When you Pass a Cop a Blunt — Scenes from Sacramento — Del Hiero Edition

Prologue: A brief history on CIP Sacramento

Concerts in the Park is a summer concert series currently in it’s 26th year. Every Friday night from 5-9 any and all are welcome to bring a blanket, grab a friend, buy a beer (21+ obviously) and enjoy a well crafted live music experience. Oh, and it’s free. Double bonus.

In recent years CIP has been pushing the envelope with it’s varied lineups and mishmash of genres, guaranteeing the average attendee will be in store for something they have never heard before.

In speaking with Justin Nordan, head talent buyer in charge at CIP, he laid out his feelings on the series.

“Concerts In The Park has grown into something that we only could have imagined. Bringing national artists into Downtown Sacramento, for FREE, to perform for the public is what we needed. It’s about fellowship, unity, and celebrating the core of this city. There are very few cities in the US that nurture a weekly music series like Sacramento does with us.”

With that in mind I was excited to see what the lineup was going to be for 2017, and kept my eyes peeled for the announcement. So when the Downtown Sacramento Partnership/Concerts in the Park dropped the full lineup, I marked June 9th down immediately as one of the could not miss Sac shows of the summer. The curators, a combo of CIP and Downtown Sacramento Partnership staff, had managed to book the man, the myth, the Funky Homosapien, Del of Hiero and Gorillaz fame.

This is where I started shrieking

This is where I started shrieking

Fuck yes.


Chapter 1: D-Day Prep

In anticipation of the Del show, I knew I was going to need to be prepared. I would be heading to the concert straight from work, so everything had to be done in advance. I made sure to create a checklist of the main priorities.

1. Weed
2. Blunt wraps

Yeah, it’s a short list. #stonerlife

Thanks to an amazing delivery service (Silver Streak Solutions) and Proposition 215, I had an ounce of GSC delivered to my doorstep before I was even off work, and my lil brother had snagged me a few wrap packs before he came to swoop. I was a weed rolling machine as we drove downtown, and got a few rolled before we pulled up to park. I slid them back into their foil packs, and tucked the packs carefully into my bra.

Fun fact: one of the best things about having DDD’s is being able to fit a flask, a phone, a wallet, a pack of prerolls, an extra quarter of weed, and a lighter in there without anyone being the wiser. #Blessed


Chapter two: An ode to the culture

The entire night sort of felt like a love letter to hip-hop in all its current incarnations. DJ Epik, a Sacramento staple, kicked the night off with a half hour set masterfully floating between classic hip hop, old school funk, soul, and modern turnup. With the levels just right, the crowd was vibed out for the first act, The People’s Revolution, to take the stage.

It's always a family affair when The Peoples Revolution rocks the mic -- Photo credit Rodriguez Del Arbusto Photography

It’s always a family affair when The Peoples Revolution rocks the mic — Photo credit Rodriguez Del Arbusto Photography

Comprised of an ecclectic group of individual emcees, Bru Lei, Century Got Bars, Mahtie Bush, Mic Jordan, N.O.N, Nome Nomadd, Poor Majesty and TPR founder Old Ghost rocked an hour long set that reminded me of a scene from Netflix’s the Get Down. Jumping from group acts to solo numbers, the crew served up 60 minutes that paid homage to hip hop on the whole, incorporating DJ Rated R’s ridiculous turntable skills and a full on bboy/bgirl cypher towards the end. Basically it was start to finish dopeness. The hip hop Gawds approve.

From there, local radio host/Treetone Records artist Soosh*E! was on deck.

Where TPR gave you that classic feel to vibe to, Soosh was here to give you that shit to get you lit. With some assistance from local emcee, (and personal favorite), Sean Lamarr (DLRN) Soosh’s set had me feeling hella good vibes from the jump.

Local emcee and radio host reminding us that 2017 is finna be lit -- photo credit Fowler Photography

Local emcee and radio host reminding us that 2017 is finna be lit — photo credit Fowler Photography

Switching from his love of the ladies on his “Brown Sugar Cinnamon” track (I swear I thought he was rapping about cereal at first) to his musical mantra pining that it’s “Gon be my year” I was sold on Soosh. Then he went and capped it off with a live painting courtesty of the artist Deeks paying tribute to our fallen homie Daniel ‘DJ Whores’ Osterhoff, I almost had tears in my eyes. I couldn’t think of a better lead up to Del.

Photo Credit - Tom Huynh

Artist Deeks throwing down a speed paint for the fallen Sacramento legend Daniel Osterhoff -photo credit Tom Huynh

Chapter three — When you give a cop some (Girl Scout) Cookies…

Oh shit! Ok so let’s talk bout the blunt, before my high ass forgets.

I had originally planned on saving the blunts that night for when Del came on, but as luck would have it I ran into a couple of my favorite rappers. Abstract Ninjaa (the most underrated over talented muthafucka I know) and Chuuwee, one of the more successful to come out of Sacramento in recent years. It only seemed appropriate to spark a blunt in honor of such a divine meeting, and we lit the flame as the sun set.

