The Roots (Smokin' Grooves)

8/14/97 @ Deer Creek, Noblesville IN

First off, the setlist: Started at 6:30, Respond/React, Proceed, Mellow My Man, Episodes, What They Do, Hip Hop 101, Hubb Solo, Clones with a guest MC (?), and ended about 7:30.

Yo. This is gonna take awhile, but check it. Before they started, Hubb came out and tuned his bass. And we (Stan and I) had seats way on far left of the stage, but up near the front, so we could see what people were hanging out on the far side of back stage.

Anyway, we peeped Kamal and ?uestlove hanging out talkin to some kids at least 20 min. before they ever went on. They were supposed to start at 6, but then again, Foxxy Brown was supposed to play too but she broke out. I think they waited to start because there wasn't anybody there yet! The place was mad empty. Too bad, too. But they eventually went on, and it being my first Roots experience live, I was numb. Bobbin' my head, trying to keep up with Tariq's lyrical bombs... Kamal was playing guitar riffs and keys, too. Dice Raw didn't show, but some kid came out on Clones and ripped it... I don't know for sure who it was, it mighta been M.A.R.S. but they introduced him and I couldn't tell what they said.

Anyway, the show was just tight as hell. The crowd was into it, but there just weren't that many people there yet. Kamal even was wearing a Michigan basketball jersey and my man Stan who was with me is from MI and a huge b-ball fan. That was cool. Anyway... After their set, I guess Erykah Badu was supposed to go, but she was on a late plane, so Cypress started setting up. They were actually out in a little tent outside by the food signing autographs and letting local kids bless the mic. It was nice... but they finally got going and we went back to check Cypress. It was aiight, real loud and I get tired of that Buck Buck, smoke some weed type shit.

Then, right as Cypress started "How I Could Just Kill a Man", Stan jabs me in the arm and points over to the side of the stage right by where we were at. It was Tariq, Kamal and the other guest MC, standing on the wall, literally 10 feet from us. He was like, shit... go over there... and I chickened out. I didn't wanna bother them or anything. So they walked up the steps toward the lawn and that was that. The song got over and I got some balls so I said, lets find 'em.. .and we took off. We thought we lost 'em when we went back to the food court for the second time, and there they are, standing by the merchandise stand, just the 3 of them and two other people... so I go up to Tariq after he got done talking to the one kid. I said "hey Tariq... great show, man. My name's Chris..." Tariq says "wussup Chris" and shakes my hand...and then I showed him my Organix CD cover that I brought with me, thinking he might get a kick out of seeing one of them... and I said "Ain't seen one of those in a while, eh?" with a smile on my face... Tariq squinted at it, and kinda half smiled. I don't know if he actually could tell what the fuck it was, cuz man... kid wasn't right. Haha... Tariq was either drunk or high or real jet lagged or something, cuz then he signed the cover and handed it back to me and asked me a question. I couldn't tell what the fuck he said! I swear I think he was asking me if I had some weed. Shit... haha! I said "what?" and he said it again but I still couldn't tell what the fuck he said. So I shook my head, he said "aiight then" and I left... hahaha... Kamal was still talking to a female so I didn't want to interrupt him. Anyway.

That's my story. Oh yeah.. Tariq came out and did a piece with Erykah Badu on "On and On" and it was tight and I don't know how he pulled it off cuz he seemed so fucked up before... shit!

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