(Friday – February 7th, 2003) – Hotel lobbies seemed to be the ultimate ‘prime-up” spot before pepole hit the real action, or the reality of the insane traffic. Parking, like NYC, seemed to take up most of your money, and Lennox Square Mall seemed to be everyone’s destination in the afternoon.
Unlike Freaknik in the hot weather of spring, this weekend you’d seldom see flesh dangling all throughout the street traffic, but instead the Cadillac Escalade EXT kept popping up everywhere in all its majesty – rimmed up, polished jet black, or shinny ivory and usually being mastered by young black men. It became such a commonality, that when one saw a regular-looking Escalade, it was almost unnoticeable. Everything else, outside of the ‘bling bling’ ingredient that weekend actually, seemed unnoticeable – including people.
This was the NBA All-Star Jam Session kick-off night and at the Georgia World Congress Center, Club NBA had a string of entertainers from everyone from Amerie, Nelly, Clipse, Field Mob, Floetry, B2K, Jagged Edge, Jermaine Dupri, Cee-Lo to Nappy Roots, Ja Rule, Mr. Cheeks and a lot more hosting today, Saturday and Sunday. Across town in the SWATs, at Morehouse College, another group of entertainers were hooping it up in the Rap Vs R&B Celebrity Basketball Game. Friday night was insane, with events up the ying-yang. A list of them included: Allen Iverson Crossover Weekend at Level 3, which was a disaster judging by the street-spilling bottle-neck of people; All-Star Weekend Kickoff Party Hosted by Usher & Frank Ski at VISION; All Star Pre-Party featuring the Roc-A-Fella Family at the Georgia International Convention Center; P. Diddy and Shaquille O’Neal host an All Star Extravaganza at the Woodruff Arts Center; An ‘Evening of Luxury’ with Chris Webber and Warner Brothers @ Clubhouse at Lenox Square; Chris Webber and Tyra Banks All Star Party at Frequency; Gary Payton’s All Star Week Jam at Hard Rock Caf