Heat Stroke!!! ~ NC In June…

I’ll be blunt…May was very rough and busy month. It started off with my mama’s birthday and Mother’s Day just days apart from each other. I’ve basically just come to terms with the fact that the month of May will always be tough. People say it gets easier with time and it’s all still very emotional for myself and my family. I’ve also been dealing with a lingering writer’s block which is why I haven’t posted much here at all. With all that going on, I’ve also had some good things to keep me going like my cousin’s wedding and celebrating a very good friend’s birthday during the holiday weekend. Of course my birthday was at the end of the month too and despite being nervous about it and not wanting it at first, I had a dinner party downtown that went really well. With all that going on, what I really wanted to do was crawl under a rock and hide. I was also extremely burnt out and stressed from everything especially work. My boss was going away for a few weeks and the office was hell to deal with. We were working through lunch and leaving anywhere from 7 to 9 at night! My girl, Tracey and I decided that a trip was in dire need and a week later, we were on the road down to North Carolina!

One thing I will say, IT WAS HOT! For those who don’t know me, I do not tolerate heat at all. Some friends call me a “walking furnace” because I’m always warm. I was worried about the heat down south before we left and I tried to pack accordingly.

We left on the Wednesday night at about 10:30 or so and got to our hotel in the early afternoon Thursday. It’s a 12 hour trip but we stopped for breakfast at a Denny’s somewhere in Pennsylvania or West Virginia, I think. All I know is that it was about 5 or 6 am! We saw this huge rock wall in the parking lot and decided to take pics by it!

Then we stopped at a mall in Richmond, VA for a few hours. We were just dying to get out of the car and walk around! We got to our hotel at about 3pm. We had gotten a great deal online at a La Quinta hotel in Durham and it turned out to be nicer than we thought it would be!

Our first night there we didn’t do much, Trace and I just relaxed then later went to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Darien was supposed to come by the hotel to see us but his rehearsal ran late. He promised to meet us for lunch along with his sister so the next day, we met at a place called Brigs. The food was really good and we had a great time, talking and laughing. It was great to see Terrica again. She’s such a sweetheart.

When we went our separate ways, Darien said he’d see us again Sunday. Trace and I spent the rest of our afternoon shopping before having to go back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We were meeting a few members of the Jamla Army at Elmo’s for dinner before heading to 9th Wonder’s party called 95 Live in downtown Raleigh. Trace & I met up with 3 army members: Didi, Sonya & Ting who also brought his girlfriend, Michelle. Meeting them face to face after interacting with them online for the last little while was awesome. I have to admit I was nervous and shy (as usual! Smh!) at first but got comfortable with all of them eventually. We had a lot of fun together and I love the food at Elmo’s! Why didn’t I think to take pics at dinner, I’ll never know! Ugh…

Ting, Michelle, Tracey and I drove straight to the club while Sonya and Didi said they’d meet us there later. We got to 5 Star a bit early so we ended up taking pics just outside the club.

We all went inside eventually but it was still early! It was okay though because Vince and Sean aka DJ Face were already there too. It was good to see them both. I hadn’t seen Vince since early last year because we missed each other the last 2 times I came to NC. Face was in town from DC and it was the first time we met in person. It was so awesome meeting him; it was long overdue. Soon, DJ Flash arrived because he was spinning that night too. I hadn’t seen Flash since the last time Little Brother came to Toronto which was in 2008!

It was also HaLo’s birthday and I was so glad I was in town to celebrate it with him. At one point, he put on an Iron Man mask on which was pretty cool. LoL!

Trace and I had a great time at 95 Live. The music was great and the vibe was even greater. It was awesome to see a bunch of my friends there too namely, Ayana, Bre, Lisa, Trish, Cesar Comanche, Sean Boog, Khrysis, Heather Victoria, Amp, E. Jones and Rapsody. I’m just sad I didn’t get pics with everyone.

