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Off Script

TENTHLETTERMEDIA PRESENTS OFFSCRIPT: YG

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia

In over eight years of being in entertainment journalism for two different publications, I have seen and heard a lot. I’ve sat down with some of my favorite artists as well as some of yours for exclusive content and entertainment. In my pursuit of the scoop on the story, there were a number of stories that did not make the final cut… until now! The following are real accounts and recollections of some of my most memorable interviews. Candid conversations. Untold stories. This is OFFSCRIPT.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

My journey into journalism started back in 2012 when I became a profile writer with Scoop Media Group. Scoop Magazine has been in the heart of Indianapolis for over twenty years and is an institution of promotion of business owners throughout the city.

In a year’s time, I became the entertainment editor of the publication and was able to provide a platform for the city’s emerging talent. By the second year, the magazine featured album reviews as well as a monthly forum that spoke on Hip-Hop and R&B.

(Photo cred: Scoop Media Group)

Things had slowed down a bit and there wasn’t much entertainment coming through the Circle City. Winter was quickly approaching and I had to focus on my “real” job working at Amazon. One day I was in my office at Scoop and came across an email that was forwarded to us from a talent agent out of California.

While I didn’t read the message in its entirety, I was able to skim enough to find out that she was bringing some top acts to our city to perform and that we were granted access to cover the show for press.

My first real interview as an editor. Excitement starts to kick in. When I found out who the first act was I was too geeked. It was YG.

YG (Photo cred: NPR.org)

A STAR ON THE RISE

Now around this time, YG is one of the hottest new artists to emerge from the West Coast. He was riding the wave of his hit single “My Nigga” featuring Young Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan and was fresh into his deal with CTE World. Upon doing my homework, I saw how he had early success via YouTube and had a catalog of songs to back his budding career.

The day of his scheduled performance was nearly postponed as Naptown got its first real snow of the season. The show would go on however, as it would clear up later in the evening. I arrived at The Compound around 11 p.m. as YG was slated to perform at or around 1 a.m.

Once I’m situated behind the velvet ropes of the club, I was offered a drink from the talent agent. As I’m taking a sip I survey the room as notice I’m not the only reporter on the scene. A total of 6 publications in all were in attendance.

Something told me that this interview was going to be difficult to secure, or so I initially thought.

YG with Kelani (Photo cred: Taylor Hill/WireImage)

WAIT FOR IT…

As the night went well into the next day, the number of people waiting for YG to arrive began to dwindle. With the club closing at 3, the media presence was leaving as well.

Hype Magazine was the first ones to bounce me as well as Amps Magazine and when the two other local reporters left, it was me and a Midwest Leak Magazine model sitting next to each other in the room.

The talent agent was explaining to us that his bus was late but he was en route to the venue. This was at 1:45, and at 2:30 there was still no sign of YG.

In the back of my mind I know I have to be at work in an hour. Just as I’m thinking about considering it a wrap, the model leans in towards me and says, ” I gotta go!” She was booked at another party across town and couldn’t stay to interview him. I couldn’t believe it!

A few minutes after she left the talent agent announces that YG is here and will be inside in 5 minutes for interviews then immediately heading to the stage to perform. It was a quarter until three in the morning and I got YG for the one-on-one. Sounds easy, right?

(Photo cred: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

ONE FALSE MOVE

After hours of waiting, YG was officially in the building. I remember standing about ten feet from the entryway where he and his entourage entered the room. Originally I thought he was at least 6′ 6″ as he stood amongst his security, however I was mistaken as he was standing on a platform slightly above them that made him appear that way. 

He was fashionably late and extremely high as he made his way to the corner of the room. I got the ok from the agent to approach him and was told I had exactly 5 minutes to do my thing.

I walked over to where he was sitting and he stood up to shake my hand. As we sat down I noticed that the table in front of us had his likeness on it. The music from the club downstairs was loud so I had to get in close to be able to conduct the interview.

His security began to gather closer to us and it was then I figured out these were not the typical bodyguards you see in movies. These were either his goons or his homeboys.

I had my camera around my neck and I took it off and placed it on the corner of the table. The next thing I heard was the familiar sound of a safety being disengaged on a firearm. One of the guys said “hey, hold up nigga” and went for his waste line. I immediately froze!

YG would then wave his hand over towards the guy to stop him. He leaned in and said “pick your camera up, homie.”

What I thought was just a picture of him on a table was actually a custom painting of himself sitting on top of the table! Got to be more careful.

GOOD TALK

I was able to finish the interview without further incident and amidst the background noise it was a dope interview. He was hyped about the track he was going to release featuring Drake and his upcoming debut album. I was wrapping up with the talent agent when YG walked up to us.

He told her he was ready to go on but wanted to talk to me first. He pulls me to the side and shakes my hand again and thanks me for being in attendance and for all that I’m doing to support him. 

(Photo cred: Scoop Media Group)

He says “It took something in you to be the only member of the press to still be here even though I was late.” I would have took him up on his offer to kick it with him for his show, but I had to decline because of work. He then wanted to take a few pics for the magazine. 

(Photo cred: Scoop Media Group)

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