A Wild Night on the Town With Rapper Problem
[Editor's note: Soon-to-be-award-winning gonzo music journalist Danielle Bacher prowls the late late night scene for West Coast Sound. For this installment, she hit the town with quickly-emerging, 29-year-old Compton rapper Problem. Also along for a small part of the ride was Jamie Foxx.]
10:21 p.m.: I'm driving down Saticoy Street in North Hollywood. I look over to my left and notice a young woman with curly black hair bobbing her head up and down on a guy's lap in a black Corvette. She tilts her flushed face back and kisses him on his neck and inner arm. He touches her breasts and then looks over at me. He smiles, and she goes back down on him. He gives me the thumbs-up and then before long speeds up and disappears around the corner.
10:25 p.m.: A light drizzle falls on the windshield of my car. I wonder if it's hard to get head while driving. I park my car and look in the rearview mirror. I notice blood dripping from my nose. What the fuck?
10:27 p.m.: Problem stands in the doorway of Dead Cat Studios. A black cap covers his eyes. He's wearing an Adidas track jacket and a gold chain around his neck. He has a beeper above the right pocket of his dark jeans. We walk through the front door to find a girl holding a broken bottle that used to have Grey Goose in it. She can barely stand up.
Danielle Bacher Rapper Problem
10:38 p.m.: A guy in a black cap and black sweatshirt plays loud beats inside. A girl named
Danielle Bacher Nicki Kelli leans against the back of the room, facing me as she tugs on her small belly shirt. She walks seductively across the room in tight white pants and bends down, her ass in my face. She lifts her leg onto an end table. Her leopard-pattern stilettos are big enough to pierce someone's ribcage.
10:45 p.m.: Problem goes to lay down some vocals in the other room. I sit down on the end of a couch with two of his friends. They are texting on their cell phones. I ask the guy sitting next to me what Problem is recording in the studio. He doesn't know.
10:50 p.m.: One of the dudes in the studio looks underage and is rolling a blunt. "I haven't smoked that much today," he says to his other friend. "Only like eight blunts." His friend responds, "I roll joints that last longer than blunts all the time."
10:55 p.m.: Problem walks out of the recording room and plays his vocals. He's working on a project for R&B singer and producer Durrell Babbs, aka Tank, as well as a new mixtape of his own called Separation.
10:57 p.m.: Problem cradles a gallon of water in one hand and sucks back a small bottle of Cazadores tequila from the other. His manager Pun walks into the room chugging champagne straight from the bottle. It was his birthday on Saturday, but they're going out to celebrate tonight.
Danielle Bacher Problem (Left) Pun (Center) Nick (Right)
11:28 p.m.: Pun announces that he is heading to Supperclub. Everyone bolts through the door to their cars. Problem goes to the bathroom.
11:30 p.m.: I stand in the freezing cold. Nick, another of Problem's friends, tells me to wait a second.
11:35 p.m.: Problem is still in the bathroom.
11:40 p.m.: "Shit, did everyone just leave me?" Problem asks as he gets out. "Wow, I'm sure that's never happened to you before. I'm sure you've never seen an artist get left. Can you drive me to the club?"
11:42 p.m.: "I can't believe they all left me, dawg," he says, laughing. "That's a first." He calls Nicki and jokingly bitches to her: "There is no need for apologies, I'm furious right now."
11:45 p.m.: I ask him what it's like raising five kids with four different moms. "It was hard at one point, but it's not anymore," he says. "Everyone has those moments when they're a little out of whack, but I knew what I was doing. You got to play the cards you deal yourself."
11:47 p.m.: Growing up in Compton, he says he tried to stay clear of bullshit and didn't get into too much trouble. He adds that he sometimes has a feisty temper, but that he's happy and mellow currently.
11:50 p.m.: Snoop Dogg was a big inspiration to him. He wrote three songs for Snoop's 2008 albumEgo Trippin'. "The work ethic that Snoop has is insane. After all these years and accolades, he's still so enthusiastic about doing music. He always has something going, and that's what I respect about him. He's one of the best."
11:54 p.m.: Last night, Problem's friend got a DUI, so he had to pick him up from jail. Also, the Lakers lost. But the most disappointing part has been getting left at the studio by his friends. He can't get over it.
11:58 p.m.: I valet my car and head around the corner to the club with Nick and Problem, who now has sunglasses on. Holy fuck, there are so many people here.
11:59 p.m.: Folks are standing outside screaming, yelling and pushing to get in the door of the Hollywood Blvd. club. Problem grabs my hand and tells me not to let go. Nicki is behind me. We are surrounded by so many people I can barely see in front of me.
12:00 a.m.: Some guy yanks my hair and pushes me in the side of my stomach. I'm trying hard not to panic. A girl next to me looks like she is hyperventilating.
Danielle Bacher Problem at Supperclub
12:01 a.m.: "Keep going," he urges. He grabs my hand tighter, before letting go and moving toward the bouncer. "Come here, quick!"
12:02 a.m.: A security guard goes to slide the metal gate closed. Problem shakes his hand and chats with him briefly. I don't know if I can push through all these people in time. Some guy just fucking tripped me with his oversized Timberland boots. UGH.