Clarion Content music correspondent, Tim Mapp, hit the road to Charlotte recently. While he was there, the renown Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) tournament hit town. It is a homecoming, a reunion, a festival, and a basketball tournament all wrapped in one. Mapp takes us behind the scenes at one of the weekend’s parties in the piece below.
by: Tim Mapp
The CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) was originally founded in 1912 and is the oldest African-American sports conference in the nation. Since the year 2006 Charlotte has been the home of the week long parties and basketball games that surround the CIAA tournament. It has been a great opportunity for general gatherings as well; due to the massive numbers of people that travel from all over the country to be a part of the action.
Among those people, K97.5’s Wade Banner… he made his way to the Queen City from Durham to DJ at a big CIAA day party and this is how it went:
White pipe and drapery are all around the walls of the otherwise industrial looking warehouse. The host rolled out a red carpet after a security pat down and weapons check. Although there were no reports of shootings during CIAA weekend, this party took the extra precautions needed for safety. The flyer stated that the festivities would kick off around 12pm and end around 6pm.
I arrived on the scene around 1.45pm only to find that they were still setting up. The host, Casper, and the leader of the Kobe Jordan movement were assisting a fellow tech put up a light and gobo that read: “Kobe Jordan.” As they finished this a few more people made their way down the red carpet. Some stopped at the conveniently located bar to the left of the carpet. While the others headed toward the DJ booth. Wade Banner, a Durham native and radio personality for K97.5, was set to spin some records, but seemed to be waiting for more people to show up to start his set.
The venue was probably at about 10 percent capacity and half of that was the glamorous models of Sheen Magazine. Most of the patrons had a “Is this it?” expression on their faces as they saw how vacant the party was. And who could blame them? With a line-up that featured some of hip-hop newsiest and brightest names such as: Young Thug, Que, Young Dolph, Cap 1 and Kwony Cash. With hitters like those one would think the party would be thriving and full of CIAA patrons and party goers. It simply wasn’t.
3:30pm rolled around and I needed a breath of fresh air, so I decided to walk around the city. Everywhere else around the Queen City the day parties seemed to be popping right off. The city scene was thriving. It was too bad you couldn’t tell that from the party I left. I walked all the way down College Street and then finally made my way back to the all-day party I was originally at. As I turned the corner I could see a small line of about five, six people standing in front of the venue. So I eagerly went back inside thinking the vibe would be different… I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Now it was about 4:30pm. I decided I would stay until 5pm, and if nothing changed, I would be done for the evening. By this time Wade Banner escaped to attend other CIAA gatherings. I was left wondering what I had got myself into. Fifteen minutes went by and I noticed a familiar face moving graceful down the red carpet. It was Atlanta’s own Cap 1 of Street Execs, followed by an entourage of at least twelve.
The place quickly started buzzing with the sounds of the spectators as they figured out who this man was. Shortly afterward suddenly the warehouse became full of bodies. Among these new partygoers, platinum producer Zaytoven decided to slide through the festivities. The Atlanta crew didn’t stay long as they had many other places to go and the night was really just beginning. Although most of the time I spent at this particular party was just standing around watching the sound crew set up; overall I think it was a success. Even though only one of out the five of their special guess showed up, it was still a lot of fun.
And that’s how it was in the Queen City…..
Tim Mapp is more than just a hip-hop writer, he works at a couple of the area’s top clubs as a sound and lighting technician. He leads music business and recording seminars. A graduate of Full Sail University with a degree in recording and music business management, he is our Man on the musical scene.
The Clarion Content encourages your comments. Please extend the discussion and leave a reply at the end of this column.