble.) Furthermore, there are a lot of stories I can tell with little to no repercussions, or even learn something from, particularly in terms of the mistakes I've made navigating through the proverbial "game." So fuck it, here comes a new "True Rap Blogger Stories" series.
To kick things off, how about that one time I almost got into a fight with Xzibit at the Playboy Mansion?
It was the summer of '09, and before I even started working at the mothership full time; although unbeknownst to my boss, I'd was already planning on quitting my job for a lucrative career in rap blogging the next month.
The homie Z (aka El Jefe de DJBooth) was flying out to Los Angeles so we could sit down and plan out my transition to the team, and because he's a god amongst men, one of the first things he said was, "There's a party at the Playboy Mansion, want to go?" Let the record show that while the Playboy brand may not be what it once was, this is the only proper reaction to finding out that you'll be setting foot inside that immortal shrine to boobery.
As it turns out, the Mansion regularly rents out its grounds to companies for events. EA Sports was holding a party there, they had booked Cypress Hill to perform at said party, Z knew Cypress Hill's publicist, said publicist invited us along to cover the event and interview Cypress Hill, and boom, I was preparing to cross "Visit Playboy Mansion" off the bucket list.
Because you're not allowed to drive directly onto the grounds, we hopped on board a shuttle—yes, the Playboy Mansion has it's own shuttle to bring people in and out—entered those hallowed grounds, and the next day emerged with this video:
[YouTube removed our video, sorry.]
Hold up, bring that back. Now, there's almost no way you caught it, but watch that video again at around the 5:15 mark, when Xzibit walks into the frame and Z says, "And now Xzibit's available to do the interview."
Here's the back story: A couple of hours earlier we were on the red carpet outside the mansion doing interviews. Xzibit shows up. Pimp My Ride was already off the air, but Xzibit is still riding this wave of fame, and he starts doing an interview with the media outlet next to us. Z says something to him like, "Hey, can we get you next?" X says something like "Sure," and...that's where things take a turn for the worse.
After Xzibit wraps up his other interview, instead of turning to us, he gives us the cold shoulder and just starts walking into the party. Z is none too pleased with getting the interview stiff arm, and he's not quiet about it.
Now I want to be clear, this is not the actual conversation. I can't remember what was said verbatim; my brain froze trying to process "'Z is yelling at Xzibit at the Playboy Mansion," "Am I going to have to back him up in a fight?" and "Fuck, I hope this doesn't stop us from getting into the Mansion."
I don't know if any F-bombs were actually uttered—probably not, but maybe—and it never came anywhere close to an actual fight. But if I was going to do an "America's Most Wanted" dramatic re-enactment of that conversation, I'd come up with something like this:
Z: "Yo, I thought you said we could get an interview?"
X (over his shoulder as he walks into the party): "I don't owe you anything."
Z: "Well fuck you very much then."
X: "I WAS ON PIMP MY RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!"*
So that was that. X walked into the party, we muttered about what a d-bag he was, and then we forgot about it and focused on getting inside and getting the Cypress Hill interview. Although, as fate would have it, Xzibit would crash that interview, prompting Z to drop that now classic, "Now you're available for an interview" line. And once the interview ended, X apologized—because, I suspect, it turned out that we were at least important enough to get backstage with Cypress Hill—and everyone hugged it out and it was all good and then we spent the rest of the night partying. Speaking of which...
...here's the thing about the Playboy Mansion; it's simultaneously crushingly disappointing and everything you dreamed it would be. You go into the grotto and it obviously hasn't been refurbished since 1983 and there's a mini-fridge in the corner with bottled water that's at least two years old and you kind of want to cry. And then you walk outside the grotto and there are fucking peacocks walking around the grounds. And then, despite your fantasies, it becomes clear that you're not going to have a topless trampoline-jumping contest with a dozen Bunnies and your dreams start to die, and then a girl "dressed" only in body paint comes up to and asks if you'd like to try some of these delicious tiger prawns and this is heaven I'm never leaving. The craziest thing is that the Bunnies really do live there, and on occasion, one would open up the window to her room and sleepily look out because she's totally used to a thousand people being in her backyard for a Cypress Hill show on a Thursday night. So yeah, it's not as amazing as you may imagine, but it's amazing enough.
So there you have it, the story of the time I went to the Playboy Mansion to talk to Cypress Hill and got yelled at by Xzibit. What does that do, does that blow your mind? Up next on "True Rap Blogger Stories," in the studio with Earth, Wind & Fire.
*Again, not something Xzibit actually said. But since I can't remember what he said, I'm going with what I wish he said.