The Show that almost didn't happen: One Be Lo x Ed Words

This show has meant more to me than any other event I've done this far in my career.
here's why:
April 3rd 2015
B One Ballroom in Keego Harbor, MI


  It all started in the tattoo shop.
I was getting inked at Dixie Tattoo in Waterford, MI by my girl Megan. Her co-worker "Q" was there, we'd chopped it up before during some of my other sessions, so he knew i was out here trying to be a rapper. We had spoken before about some of our favorite emcees, One Be Lo came up, Q just so happened to know Lo and was about to have his "Binary Star" sidekick "Silla" in his tattoo chair in the next few weeks. i thought that was so fuckin tight, ive been a huge Binary Star fan for years and an even bigger One Be Lo fan for longer. I told Q that my manager Randy was running this new venue and if he is really that tight with the dudes from Binary Star, that he should see if they'd do a show at the venue and how id fan-boy out over it.

  Flash forward a about 2 months, my manager happens to be at the tattoo shop, seeing our girl Megan and brings up the venue he's been running all the music for [B One Ballroom]. Short story shorter, Q tells Randy he'd holler at One Be Lo about doing a show there. not much later, Randy gets word from Q that "Lo said thats cool"
BOOM the B One Ballroom page updates its event calender with "April 3rd, One Be Lo"...say what? gtfoh, really? One Be Lo is about to be here!?!
as soon as i saw it, i told my girlfriend "we dont have plans april 3rd, im going to the bar to see One Be Lo". I didnt even care to be on the bill, i just wanted to see dude spit. last time id seen or talked to Lo, he had just moved his family over to Egypt (thats another story for another time) and that was some years ago, so i was geeked!

  I help Randy run the venues Facebook page, so when it get a notification about a new message, I get a notification about a message. Turns out we had setup a show for this dude K-Squeez, a Pontiac, MI cat whos been making some noise recently, but his management had no idea about it and they told us that it wasnt going to happen that day we had setup (due to mis-communication with a 3rd party) but they'd do a different date, SO, Randy puts him on the One Be Lo show.

  I was supposed to be in a Rap competition with K-Squeez about a year ago, id remembered seeing his name on the bill of this show but he didnt make it out to the event, so at this point i had no idea what he sounded like or if he would even be a good opener for One Be Lo but fuck it, thats not my call. I did however, know that dude had a pretty solid fanbase and that we had a mutual friend. Either way, i was interested in this show even more-so now than i was before. 

  Before i go any further, i want to sidebar here and explain why One Be Lo is such a big deal to me. 
Almost 10 years ago i lost someone who treated me like family, Ive never been big on "Best Friends" and the two of us most certainly werent that but we were very close. This kid Josh aka Jay Quigz was a kid i went to school with, kinda goofy dude, real good people though. Quigz was a rapper, he was on the internet hardcore trying to text battle kids and drop writtens from his notebook for reviews. He knew i was trying to rap and thats how we became so cool, I've always thought my rhymes were garbage but he thought i had a couple hot bars and always used to press me to keep writing and to "Show what i got" whenever we got together, he wasnt really up on the audio game like i was, he just liked to pen shit all the time. he used to clown the shit out of me because i had this terrible rap name, i used to go by "Kazpuh" (yeah...like the friendly fucking ghost. i was in a group at this time and i was the only white dude, so they named me that). In high school he finally was like "yo, you gotta change that name!" i had no idea what to call myself so i was like "well, heres a list of like 20 names id be cool with" he looked at it for maybe two seconds, tore it in half, looked at me and was like "nah son, ive got it...Ed Words". Now, people called me "Edwards" years prior to this from when i was in sports, and because alot of other kids had the same first name, so i was looked at him confused and said "...yeah...you going to tell me the name or what?" he laughed and said "no, thats it! Ed...Words!! like a first name last name, like youre all about the words! thats tight" i laughed at him as if he was high and just talking stupid. I thought about it for days and days until i realized he was onto something and the name really did suit me. So this kid named me, he also is the person who introduced me to One Be Lo and his music. One Be Lo was Quigz dude, like one of his top 3 favorite emcees at the time and told me about all these shows he had been to and how him and Lo were tight and they were about to work together to bring other acts to Detroit and blah blah blah, so i went to a show with him....it was dope and i was hooked. we were going to start our own record label together "W.A.R. Entertainment - "We Are the Revolution". It was our dream to make it as emcees, to be in the industry. But, all good things must come to an end. A few years later i was at a house party, josh was there but was about to leave. i guess he'd been freestyling in the garage all night and i didnt know he was even there until i ran into him on his way out. He told me he wanted to do a track with me, the next day, i said sure ill have the mic ready whenever you wanna stop by. i woke up the next morning to a phone call ill never forget, a mutual friend on the other line balling her eyes out trying to catch her breath to tell me that Josh was found dead that morning in his bedroom. i was ruined, i quit rapping for almost 5years because of it. it just didnt feel good to rap anymore, the joy was sucked out of it for me. BUT i always kept up with One Be Lo and showed out extra hard at all of his shows, as if me being there was allowing josh to witness the set, like through me josh could see his idol do his thing. i even made a Jay Quigz shirt with his face on it and wore it to all the shows, even other hiphop shows, id have all these emcees sign the shirt, all for josh, its got all kinds of artists on it from KRS ONE to VINNIE PAZ of JEDI MIND TRICKS, the whole BOOTCAMP CLIK, XZIBIT, ROYCE DA 5'9, ONE BE LO and so many more people. 
I thought about it for a long time, then one day i went to the tattoo shop, and put a microphone with angel wings connected to some headphones with the cord that connects them cut on my arm and made a promise right then and there that i would get back into this music thing, that id live on this dream of ours in his memory.

