So as we jump into day 8 this has to be one of the most memorable experiences in my teens. I was working at Activate Cellular in the Tacoma Mall and still in high school (was in the running start program so I attended Tacoma Community College during the day and had the rest of the day for activities (in my case work). So on this day I got to work around 1:30 PM and was sitting in my kiosk talking to an employee of Foot Action (had to make sure I made those relationships so I could use their employee discount on shoes). We are talking and I heard screams, this is before the times of mass murders, school shootings and suicide bombings so we didn’t think much of it.
Well about 1 minute after the screams Redman and Method man walked right passed my kiosk. I hollered out, “Yoooo yall Johnny Blaze and Funk Doctor Spot and they hit me with a head nod and walked over to my kiosk and blessed me with the hug handshake. Man I felt like like- cant even explain it. The only time I had seen rappers was on YO MTV Raps and Rap City on BET and I had no clue that the Hard Knock Life Tour was in town. Then I heard some screaming again… out of no where I hear this deep raspy voice and I was thinking to myself, “hell no- it ain’t”, then I looked up and DMX was walking straight toward my kiosk. I made eye contact with him and he was like 3 stores down- once I made eye contact I gave him the head nod (you know the wassup head nod) and when he gave it back to me I stepped out the kiosk and walked right up to him and gave him the hug handshake. (listen please don’t be an idiot and wonder what the hug handshake is, I don’t care if your black, white, Russian, Asian, Cambodian everyone does the handshake and then you bring it in for a hug and you usually put one arm around their shoulder- y’all know what I’m talking about).
So I told him I was a big fan and let him know that I did not have a camera but I was going to walk in the store right in front of us and buy one and asked him if he would take a picture with me. DMX was cool he said, “yeah I got you.” He actually walked in the store with me and started a conversation, he said I looked young to be working at this hour and I should be in school. I let him know that I was in running start and working to get some money for college (which was a big ass lie- I needed money for clothes, my cell phone, a car and Jordan’s, I knew I would get into college somehow). He actually paid for the disposable camera and took the photo. His road manager was right there and asked me if I made commission on the cell phone sales and I told him yes and went on to tell him I was the #3 sales person in the company and worked part time. KP yelled out, “well you bout to be #1 this month, we need 10 of em!” He whipped out a stack of fresh hundreds and paid for the phones.
I hooked em up with the nationwide plan that came with 1000 peak minutes and unlimited nights and weekends and for a few bucks extra the free nights would start at 7 instead of 9 pm (this was the player plan back in the day yall- remember it was 1998). So KP told me that I could come to the concert that night, me and 5 friends and he was clear about not bringing any girls with me because he knew I was 17 and was not trying to catch a case. LOL, so I called my mom and let her know what happened and she agreed that me and a few of our friends could go to the concert but had to be home by 11. Now this is unheard of- my mom wouldn’t let us hang out much on the weekends but I guess the man upstairs was watching out for me.
We all headed down to the Tacoma Dome for the concert and when we arrived I called KP on his cell phone and he directed us to park down where the tour buses were located. We walked in and were on the ground floor back stage — IT WAS 🔥🔥🔥 LIT. I saw Redman and Methodman again, Jadakiss, Jay Z and i even think Barack Obama was back stage hanging out. The concert was dope to the 10th degree and afterwards KP said, “I’m riding with y’all we headed back to the tellie.” They were staying at the Sheraton Hotel downtown Tacoma which is now the Hotel Murano. We got to the hotel and went to the top floor and when I stepped out of the elevator and went to the left I stopped dead in my tracks… there were 6 pit bulls the size of rhino’s just running around the floor. I started to RAN- yes, I started to RAN and KP grabbed me and said, “whatever you do, don’t run. The dogs will just sniff you because your with me.”
I was sweating bullets but it was all good, we ended up going into one of the suites they had and waited about 15 minutes and DMX and his whole crew came in with about 30 grown ass wimenz. Me and my boys were like uuuum what the heck is going on. Well we found out exactly what groupies and rappers do. LOL what a night it was- we ended up heading home around 1130 p.m. and had stories to tell our friends for days.