Saturday was the day of Sean Boog’s video shoot. We were told to meet up at a parking lot by Lincoln Theater in Raleigh at 3pm and it was HOT, probably the hottest day while we were in town! We were all asked to wear black for the video which didn’t help the situation either. While we were waiting to start a bunch of us stood under the shade of the tiny tree, we must’ve looked crazy! Lol! After the first segment, Kenneth Price, the director said we could walk to the 2nd location; it was a few blocks away. By this time, I didn’t know it yet but the heat stroke process began. The humidity was getting to me and I started to feel a bit weak but I tried to keep going. We weren’t too far from the 2nd location when I decided I need to sit down and found a stone bench under a tree by a parking lot. I was really short of breath but I played it off saying I was fine to everyone who went by us not wanting to cause worry. I could tell Trace was worried but I felt like if I just rested, I should be fine. 9th came by a few times to check on me too. I guess I didn’t look that great and at one point, he came and brought us some water. I started to feel nauseous and faint until I got the water in me. I gave up on being in the video, I couldn’t stand it outside anymore. 9th mentioned that he was done his shots and was planning to go to his studio, Bright Lady, which wasn’t too far from where we were. He said we were welcome to come along. I barely made it to the car. Trace had to go ahead and grab the car and meet me. I ended up asking Ting to stay with me while she got the car. I didn’t want to be the center of attention so I was trying to play it off as much as I could.

It didn’t take us long to find Bright Lady. As bad as I felt, I still felt excited to go to the studio. I had tried to go on previous trips but it just never worked out. It was surreal being at Bright Lady. To actually being at the place where all the music is made, seeing where all the ustreams I’ve moderated happened…it was unreal but I managed to keep my composure and geek out. Hahaha! It was cool just to hang out with everyone; I met Fatin for the first time and he’s really cool. I got play with 9th’s light sabers (yes, 9th has 6 light sabers in total) and it was especially fun being able to bug E. Jones for awhile. Not sure why but Jones likes these stuff animal hats and had posted a pic on twitter of him wearing a wolf hat. I found a cheetah one a few months back and mailed it to the studio for him. I was happy to see it sitting on a mic stand right in front of his corner area. Of course I asked him to put it on so I can take a picture and Amp came in with a light saber. It ended up being my favorite pic of the trip.

Jones even stole my Haribo Gummi Bears that I had in my purse! Then I told him I’d still these baby blue Jordans he had sitting there. They were so pretty I had to take a pic of them!

Later, Ting & Michelle also came to Bright Lady and we just hung out with Rapsody & Heather Victoria while 9th played us some unreleased music. At one point during the evening, it was just myself, Tracey, Michelle & Ting in the room so I tried to sneak into the booth for a picture but the flash reflected off the glass. I just settled for a pic in 9th’s chair quickly before he came back! Lol!

Soon, the 4 of us decided to leave and grab food somewhere so it was time to say bye to everyone. When I went out to the hallway, there was a guy standing there that I didn’t recognize. He smiled and introduced himself as Poe Mack. In my head, I was like oh shit, he’s the rapper that’s on Micfest Tour with them. I introduced myself (I still feel weird introducing myself as Lady Vee but everyone there calls me that!) and Poe’s like, “Oh YOU’RE Lady Vee, I’ve heard about you!” I was floored and was like, “What? Really??” Everyone laughed at me and I felt like a dork! LOL!

By then the rest of the crew came back and Kenneth mentioned that they are working on a date to screen his film on 9th, The Wonder Year in Toronto which I’m really excited about. I said goodbye to everyone and the last thing I did was take a picture with 9th Wonder.

Michelle, Ting, Trace & I ended up going to a place called Mojoe’s which is right around the corner from Bright Lady. I found out that 9th and the crew frequents the place as well. The food’s really good there. It was fun getting to know Ting and Michelle. Michelle and I got along so well that she said she was adopting me as her little sister and that made me really happy. I can’t wait to see them again.

Sunday, our last day in NC, was a really chill day. I was still not feeling like myself from the heat stroke so I decided to relax at the hotel while Tracey got some last minute shopping in. Later, Darien and Lou came by and Lou’s friend, Luis came over to hang out with us too. I had a good time hanging with them, of course there was lots of jokes and laughter. At one point, all 5 of us were all lying around play Words With Friends! LOL!

Trace and I realized we didn’t have dinner and it was getting close to the time where we start our journey back home. The guys helped us pack up our car and we went to the Waffle House down the block from our hotel.

All in all, Trace & I had a great time like I always do when I go to NC….except for the heat stroke of course! I found myself in tears as Trace drove out of North Carolina. That’s the 2nd time that happened. When I was in NC back in March, my chest felt heavy and I was teary at the airport. I broke down on the phone to Darien when I landed back home. I really believe a piece of me stays there when I leave. *sigh* NC is definitely my home away from home, I’m admitting that now and I cannot wait to go back!!

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