Calle Ocho 2006 with Pitbull at the Hennessy Stage
Every year we wait for Calle Ocho to come and turn the very car-congested streets of 8th street into a 20 blocks of arroz con pollo, $2 Coke cans (for the gringos that don’t know any better), tons of Latino artists, and underage kids that act and look like they’re 25. Originally I was supposed to be at the Coca-Cola stage the early part of the day because I had worked it out with the organizers. But as soon as I got to the V.I.P. entrance to show them my credentials, “Juan” said I couldn’t get in in. Who’s Juan? Juan is the middle aged Nicaraguan door man that thought he ran the show because he was on that side of the fence. I complained, yelled and tried kissing his ass, all within a matter of 30 seconds and still…no entrance for Dro. I tried getting in with the the Crazy Hood & the So Fla Kingz crews and still…no luck. It looked hopeless. So you know what I did…?
I said ‘fuck Juan” and I sucked in my stomach, bought some Aquafina (yes, I bought a Coca-Cola product after they did me dirty, haha) and walked from 27th Avenue to 12th Avenue to go cover the Hennessy stage a little earlier than expected. Doing 15 blocks of cardio with tons of camera equipment is no walk in the park…literally. But after half and hour or so, I made it to the Hennessy stage’s VIP/Press entrance and was greeted like I was part of the family. I showed my documents and was in without a probelm…no second guessing who I was or anything. Not only was the hospitality factor a plus, but soon as I walked in, they fed me and everyone else who was in VIP. I’m talking a never-ending supply of tamales, media noches and tostones. It was any fat Cubanito’s heaven in disguise.
After the great food, it was only right to pay notice to the all of the industry insiders in and around the backstage and bar area. Oh, that’s right, did I forget to mention the free open bar a.k.a the never-ending supply of Hennessy served to your precise liking. Oh yes, we were all feeling quite nice. But in all seriousness, the backstage area was filled with organizers of the event, local faces from the hip-hip scene and tons of artist entourages. Without any question, the performances from the likes of Pitbull, Voltio and Taino to name a few were the perfect examples of Calle Ocho’s tradition to empower the latin pride in the air. My highlight of the day was seeing DJ Laz and Pitbull go at it toe-to-toe with their Hennessy “chugging” contest. Pitbull’s expression after upping half that bottle was a hilarious moment. He had that that “y queeeeeeeeee?” type of look.
So Calle Ocho’s Hennessy stage was the shit! Excuse my french, but it was. That’s the only way I can perfectly describe the production from start to finish. Shout out to Lise, Alan Solis, the Crazy Hood crew, Bridgez Magazine, Latin Lime, Rudi Goblen, Monsta, Junior and everyone else I met who was involved with the Hennessy stage this year.