July 21, 2003. 11 a.m. The Gorge. My Roommate Matblond, tan, lean, apple-cheekedflipped off his sunglasses and surveyed the half-naked, sweaty, undulating Summer Jam phalanx.>"/>
July 21, 2003. 11 a.m. The Gorge. My Roommate Matblond, tan, lean, apple-cheekedflipped off his sunglasses and surveyed the half-naked, sweaty, undulating Summer Jam phalanx.
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"There are some cute girls out here . . . ," My Roommate Mat decreed, " . . . who could use some sit-ups."
Like many of my friends, My Roommate Mat could pass for some manner of model. This is not a coincidence; I've created quite a niche as the male equivalent of the Ugly Chick That Hot Chicks Keep Around for Contrast, aka Mr. Leftovers. He was the perfect +1 for Summer Jam, KUBE 93.3 FM's annual midsummer hip-hop/R&B festival; since I've curiously forgotten how to communicate with anyone whose principal expenses don't consist of (1) cocaine, (2) alcohol, and (3) rent for an off-Pine 1BR/1BA, I hoped My Roommate Mat could translate.
Unsurprisingly, after a few hours of being shirtless, he was bestowed with a joint and digits by a 'shrooming, sunbathing stone fox. Me? The hip answer: I was contemplating pulling a Kobe, but I understand the authorities are buckling down on that shit. The harsh reality: After a few hours of being shirtless, I'm often asked, "Oh my god, Ms. Moss, can I have your autograph?"
Since 15-going-on-150-year-olds weren't materializing as between-set indulgences, I struggled to pay attention to the actual show. Note the employment of "struggled." When I stumbled back to the Weekly Tuesday morning, everyone asked how Summer Jam was, presumably in the interest of reading this column and muttering, correctly, "Hey, that goddamn hack just repeats the same bad one-liners in print that he spouts in person." To answer, I'll defer to the performers.
Ginuwine: "It's hot as a motherfucker out here!"
Humpty Hump: "It's hot as a motherfucker out here!"
Stagga Lee: "I'm wearin' too much clothes! It's motherfuckin' hot up in this motherfucker!"
Ludacris: "It's hot as fuck out here. [beat] I'm not seeing enough titties, ladies."
As to the qualitative caliber of Summer Jam? Still wrestling with that one. I mean, can you really embrace a show where the first thing you see is a dwarf-dunking booth? Early on at the second stage, we were treated to a not-quite-skintastic-enough fashion show, during which models flung beaded necklaces at the ladies in the house, presumably to be utilized backstage before headliner 50 Cent's, um, G Unit.
This ritual generated far more fanfare than the second stage's only actual performer, Stagga Lee, a fairly acerbic, reggae-influenced white rapper. Stagga left most of the talking to his "hype man," who duly contributed the quip of the afternoon: "Where my white boys at?" (Ninety-five percent of the crowd hollers back.) "Yeah, I thought I smelled ya." (With all that heat, what did he expect?)
After a predictably underwhelming mainstage set by "Humpty Dance" visionaries Digital Undergroundwho terrifyingly promised they'd "take us back to 1989," then left us therea funny thing happened: Around 2:30 p.m., when Luda's dirty South protégé Chingy was supposed to roll out, um, he didn't. Nobody did. For the next two hours. No explanation. We didn't boo; we didn't remonstrate; we just collectively, gradually liquefied into the fucking lawn. It was agonizing, but not so agonizing that I abandoned my favorite outdoor-summer-concert pastime: sunbathing on my chest, conking out, coming to, and staring up at Unfortunate Pubic Hair peeking out from Unfortunate Bikinis.
Chingy's absence was never elucidated, and worse, it was soon revealed that Ginuwine was "stuck in traffic." When Ginuwine finally sauntered onstage at 4:30 p.m., he dedicated most of his grooves to the ladies but got the fellas involved in one home-run repeat-after-me: "I pledge allegiance to all the women in the United States of America. When you wanna get ate, I will eat you. When you wanna get stuck, I will stick you."
Tyrese, star of 2 Fast 2 Furious and, someday soon, many more horrible, horrible movies, brought much of the same L.L. Lite balladry to the table. Unimpressed, I jetted for water, only to return in the middle of what might conservatively be called a "titty fest." Tyrese was perched at the barrier of the stage, vamping for the cameras, holding squealing topless women's hands, and crooning one of the most bizarre, self-indulgent refrains ever committed to paper: "Can you go down on me, Tyrese?" Inspired, though he loses points for not asking, "Will you stick me, Tyrese?" Note to self: Go to the Cha-Cha tonight and sing, "Can you go down on me, Andrew?" to every girl with dyed black bangs. I'll let you know how that works out.
Ludacris finally brought a little thug (and Chingy!) to the proceedings, delivering a knockout closing salvo of "Move, Bitch," "Area Codes," "Welcome to Atlanta," "What's Your Fantasy?," and even his verse in Missy's "Gossip Folks." Fitty, however, not only sleepwalked through his hits medley, but performed in a Milwaukee Bucks Gary Payton jersey. Now that's a man who knows his audience!
I pledge allegiance to all the women of Summer Jam that I neglected to stick and eat. Next time, ladies. See you in da club.