For nearly 20 years, I’ve worked as a journalist in the entertainment industry. I’ve been able to get up close and personal with some of my favorite artists. There have been so many fun perks — free concert tickets and trips, rowdy tour buses and backstage shenanigans. I have hundreds of awesome stories to tell.
But there are also horror stories, too.
So, picture it: Baltimore, Maryland, 2001. I’m interviewing a legend in hip-hop. And I’m also interviewing his son, who is beginning what would be a brief career in hip-hop. They have a huge entourage including armed bodyguards. I’m in a group of about 15 people and I stay close. If I lose track, I won’t get my story. [Cue horror music.] And if I lose track, I won’t be able to get back to my hotel. [Cue horror music again.]
After the young son finishes a performance, the entourage begins to gather their things and make their way to the tour bus. Suddenly! The crowd from the show breaks through the barrier and swarms of pre-teens start sprinting our way. If we didn’t get back to the tour bus, we would be mauled. The bodyguards grab the young son and begin running toward the bus. The whole entourage gets closer to the bus. So what do I do?
I fell. Just like in the movies. I FELL! [Cue horror movie once again.] I scramble to get my notebooks and recorder and run as fast as I can towards the tour bus. As soon as I get to the door, one of the bodyguards stopped me from getting on the bus. I couldn't figure out why. What was on that bus? I was on there earlier and there was nothing weird.
“Please,” I said. “I need to get on this bus. I have no way of getting back.”
He said, “Sorry. Can’t help you. No reporters on the bus.”
I pleaded. I had been on the bus all day! He told me that when they came back to the bus they found someone hiding there. So for safety reasons they weren’t letting anyone but family and security on the bus. I kept asking — they knew they could trust me! He finally went on the bus and talked to someone. He let me get on. But he warned me that anything I saw on this bus wasn’t for my story. Finally, I saw what he didn’t want me to see: a shotgun practically as long as I was tall on the lap of the rapper. And every single person on the bus was holding a high caliber weapon — including the tween! My stomach dropped. I quickly turned away from the oversized sawed off shotguns and looked straight ahead. The bodyguard asked me, “Do you see anything on this bus you want to talk about?” “Nope,” I said. “Not at all.”
Imagine driving on a bus with 12 people, including a tiny tween, holding on to powerful weaponry on a bumpy tour bus. The bus was completely silent for the entire ride back to the hotel. And I made sure I never saw that rapper, his young son — or those THINGS — ever again.
While many of my hip-hop stories are fun and humorous. Some are horror stories.
Speaking of being terrified, check out Kevin Hart getting scared silly with Jimmy Fallon in the video above.
(Photo: BeeBright/Getty Imges)