Cracker by Damian Christie

God Save the Green

De La Soul played last night, and boy, was there a party in the house at the Saint James! I always have a few issues at hip-hop gigs, not so much because I'm skinny, white and bespectacled, but because I'm forever confusing my "heys" with my "ho's", waving my arm to the right when everyone else is going left, singing during the wrong bits…

De La made it abundantly clear however that this was MY party. The music stopped as often as they started, with Dave, Pos and Mase holding up proceedings as often as they pleased until the response from those thousands assembled on a Tuesday night was sufficient to bring the beats back. I think after numerous attempts we might have also finally cracked that perennial concert-goers' own chicken-and-the-egg riddle: the left or the right side of the audience – where is the party really at?

A couple of small concerns, however. First, if this was MY party, why did the boys wait until I took a much needed toilet break to play a Reader's Digest rendition of 'A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturdays'? So abridged was it that in the 50 seconds it takes me (I work in radio, knowing these things is important, honestly), plus travelling time, I'd missed the entire thing. MY party, MY arse.

Second concern; at one point De La were vocally illustrating just how inclusive hip-hop is, or at least should be. Apparently hip-hop is for everyone, black or white, man or woman – "it doesn't matter whether you're an accountant, a lawyer…" – what are they saying? I'm a lawyer, at least some of the time. Should I have assumed until that point hip-hop was NOT for me? Why did I need De La's reassurances? Are we really in the same group as accountants? I don't know if it was the osmotic effects of the pounds and pounds of burning reefer around me, but I was starting to feel distinctly paranoid…

(to be continued)