  present time: i was excited about this show, it was the week of the event and its all i could think about. "Whats he about to play!?, will he remember me? should i rock my Jay Quigz shirt like the old days!?" all this things kept going through my mind. I got a call from my manager Randy 4 days before the show, "You wanna play the One Be Lo show?" "...FUCK YEAH I DO"  it only made sense to have me play, One Be Lo knows that all of Quigz friends are diehard One Be Lo fans because of his love for the dude, Randy knows how close i was to Quigz and how close Quigz was to Lo. BOOM, im on the bill. Late notice, but still, im stoked. i called my hypeman to let him know and see if he could make it...he cant. i called my DJ to see if he can make it...he cant. FUCK! i guess im going solo dolo then....this should be interesting, ive never gone on stage alone before.

 We get a message on the facebook page from One Be Lo, he didnt know about this show and was wondering who set it up. i panicked, called randy and was like "yo, you gotta make this right!" Randy gets it all taken care of (again, shitty communication takes place and fucks things up). i thought Lo might be in Egypt at that time and cant make it, but hes a cool dude so maybe he will still come rock with us...in the end, it came through and the show went on.

  Night of the show, im the first in the building, as usual.
One Be Lo is supposed to show up for sound check and to setup his merch around 6 or 7pm, but hes not here. "anyone talk to Lo yet?" noone had heard from him.
DJ Superwill was already set up and playing for the crowd, it was early so it was a small group of people in the bar. some of the other local support shows up and gets there sets turned in to the DJ then await their time to hit the stage. still no word from LO

  9pm - The first opener is supposed to hit the stage, but still no LO, we push the sets back a little bit longer. by about 9:40 i think, we got it underway for a small but decent sized room of people. still no LO. i talked to our boy Q (remember, he was supposed to be the one that aligned all the stars for this one) i told him he should call dude and see what his ETA is.

  10:40pm - I hit the stage. Now, if youve never seen me live, i have a way of getting people to come see me do my thing, so i had a very nice sized crowd infront of me, i was feelin it. i happened to be catching a quick drink during a break in one of my songs and who do i see walking through the door, the man we'd been waiting all night for Mr. One Man Army himself - One Be Lo. I quickly made a shoutout to him on the mic letting everyone know he was in the building and continued on with my set, going even harder now than i had been. i caught Lo nodding his head and what looked like him being interested in one of my tracks "That Hard Shit" it put a huge smile on my face.

  At the end of my set i knew i was going to say something about Jay Quigz and what an honor it was to share the stage with his idol and how i was dedicating my set to him and his memory, how i was doing this for him. I rocked "Militant Michigan Menace" to a cheering crowd and quickly went into my speech about Josh. i hadn't really planned what i was going to say really and thought i was in a rush to get it all out before i got cut off for taking up stage time that belonged to K-Squeez (he went after me). In the end, i really wish i would have said more and slowed it down, but i gave love, got a little choked up and did the best i could to convey what i was trying to do that night was for my brother Quigz and how much it ment to me to be on stage with his Idol, something he hadnt been able to do. 

