There are very few things in 2016 that take me by surprise—after all, we live in a world where our federal government can look at my paltry checking account and insist that I owe them more money than they already take out of my pay stub. At this point, someone could tell me, “Hey, that black male activist is actually a documented scammer and a fraud, and arguably not black,” and you wouldn’t get much more out of me than, “Oh, that’s interesting. Pass the hot sauce, please.”
However, I was legitimately taken aback to find out that the University of Georgia paid Ludacris 65 stacks to perform for 15 minutes in this year of our Lord and Savior, 2016—or any year after 2008, frankly. For one, I thought that Chris Bridges had officially transitioned into the thespian era of his career and left the hippity-hops behind. For two, the man’s rhyming ability seems to be inversely related to the follicular availability on his head. I thought we had all agreed to leave “Luda rapping in a Caesar” behind after he hit us with “I blow her up … balloons!”
But hey, a check is a check. If UGA is willing to pay it, Chris Bridges is gonna run with it. As evidenced by his features on early Justin Bieber songs. And Jesse McCartney songs. And Enrique Iglesias songs. And pretty much all of his musical contributions between 2010 and 2012. (This is really the man who murdered the “Made You Look (Remix).” How times have changed.)
What is truly intriguing is the man’s rider (pdf). Not only does the man get to demand that the university make it rain, but Luda asked for a host of accoutrements to prepare for his 15-minute set before a football game.
1. I really feel a way that Mr. Bridges is more concerned about his health than I am. Brown rice? Vegetables? Whole wheat pasta? Fruit? I had hot wings and a burger on Monday, and nobody’s paying me $65K to show up anywhere. I mean, the man had an album called Chicken n Beer! I would assume that he had the irresponsible palate. Does a responsible diet come with a new tax bracket? The man drinks green tea now!
2. I know we’ve already discussed this before at length, but drumettes are the truly inferior part of the wing. I wish everyone would see the light on this. I just want more for your taste buds.
3. Did you know that they still make Belvedere vodka? The last time I saw a bottle of that was probably in a Mya video—and the last time I saw Mya was on someone’s Instagram #WCW post.
4. Who do you think had to explain to the UGA contract negotiators what “hairbrush, African American” means? Also, does Luda require a new brush at every venue he performs in?
5. This was a 15-minute performance. How much juice does a man and his friends need? Snapple, Gatorade, Tropicana Orange Juice, cranberry juice, V8. Are these all mixers or what?
All of this got me thinking: If I were ever in a position to demand a rider of arbitrary things that I want available for me, what would I ask for? So far I’ve come up with the following:
1. A bucket of wings, all flats
2. Every season of Living Single
3. On-site pedicurist
4. A dozen Crown Royal bags
5. Plantain chips, two cases
6. Popeyes biscuits
7. San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa, 24-pack
8. Fuzzy Uggs slippers
9. A magnum-sized jar of Speculoos Cookie Butter
10. Mozzarella sticks ad infinitum
11. Tickets to Hamilton
12. Writing credits on Drake’s next album
13. Beyoncé’s outfit during the “Don’t Hurt Yourself” portion of Lemonade
14. Facial and massage services
15. Whatever’s in the new crispy chicken wraps
16. A one-on-one interview with Dame Dash
17. A custom-designed lacefront from Beyoncé’s stylist
18. A $200 MAC Cosmetics gift card
19. Rihanna’s new Fenty Puma line
20. Forty-five uninterrupted minutes with the center for the Oklahoma City Thunder
That’s just off the dome over the last 30 minutes. Give me more time and I’d go balls to the wall: Why can’t I request a personal performance of “Suck It or Not”? It’s my fantasy; the sky’s the limit!
Shamira Ibrahim is a 20-something New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her as she waxes poetic about chicken, Cam’ron and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at Very Smart Brothas.