Thursday, October 21, 2004

Caliente 505: Behind The Scenes

  I won’t lie to ya.  I’m getting anxious.  I’m not really a “hype” kind of guy, but Saturday’s gonna be a big day.

  Las Cruces hasn’t seen a hip-hop concert in about a year.  The last rap show to come through was last Halloween—The Hot 103 Halloween Jam—with Lil’ Rob.  Another one is long overdue. 

  As music director for Hot 103, it’s my responsibility to work closely with the artists and the record labels to organize the Caliente 505 Concert, going down this Saturday night at Club Fusion.  All the bases have to be covered—venue, hotel, transportation, ticket printing, sound and lighting, artist fees, dressing rooms, ticket outlets, radio advertising, contracts…and the list goes on.  If any one of these things isn’t handled, the show can’t go on. 

  You can pay $16 and see a great concert.  You can see what’s happening on the stage, in the spotlight.  But you rarely see the months of preparation that goes into that one night.  We’ve been working on this concert for two months.  But the payoff is amazing.

  Seeing a thousand people show up and have a great time, knowing they got their money’s worth, makes it all worthwhile.  And it’s doubly rewarding to bring Las Crucens artists they love.

  And the artists love Las Cruces.  Ask any of the guys in NB Ridaz, and they’ll tell you that our city has treated them well.  They feel at home playing The Whole Enchilada Fiesta, the 4th of July celebration, or Club Fusion.  Every time I talk to them, they always ask when they can come back.

  Lil’ Rob loves the people of Las Cruces, too.  He always makes it a point to stop through on autograph and concert tours.  I know for a fact that there are girls walking around town with his autograph tattooed on their bodies.  How could you not love that?

  Chicano hip-hop artists recognize our city as a hotbed for the art form.  Oftentimes record labels use Hot 103 as a barometer (or thermometer, perhaps) for what is hot.  We help them decide what will do well in larger cities that are predominantly Hispanic.  We help them break new Chicano artists.  And it’s an exciting time to be playing that role.

  Over the last year or so we have seen Chicano hip-hop break into the mainstream.  It’s a slow process, but artists like Baby Bash, NB Ridaz, Gemini, and Lil’ Rob are beginning to see success on a national level.  Virtually every hip-hop station in the country played Bash’s “Suga Suga.”  And at the rate they’re going, NB Ridaz have the potential to achieve the same status with their latest single, “Pretty Girl.”

  This is your chance to be a part of it.  Don’t miss out.  Get out there, get those tickets, and come check us out Saturday night at Club Fusion.  They’ll be talking about it on Monday.

-From Pulse

  October 21, 2004