Maxx Crowder

main man maxx

Waka Flocka Flame @ OSU

My first "big" assignment working for Warner Music Group was to organize a meet and greet for Waka Flocka at Ohio State University. He was on tour and doing what he could to promote his new album Flockaveli 2. I honestly had never heard a song of his other than the ones on the radio back in 2010, however, I respected the fact that he cared enough about his fans to want to do an event like this. After powering through all the red tape that goes along with bringing a rapper into a University building the event was underway. 

Most students didn't show up due to the disbelief that it was even happening. I had no name recognition at the time to be involved in anything music so nobody believed me when I told them Waka Flocka was coming. How the hell does he know Waka? Anyway, it was supposed to start at 2:30pm and go for an hour, it was now 2:40pm. I've heard stories about celebrities being late to just about everything but when Waka's brother, Quam, called me, he reassured me that they were just shopping at the mall. I was relieved to hear it was something important. To the students that stuck around, thank you for not letting me fail. 

Waka signing shirts for some OSU students. 

Waka signing shirts for some OSU students. 

When they rolled up in a Black Chevy SUV, it hit me that I have never had any experiences with professional performers or musicians, and then I got anxious about how "cool" I was acting. They parked the car and I got introduced to everyone in the crew: Waka, Quam, Fat Jesus, Sal, Jamal, and the infamous Southside. These dudes were a ton of fun. The meet and greet went well and lasted until about 3:30pm when it got shut down. I thought my work day was over but, I guess it wasn't. 

Squad

Squad

I walked back with them to their car so I could pay for them to park. I hopped in the car paid for the ticket and they never stopped to drop me off. We were heading back to the mall while the driver, rolled up, talked on the phone, and drove simultaneously. I was no longer in my element but it was exciting. Sal and Jamal in the back, Southside, Waka and myself in the middle and being escorted by Fat Jesus and Quam in the front. Waka asked if I wanted to hang with them for the day and take some pictures. We got to the mall, and I got to taking pictures. While looking at shoes in Finish Line, the manager told me to please stop taking pictures. Everyone stared at him. "Keep taking pictures man, if they say anything again, I'll fuck em up" *solid high five* says Waka. What's going on, says Maxx. 

Flockaveli 2. 

Flockaveli 2. 

We left the mall and headed back to the Hilton hotel where I met Kavon Kent and world famous DJ Whookid. I sat in the hotel room and got an inspiring lecture from Sal about being successful. We chilled until soundcheck and then headed over to the venue. Whookid worked on his turntables while Quam ran around the place with the microphone yelling funny shit. I asked Fat Jesus where I was allowed to be during the show. He put his arm around me and said "Look around this place, man, there isn't a single space in here where you're not allowed to be." *Maxx swallows hard because he's never been treated VIP* 

The show rolled around I got a few decent shots and got home at about 2am. Whookid wanted some of the pictures for his instagram so i stayed up till about 5am, editing and sending him the photos. It was a great new experience and I want to kindly thank everyone involved. 

My iPhone has a better camera than the thing used here. 

My iPhone has a better camera than the thing used here. 

#14FEST in Athens, Ohio 4/16/2016

I had never been to Athens, OH, I've only heard party stories coming out of Ohio University. Therefore, I already knew that #FEST was going to be a great time but, I wasn't expecting it to be THAT wild. Although, my first experience may have been a little unorthodox.

#14FEST 

#14FEST 

After doing some work with Waka Flocka, I was able to meet some extremely nice and supportive people in Columbus. A great man, named David Beckham, or Simply Beckham (@simplybeckham), if you're hungry, was able to help me get a media pass so I could get some more experience in the field. After showing up to the festival, parking VIP and not only getting a media pass but a guest pass for All Access, I felt immediately in Beckham's debt. When you feed the owners of the festival you're pretty much respected by everyone.

Since Beckham had to go to work and cater the event at about 1pm, that left my friend Kavon Kent and I to mindlessly wander in this overwhelming environment. It was exciting; a collection of people working in the entertainment field all in one place. While enjoying the open bar, I killed my anxious nerves and began talking to some new faces. Everyone that I came across was so kind. I met some blog writers and artist managers from Chicago, one even had the same name as me. I got to finally shake the hands of the men in charge of Prime Social Group, the organization responsible for the event. Lastly, I got to meet a lot of the DJs and artists that made the festival so much fun. 

As the sun started to set, I knew I needed to start getting to work. I didn't pull out my camera once until about 7pm that night. I had access to the pit but since I was going up against some serious production companies documenting the event, like Fresh Force Five and the legendary Emad Rashidi (@emadrashidi), I needed an edge. 

I didn't exactly have an "in" with one of the headliners, Fetty Wap but I needed to get on that stage to get a decent photograph. A new friend of mine identified Fetty's tour manager, Bob, for me so I kindly introduced myself. After some conversation, he gave me the permission to go up there on the stage with the rest of the crew. The only other photographer allowed on stage was Emad, who was in charger of the whole thing. Armed with my Nikon D3500 (which was a toy by comparison to Emad's equipment), I had only a few songs to get a good shot. Nonetheless, it was exhilarating just to be up on stage. Fetty put on an amazing show and how the crowd hyped the whole time. He didn't keep his fans waiting, he went right to his hits "Trap Queen," "My Way," and "RGF Island." He kept the fan nice and wild as the festival came to a close. 

Fetty Wap on stage at #14FEST on 4/16/2016

Fetty Wap on stage at #14FEST on 4/16/2016

For the rest of the night, I stayed in the pit to capture some photographs of The Chainsmokers and also roamed around the festival looking for something else interesting to capture. Walking to my car, I realized that Dominic, Tyler, Kenny and the rest of the men at PSG really know how to host a party. I want to thank all of the names mentioned for treating me so kindly. 

The Chainsmokers lighting up #14FEST on 4/16/2016

The Chainsmokers lighting up #14FEST on 4/16/2016