The crowd, us included, were restless as we waited. After a couple rotations on the blunt our convo went from light chit chat of our daily happenings, to deep convo about our expectations of the show.

“Man I just want him to play Clint Eastwood!” Chu uttered thru inhales.

“I mean why wouldn’t he? It’s the one song that every muthafucking person in this crowd is guaranteed to know.” Abstract reasoned.

“…. Which of course means he won’t do it,” I countered. Because pessimism.

“Fuck outta here, he’s gonna do that shit…”


Let me take this moment to interject two key points:

1. The three of us were standing next to our friends merch booth. There were about twenty of us in and around the area that were friends, so there would often be a moment when a random homie would slide up, take a hit, and slink back into the crowd without much fanfare. It’s the stoner way.

2. During this entire conversation, none of us were looking at each other. Our eyes remained transfixed on the stage, as though if we looked away, Del wouldn’t appear.

Ok. Back to the story.

As our convo continued, I could see out of the corner of my eye that someone had sidled up to Chuu, as though they wanted in on the rotation. Stoner senses were clearly tingling because without a word, Chuu immediately went to pass the blunt to his right.

I swear, what happened next felt like it was in slow motion…

“Well shit guys, I don’t know if I would be able to drive home tonight after all this!…”

All three of our heads collectively turned, only to find ourselves face to face with a fully uniformed, badged up officer of the law who was know holding our blunt in his hand. His bleached blond hair was spiked high and proud like a peacocks plumage, and his toothy smile was stretched ear to ear as he laughed hysterically at his own joke… or our horror struck faces. After a few seconds of the three of us staring in shock, the cop passes the blunt back to Chu, and I grab it, put it out, and slid it in my pocket. As my brain continued to process the scene, Billy Idol (as the cop is now known in my head) kept talking.

“Oh man that was priceless you guys. Fucking priceless. I was just standing here and wanted to see what you would do. I just wanted to see your faces!! Fuck that was priceless!”

He wiped tears away from his bright red cheek as he clapped Chuu on the shoulder and said,

“Enjoy your night! You guys have fun…”

Representation of the cops face, and hair, during this ordeal Representation of the cops face, and hair, during this ordeal

Just like that Billy Idol sauntered off into the sunset to regroup with his other cop buddies who were laughing hysterically at what they had just witnessed.

The three of us looked at each other and sighed. Deep. Laughter escaped all of us, but it was that nervous laughter mixed with a smattering of utter disbelief. Resting my head on Abstracts shoulder, I pull the unfinished blunt out of my pocket, and spark the shit.

“Man, he’s DEFINITELY gonna do Clint Eastwood now, I can feel that shit…”

I passed the blunt to Ninja as the screaming begins, and Hiero Domino takes the stage.



Chapter Four: The Conclusion

I don’t even feel the need to give you a breakdown of the Del set. It was beautiful, it was classic, it was funky AF. For 45 minutes Del ran through songs like Mr Dobalina and If You Must, just to name a couple.

Trust me when I say you should have been there if you weren’t.

Del was clearly feeling himself in this one -- photo credit Daniel Tyree

Del was clearly feeling himself in this one — photo credit Daniel Tyree

What I did want to mention is this. There were 8586 people in Cesar Chavez Plaza that night. Not once in the 26 year history of CIP have that many people showed up for a show. Oh and the record before Del? Was held previously by Blackalicious, who shattered the CIP attendance numbers in 2015 (with the help of DLRN as openers).

“In the future, I’d love to bring in larger acts, celebrate more of the makers and curators that make this city special, and invite special guests out to the park. CIP needs to constantly evolve, to meet the needs of our city. We wanna keep it fresh.” — Justin Nordan.

With all that said.. I’m grateful.
Grateful to CIP/DSP for recognizing the greatness that is in the hip hop culture, and giving it a platform.
Grateful that our cities inhabitants continue to lend credence to the idea that DIVERSITY in your music scene is paramount to maintaining a thriving arts and culture community here in the City of Trees, as well as anywhere in the US.
Oh, and grateful that the organization hired the coolest cop I have ever encountered. That shit could have gone a whole other direction.

I’m also hopeful that the rest of the city, especially the main portions of the media that often enjoy attacking the culture, picks up on what is being said. Hip hop is beautiful and let’s face it, one of the most influential art forms around.

Yes, I said art form because it absolutely is. It’s expressive and transformative, and if you take an extra moment, you just might see it.


Oh shit, one last thing — DEL DID CLINT EASTWOOD!

Just saying.

Hip Hop and CIP don’t disappoint.

Hip Hop and Del Don't Stop -- photo credit @aerialsacramento

Hip Hop and Del Don’t Stop — photo credit @aerialsacramento

Them Crowds though... and this was the first act. -- Photo credit Chris Hopkins

Them Crowds though… and this was the first act. — Photo credit Christ Hopkins

Don’t miss out on the next Concerts in the Park. It happens again every Friday until the end of July.

Cesar Chavez Plaza. 9th and J street.

Concerts in the Park

— Olivia Monahan
@thelivstyler — IG — FB
@thelivstyler — Twitter even though I don’t really use that shit. xo



Olivia Monahan

June 19th, 2017

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