Last night, I attended a private listening session for Terius “The-Dream” Nash’s upcoming “Love King” project at Outkast’s Stankonia Studios. The evening started out status quo, but eventually turned bizarre as hell after the singer/songwriter/Executive VP of Island Records arrived to the session with 5 burly security guards in tow.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for personal protection WHEN it’s necessary, but at a label hosted event held at a private studio full of Atlanta area industry peeps, it seemed a bit much!
I’m still trying to make sense of it all:
The Dream (somewhere behind these dudes)
Mr. Nash posted up in the corner as his 5 (yes FIVE) bodyguards assumed the protective position in front of him. As they guarded an invisible line, interaction was impossible and The-Dream didn’t seem to mind, as he bobbed his head (alone) in the corner.
During most listening sessions, the artist normally announces each song and explains to the listeners it’s concept. Not this time. As each song played, there was no discussion about it’s meaning or it’s inspiration, and because of the “invisible line” guarded by The-Dream’s FIVE bodyguards, attendees were immediately turned off by it all and unfortunately the music took a backseat to security.
I, personally, had a great time rubbing elbows with my peers, but was disappointed by The-Dream’s lack of interest in anyone or anything. In a room full of industry execs, DJ’s, media, bloggers… who were all personally invited to attend, the lack of interaction was a complete turn off.
It was as if the Nation of Islam was guarding Farrakhan and needless to say the situation was totally uncomfortable and inappropriate. We’d taken time out of our busy schedules and although the food was great, the event would have been better served had The-Dream stayed home (safe & sound) while we listened to the album alone.
Somehow, I ended up in the parking lot with a few industry heavy-weights. I relayed my disgust about the event to a prestigious producer (who shall remain nameless) and was told to consider the fact that the Dream is now worth MILLIONS and in being so, has to protect himself against people who may “Try” him:
Think about it. He’s driving that 4-door Porsche over there and has millions in the bank. It just makes sense! If it were Jay-Z, you best believe there would be that much security and MORE.
Look. Even his assistant drives a Porsche. So you already know what kinda money we talkin…
I took my friends words into consideration and gave Dream the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps his extensive wealth has created a strain on his mental well-being. Maybe he’d been threatened. It’s all a bit far-fetched but OK… I’ll roll with that.
I decided to leave well enough alone and almost felt bad about how I’d perceived the event. That is… until The_Dream decided to address the situation on Twitter:
*sigh* That didn’t help him out one bit.
As The-Dream’s bi-polar twitter rant occurred, I was receiving contradictory messages from a well-known Atlanta bodyguard who confirmed The-Dream came to him for coverage but he turned down the gig:
He tweetd that label hired bdygrds. Not true. HE did. They called me to work. I turnd it down. THANK GOD!
I’m not knocking the Dream for his decision to be smothered & covered in bodyguards but as Jeezy’s song goes, “if you scared, say you scared.” There ain’t no shame in being cautious.
Now on the other hand Mr. Nash, if someone is terminated to cover up your paranoia, you’re a certified b*tch!