There’s always been something about the uneasiness and embarrassment of others that makes the rest of us cringe with curiosity.
Such stories serve dual purposes in that they entertain on one hand and fascinate on the other, as though we can relate in some form or fashion. Or maybe we’re just intrigued by the kinds of far-fetched circumstances we’ve never had a chance to experience ourselves.
Blueprint offers up these types of stories to help quench such an appetite as he shares the most awkward moments from his life on the road in “What a Night,” a book about the worst shows of his music career.
Although Blueprint’s been known for different things at different times in his life, first as a computer programmer, and most notably a producer, emcee and musician, it’ll take some time before his work as an author of books reaches those aforementioned levels.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing in the context of what’s been written here, but think of each chapter as being delivered in a way you’d trade wild stories of the night before within the secrecy of your friends.
While “What a Night” comes off a bit dry in its delivery and lacks attention to detail in its edits, the peek inside each experience here offers just what you’d expect if judging this book by its cover.
Each tale is interesting in its own right, especially for those of us fortunate enough to have lived through the explosion of the underground hip-hop era of the early 2000s. But it’s equally palatable to those that have caught on to the alternative style years later.
And there’s a full range of emotion to cover when picking apart more than 10 years of stories to tell.
“Some are funny, some are tragic, and some are downright bizarre,” Blueprint writes in the preface.
The story of Blueprint and DJ Rare Groove returning from Europe and finding trouble at the Seattle airport is one such instance that provides an example of the highs and lows detailed throughout “What a Night.”
So too is the story of the all-out brawl that took place during a show in Cincinnati, which Blueprint notes inspired Slug to write the line “The last time I felt as sick and contradictive as this, was the last time we played a show in Cincy” on Atmosphere’s “Trying to Find a Balance” track.
There’s the night in Norfolk, Virginia in front of a crowded room of confused teenagers patiently awaiting appearances by Mario and Lupe Fiasco, and the night spent performing in a strip club in Akron, Ohio while business went on as usual.
Then there’s the wild make-out session and multiple felonies being committed (at least two of them) in Youngstown, Ohio, and the meltdown on stage that took place in Lawrence, Kansas. Could the Ice Bucket Challenge have been originated by Blueprint that night?
There’s the time Blueprint and Illogic were being molested by Jagerbombs and prostitutes while on stage in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the night in Winnipeg where Blueprint was more concerned about his balls being ignored than engaging in a beat-boxing battle.
There’s also the night in Brooklyn, as openers during the Blowfly tour, where Blueprint and Rare Groove had their rental car broken into, and the time in Athens, Ohio when the Hip Hop Congress refused to pay up after the duo packed their unorganized and chaotic festival with fans.
Aside from the deficiencies mentioned above, the only real tragedy here is that “What a Night” doesn’t come equipped with a bonus DVD of footage recorded by the late DJ PRZM of Spitball, who apparently caught many of these outings on camera.
If Blueprint was to tell it, PRZM is likely somewhere right this very minute laughing his ass off at this review.