Saturday, October 30, 2010

Virgin Feet & Flows...

Many performers (emcees, dj's, spoken word artists, etc.) can distinctly remember their first time onstage like it was yesterday. Looking around my bedroom a couple of days ago, I catch a quick glimpse of the Nike Air Force One (Tuxedo Pack) that I wore on Thursday, November 18, 2006 at Tipitina's, my first show. Pretty big venue with at least 200 new faces for your premiere performance. Though I and my group members (Spellbinderz) only did two songs and were terribly offbeat and nervous, this moment paved the way for the next several years of learning and progress in the art of emceeing.

I can only speculate on my first performance but I was probably in some Converse Chuck Taylors or Adidas Shelltoes. However, one of my first performances in New Orleans was in 2002 at the House Of Blues. I was rocking some classic brand new black canvas chucks (simulated in this picture). The band took most of the equipment from Loyola via streetcar. Yes, streetcar, maybe named Desire. While making our way from Canal street, freshly wet from some rain, I stepped in a disgusting puddle. That was no way to perform, but luckily there was a Foot Locker across the street where I promptly picked up a pair and played a very memorable show. Unfortunately both pairs of shoes were lost to Hurricane Katrina. To end on a brighter not, the population of my Chuck Taylor city has recovered and they continue to rock shows today. - Jermaine Quiz of Jealous Monk (

Rockin out at my alma mater, Dillard University in the 2002 retro Jordan 9s, OG one-third of my group Euphonetiks. We were booked to headline a talent compeititon in Henson Hall. This was when I copped from Trill Will (now manager for Mannie Fresh's artist, The Show) at Foot Action in Gentilly Woods Mall. I remember a girl motioning for us to get off the stage and I immediately went into freestyle mode, directing the rest of my bars at her. She was definitely embarrassed. I saw her at a campus house party a couple days later. As soon as I came through the door, she looked at me and asked "Why did you do that?" - Lyrikill (

Man, my first show was at Grassroots June, 6 2009. My sneakers were Radii, all red with black zebra stripes. I was extremely nervous but when "Amazin Dae" came on... I was ready! - Lyriqs da Lyraciss (

At my first show as 7even: Thirty, I wore the Nike Vandals. They're significant because I wore them at my debut album release party in August '07, Jackson, MS. They're appropriately named, because that night I vandalized the stage. - 7even Thirty (

Actually, I don't remember the sneakers I wore for my first rap show at Mic Check 2001 (Spanish Moon, New Orleans). It was so long ago that I do remember wearing a FUBU baseball jersey, my hair was long and twisted up like Ginuwine. But many of the classic shoes I've ever had were debuted at my concerts. The most memorable pair were the Number 6 Gold edition Jordans. They were black suede leather with the gold accents at the bottom (I called them my Saints Jordans with the gold Jumpman). The runner-up would probably be the black Adidas high tops with the yellow stripes that Jon Jackson filmed for the Rock Box Movie. It's awesome when the stage lights shine on bright sneakers. - Mr. J'ai, The Mic Check King (

I honestly don't remember my first show, but one of the earliest I can remember was 2006 at a secret show in the warehouse district. About 300 heads came out and I remember feeling more eager to prove myself than I was nervous. Was wearing all black Air Jordan 15 (at the time 6 years old) and I had heads asking yo "how'd keep them so fresh?" I felt like a superstar. - Mic Skills (