Sunday, September 04, 2005
Being the shameless hip-hop fan that I am, let me say this first and upfront: Today, I got to meet and talk to Common. Wh00t! I didn't know about the signing before going to the show, but in between the Pharcyde and Talib Kweli set, he was signing autographs at booth set up by Best Buy. Fortunately for me, I was clever enough to get into a line about 20 minutes early and before the line length became ridiculous.
When it was finally my turn, I was a bit nervous walking up to the table... after all, how often is it you get to meet a living legend in the genre of the music you love? Common held out his right hand for me to shake, asking me my name and what I did. When I told him my name was Gar, that I found his music inspirational, and that I was studying a master's degree to be a teacher, he smiled and simply said, "Thank you... you keep on doing that, aight?"
I smiled and nodded back. =D
I made my way back to my seat after the signing to sit with Shiv and Stone. The Pharcyde and Talib Kweli sets were fantastic, but Common of course was the main draw of the show. From beginning to end, he just had a crazy energy on the stage - jumping down to rap directly to the crowd; calling Talib back to the stage to do some songs together; serenading a girl on stage - even freestyling with references to Seattle and the recent comments by Kanye on the Katrina disaster. Even the sound system tweaking infrequently couldn't spoil the mood.
However, the moment that stuck out to me the most was at the end of the show, during an encore, Common again reminded the audience about Katrina and encouraged everybody to help out in anyway they could. He than did something that surprised me... he asked everybody out in the crowd to be quiet and PRAY (!) to God for at least 5 seconds, to petition Him on behalf of Katrina's victims. And the crowd did it... at least they became silent for 5 seconds while Common himself bowed his head on stage.
Now think about this scene carefully - this isn't a church, this isn't a Christian concert, a conservative political meeting, nor was it a revival rally - it's a hip-hop concert filled with mostly young people, probably a large majority of whom aren't very religious at all. But Common's charisma, his realness, moved the crowd... they didn't jeer or scream or walk away. What an awesome example.
For people of faith, Christians included, too often we fail to reflect the love and compassion of God in a manner that convinces people that our beliefs are real. Nobody is interested in what Christians have to say anymore, because so many of the people who claim to be Christian don't act in a way that is consistent to what they claim to believe. We Christians will never be able to escape the shadow of the label of "hypocrite" until we are actively and humbly living our lives to further some of the things that Jesus Christ commanded of us: compassion for the poor, justice for the oppressed, peace among people of all different backgrounds, and yeah, that thing we inadequately label agape.
Wouldn't the world be a better place if more people of faith were striving to "keeping it real"?
On a final side note, Common ended the show with a jazzy version of my new favorite song, "It's Your World". I was happy.
That's cool what he did. I'm jealous you got to see them all. I just bought the Black Star cd and I love it.
beej - Yeah, it was cool to meet him... CC can tell you how excited I was. ;)
Black Star is a fantastic CD... one of my all-time faves. If you like it, you should also get Mos Def's "Black on Both Sides" too.
dude...that's so stinkin' cool. you've been my introduction into the world of hip hop. i've been slowly following more of the genre...but i'm so out of my league :)
steph - baby steps! you would have totally had fun there... at least, you and Shiv could have bonded over watching me act all funny and excited.Post a Comment