 Ive never stepped off stage and gotten so much love before in my life, that feeling was amazing, so many people came to give me props, take photos with me, tell me how much they enjoyed my songs and my energy, ive also never gotten rid of so many cds so fast before. i fucked up and didnt bring enough cds, after 50 were passed out, i still had people asking me for some. thank god you can download that shit on this website. it was overwhelming. the lights were so bright on stage i didnt realize how many people were actually in the building that got to see me, and there was a ton of people there. it was by far the best show ive done in my opinion, and the fact that i murdered it all by myself was that much more special to me.

 after K-Squeez did his thing, One Be Lo hit the stage and mother fucking murdered it! he was up there for so long i almost wanted him to stop because i was so drained of energy, i was so tired i just needed to sit the hell down or go home but at the same time, it was so dope, i never wanted it to end. 
Lo did a spoken word set in the begining - which i think some people didnt get (most likely because they were so drunk, and his bars can sometimes go over peoples heads) he then did a  good hours worth of classics and some new shit as well as kick some sick freestyles in between. THEN this dude does the most amazing thing ever (personal opinion) he drops a track that Quigz had apparently recorded at Lo's studio, some shit ID NEVER FUCKING HEARD BEFORE and talks about Josh and who he was and what he was to Lo. it was amazing, ill post the video below. it gave me chills. After all of that, he loads up his MPC and starts creating a beat, live on the spot and invites anyone who wants to rap up on stage to rap over his beat! AMAZING! people hounded me to get up there again and drop bars but at this point i was so tired and id already been up there, i didnt want to take away from anyone elses shine or seem greedy. Looking back on it now though, to say that i got to rap on stage with one be lo as he made the beat for me to rap over, would have been one hell of a career highlight for me. oh well. now that i think about it...i didnt get a photo with him either! damnit, i keep fucking up.

  at the end of the night, its just Randy, Lo, Myself and a few of the people who came to see the show left in the venue.
I stepped on stage as lo was packing up to say thank you for the Quigz tribute, for sharing a stage with me and what an honor it was. he told me i had a good set (insert fanboy comment) and we started talking about the show. Someone i went to school with years ago that i havnt seen in soooooo long happened to be there and was coming to say "nice set" to me and extended his hand to shake mine, Lo thought it was for him and an awakward laugh happened amongst the both of us, dude said "good set" to both of us at that point. a few people were standing by the stage and one person said "last time i saw you [lo] was at the Blind Pig (a venue in Ann Arbor, MI) " i blurted out "OH SHIT!, me too, i last saw you open up for KRS ONE and when he cut your set off everyone boo'd KRS and cheered your name!" this struck up quite the convo and One Be Lo and I started retelling this story of this exact night to a group of maybe 6 or 7 people standing below us infront of the stage...it was like fucking Words and One Be Lo story time or some shit, it was hilarious, and made me really feel connected to the guy. in this conversation i really learned alot from what Lo was saying as he told his side of the story from the Stage point of view where i chimed in every so often with what the crowd and i were doing during all of this. ill never forget that for the rest of my life.
 
 after everyone left and it was just Randy, Lo and Myself left in the bar, Lo started to talk to us about Jay Quigz and his friends and family and how special we all are to Lo and it was a really nice thing to hear him say all these things about my friend, almost 10 years later and this dude still shows love. amazing.

  Jay Quigz mom and sister happened to be in the building that night, i just so happened to have some of his songs with me and had the DJ play them here and there during his set and inbetween acts, it was fucking magical that as soon as Josh's family walked into the building the DJ JUST SO HAPPENED to play the first song. i walked up to them to say hello and ask his mom if she recognized that song. it was great to see her face light up. It was such a surprise to even see Quigz mom there, i hadnt seen her in almost 8years.

All in all, this was one for the books, ill never forget this night and how special it was for so many different reasons.
thank you to all the new fans i met and made that night and to everyone who partook in the event
and a huge thank you to Randy for putting me in the position to be able to do these things and tell these stories, i'm truly grateful for all that you've done for me, continue to do for me and whatever you do for me in the future. thank you brother.

-Words 





My set + One Be Lo set 
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Excuse the quality, these were videos submitted to me from people in the crowd, i just put them together to make one long video for those who couldn't be in attendance. enjoy.

 

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