No interview with da Chef (part 2)

Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I was supposed to interview with Raekwon when the Wu-Tang Clan came to play a concert in Raleigh, North Carolina. Around three p.m. on the day of the concert, I called Raekwon&squo;s manager (otherwise known as Don) to re-confirm the interview.&bsp; He didn&squo;t pick up his phone, so I left a message that said something to the extent of, &dquo;Uh, hey, this is, uh, Drew Millard, I, uh, have, um, an interview&ellip;scheduled with Raekwon, uh, can you call me back? Thanks.&dquo;&bsp; Believe it or not, this eloquently worded message did not earn me a return call from Mr. da Chef&squo;s manager within a satisfactory period of time.

Two hours later, flushed with panic, I called back.

No answer.

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A couple minutes after Raekwon&squo;s manager didn&squo;t pick up the phone, my phone received a text message.&bsp; (You&squo;ll recall that a text message is sort of like a brief note passed between two cell phones; it allows you to carry on a long-distance conversation without actually talking to the other person.) I flipped open my phone, and lo and behold, it was from Raekwon&squo;s manager! Surely he was texting me back to confirm the interview, because he was a man of professionalism.

The text read as follows: &dquo;Who this&dquo;

Not exactly the response I was looking for. I texted him back, saying, &dquo;This is Drew, I called roughly two weeks ago about an interview tonight.&bsp; You told me to call today.&dquo;

&dquo;Ok&dquo; was Don&squo;s reply. I thought to myself, Great! Now all I have to do is set up a time and place, and I&squo;m home free.

The sequence of events that followed involves me being stupid, Don not being very responsive, and gigantic dollops of misunderstanding.

My response to Don was, &dquo;Do you want me to call you back?&dquo;

Don, keeping with his trend of not responding to me with more than two words, sent me a text saying, &dquo;Phone interview?&dquo;

I texted, &dquo;You said it could be in person after the show tonight?&bsp; But I can do a phone interview if necessary.&dquo;

&dquo;Ok let me see,&dquo; Don responded.&bsp; I figured at this point, we were getting somewhere. Surely, Don had just gone for a minute to ask Raekwon what time he could do an interview, which he definitely would want to have held at Waffle House because all famous people are secretly down to earth and like all of the same things that we regular folks like, especially when it involves maple syrup and the smell of stale cigarettes.

Unfortunately, Don and Raekwon must have been having a pretty long conversation, because after an hour he hadn&squo;t gotten back to me. Keep in mind, at this point it was six o&squo;clock, and the Wu-Tang concert was going to start at 8, and my initial plan was to write about the concert, and then write about all the wacky times I would surely have with New Best Friend Raekwon after the show. I decided that this plan was a little far fetched, since it involved Raekwon taking time out of his schedule to sit down with a nineteen year old writer affiliated with the World&squo;s Smallest Daily Newspaper, so I might just cut my losses and settle for a phone interview. I sent Don a text reflecting my new sentiment.

Half an hour later, he still hadn&squo;t responded. I sent him another text that said &dquo;So do I have an interview?&bsp; I&squo;m sorry I keep texting but I have to let my editor know soon.&dquo; Okay, that was a big fat lie. I don&squo;t really have an editor, and if I did, his concern about whether I was interviewing a member of the Wu-Tang would be more personal than professional. However, it appeared for a moment that my pressuring of Don had paid off, because he sent me a text back saying, &dquo;This is for NC correct.&dquo; I understood this text to mean, &dquo;Assuming that you are with a newspaper in North Carolina, I will allow you to interview Raekwon da Chef.&dquo; What I now suspect his text meant was something like, &dquo;Who are you and why do you keep bothering me?&dquo;

Regardless of the semantics of text messaging, I responded, &dquo;Yes.&bsp; Tryon Daily Bulletin.&dquo; Now, this response only makes sense when you read Don&squo;s most recent text message the way I did, because the way Don responded to my text didn&squo;t really make any sense. He said, &dquo;If anything its gonna be a phone intervies (sic) cause today is&dquo;

And that&squo;s it. No period, no object following the final verb, no correct spelling of &dquo;interview.&dquo; That was the last I heard of Don, or Raekwon for that matter. I sent him a text saying, &dquo;Can do phone interview. What time works?&dquo; but there was no response.&bsp; By this time, it was too late to go to the concert even just to see the show for itself, so I went to bed and listened to some Wu-Tang Clan songs on my iPod in order to try to find the meaning of my day&squo;s struggle. Instead of meaning, I found the song &dquo;Wu-Tang Clan Ain&squo;t Nuthin ta (Mess) With.&dquo; I found solace in this song, realizing that I myself had tried to (mess) with the Wu, and failed miserably.