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CAUTION: Rap stars ahead
By CHRIS TRAINOR
Sunday, July 28, 2013 9:06 AM
So, it seems rapper DMX has gone and gotten himself arrested again in Upstate, S.C.
As you likely saw in the news, DMX - real name Earl Simmons - was arrested late last week in Greenville County. He was pulled over by the South Carolina Highway Patrol late Thursday night and was eventually charged with DUI and driving without a license.
Also of note, Highway Patrol said DMX was driving a 1978 Plymouth station wagon in the incident. As our esteemed former editor Bill Collins might say, "Write your own joke."
Friday's incident was not DMX's first traffic-related arrest in the Upstate, as he was also arrested in February in Spartanburg County on suspicion of driving without a license.
I should probably give a quick crash course on DMX, as I realize there are probably a few folks reading this who only know one rap song, that being the theme song from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."
(Go ahead and rap it. You know you want to. Here, I'll start: "In west Philadelphia, born and raised...")
Raised in Yonkers, N.Y., DMX is a hip-hop artist who enjoyed massive success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. His first five albums each went platinum and reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
He is perhaps most known to mainstream music fans for the single "Party Up (Up in Here)" and its infectious hook "Y'all gon' make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here."
I actually saw DMX in concert in April 1999 at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville. The show also featured Method Man, Redman and Jay-Z. (This was when Jay-Z was just a rapper, rather than a mogul/Beyonce's husband/Jadeveon Clowney's "maybe-not really-OK, perhaps one day" sports agent.) My brother and I attended the concert, and had great seats just off to the right of the stage.
As you might imagine, it was a wild show, and one that showcased perhaps DMX's first "slip-up" in South Carolina.
DMX was the second performer up that night and proceeded to tear through one of the most energetic sets I've ever seen. Keep in mind this was 1999 and DMX was absolutely red hot at the time, the hottest thing in rap. Hotter even than Jay-Z, who actually was headlining that Greenville show. I mean, the crowd was going absolutely bananas during DMX's performance.
Well, during the middle of his set - and the middle of a song - DMX was charging across the stage when he suddenly...disappeared. He literally went hurtling off the side of the stage, down beside what would be the orchestra pit.
The music stopped and everyone thought it was just part of the show. However, it quickly became apparent that wasn't the case, as stage hands rushed to help the rap star. I don't know whether he slipped or just didn't see where the edge of the stage was, but, after he was finally helped back on the stage, he was clearly shaken for several moments.
He dutifully gathered himself and continued performing, finishing the rest of his set with no hiccups. Looking back, perhaps the apparent unintentional stage dive that night was an omen of bad luck to come for DMX in the Upstate.
ACCORDING TO ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS, DMX was arrested in 2011 in Arizona after he was clocked going 102 mph in a 65 mph zone.
So, considering that, along with his recent South Carolina traffic-related arrests, one thing is quite clear: This man needs a driver. Someone to get him where he needs to go legally and at safe speeds.
I think I know just the man for the job: My dad, Thomas C. Trainor.
My dad is an exceedingly cautious driver. To my knowledge, he's only ever had one speeding ticket, and he swears to this day it's because the officer was a Ware Shoals football fan and he knew my dad was an Abbeville fan.
I am certain my dad could get DMX to his destinations without incident. Not only that, but I think it would make one hell of a reality TV show. I'm calling it "The Adventures DMX and TCT."
I should stop here to point out my dad, a retired school teacher, absolutely hates hip-hop music. If you said to him "Tom, would you rather listen to the new Lil' Wayne album or be beaten over the head with a tube sock filled with oranges," he'd take the tube sock filled with oranges.
Anyway, the show would basically be about my dad driving around in his Toyota Camry, taking DMX safely to all places the rap star needs to go, like the post office, the grocery store and his various court dates. We would have a camera right in the car and they could argue about music, politics, sports and the benefits of a 1978 Plymouth station wagon.
Who would watch this show? We'll see. But if people will watch "Hillbilly Handfishin'" and "Amish in the City," then surely they would watch "The Adventures of DMX and TCT."
Until then, everybody be safe out there on the roadways and keep an eye out for the hip-hop stars.
Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-5650; email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.
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