The last place I’d ever expect to find myself on a miscellaneous Tuesday night is on stage during Warren G’s 21+ show watching him drop regulate, a 90s gem that’s aged like wine. The life of a KZSC DJ can be an unpredictable one as I learned that night. It all started with a call from our very own broadcast advisor Keith that very day asking if I was interested in conducting an interview with Rappin-4-Tay at the Warren G show that night. I gazed down at my half finished Blaxploitation essay on Blacula, but knowing I’d never get this opportunity again accepted the responsibility. I churned out what I could of my paper and headed to the venue. That’s when it hit me. I looked down at my ticket and it read 21+. My 20th birthday is later this month, so I likely had no business covering this event. I called the contact number I was given and reassured my age would not be a problem.
When I got to the venue I was greeted by Chris, manager of the local studio digital recordings, which operates on Mission Street. He gave me my all access wristband and really made me feel comfortable in an environment that would have been overwhelming otherwise. He immediately introduced me to Rappin-4-Tay. Something that immediately struck me about 4-Tay was the way the community responded to him. When he entered he was greeted by countless hi fives, handshakes, and friends hollering at him to help them enter the venue. It was clear he had a natural charisma and reveled in the love he received from fans. I managed to squeeze in a short interview with him where he discussed his new project, what it takes to stay in the game, and his experience with the late great Rick James. His set was fantastic, and his seminal hit The Playaz Club still gets audiences bouncing over 20 years after its release.
After 4-Tays set Chris texted me alerting me that Warren G had arrived if I was interested in inquiring about an interview. Chris got me past the steel door separating the backstage from the greenroom. Warren G was there with his family and close friends. I didn’t want to impose so I let Chris do the talking. Alas it was clear Warren’s intention was to give the audience a show first and foremost, but he could chat after. The set was surreal as I was encouraged to come onstage as the greenroom entirely emptied onto the stage. It’s clear Warren G still has all the technical skill on the mic and stage presence that landed him the triple platinum Regulate…G Funk Era in 1994. Of stage however its clear the man values his privacy. Whenever the green room door swung open he was the first to remind security to close it. He respectfully declined my interview request, so I thanked him for allowing me to be a part of his show and allowed him to relax and enjoy the rest of his night. I was invited to the after part at Digital Recordings, but still had that Blacula essay looming over my head keeping me from participating. Nevertheless it was a night I’ll never forget.