Munya Vomo

Looking around in a shop in Paris a few weeks ago, a shop- keeper started a conversation with me in French. When he picked up that I could not respond, he quickly switched to English and I understood that he was talking about the Jay-Z song that was playing in his shop.

I had realised that I was bopping to it while I looked for something to buy. As soon as we realised we both liked the rapper, my newfound “friend” pulled out his phone and went through his images. Soon he started showing off his pictures with Jay-Z (pictured) and other famous faces.

Without me asking him the “whens” and “hows”, Pedro revealed Jay-Z was in Paris the month before and a rapper friend of Pedro’s had backstage passes to his concert. So essentially these dudes got to hang out with hip hop’s finest before the concert started.

This conversation demonstrates how different the worlds are backstage and in front of it. According to Pedro, they had their own party at the back, with groupies willing to give themselves to anyone. Booze was flowing like Niagara Falls and the food was first-class as well. To his surprise, Jay-Z was nonchalant about his surroundings.

But don’t be jealous of Pedro, his experience will come to your screens through Backstage, a documentary that looks into what happens at concerts behind the scenes. These concerts are usually by rappers where the artists are known to party hard before they perform.

Have you ever wondered why artists almost always arrive late on stage? Well, if you were on the other side of the stage you’d understand. Drinks, women and sometimes drugs are the order of the day before starting the performances.

When Game came to perform in Joburg he was very rude to his fans. Of course, it is a gangster rap thing to be rude, but he was visibly drunk as well, and continued to drink on stage.

Singers K-Ci and Jojo once embarrassed themselves when they slurred mid-song and wound up forgetting their lyrics. Again they had been drinking backstage.

The other thing this show will look at is how pretentious artists can be on stage. There is that time when Rihanna was in the country and she took the South African flag and wore it while performing. Just as she walked off the stage, when the show was done, she threw it away, without realising she could still be seen.

So if you are too religious about your artist you might not want to see Backstage, as their “evil” side may be revealed.

lBackstage premiers tonight at 9pm on Sony Max (DStv channel 128).