Homecoming ’05 was also unforgettable because Cam’ron got shot. After leaving a party hosted by Diddy (yeah, he went to Howard too), Cam was chillin’ in his ’06 Lambo, draped in about $200K worth of jewelry, when he was shot in both arms during a failed carjacking. They didn’t get him for his jewelry or the Lambo, and Cam famously drove himself to Howard University Hospital. He also famously refused to cooperate with investigators, and it would provide great fodder for his epic interview with Anderson Cooper. Even after the shooting, Cam still expressed his love for Howard and the District. A friend had come to visit that weekend to soak up the experience, and helped devise an evil plan to convince some of our other friends that he was loosely connected to the shooting. After several strategically placed phone calls, we had them all sold. However, once people started showing concern, we had to drop the charade.
Back in ’08, Wale shot the video for his hometown ode “Nike Boots” during Homecoming. While at Yardfest, he walked among the people, joined by the likes of Young Guru and 9th Wonder as Chris Robinson directed the video. He performed tracks from his critically-acclaimed Mixtape About Nothing, which had dropped that May, along with some earlier material, before bringing out Bun B. Later that night, he and everyone else partied at Love Nightclub (1350 Okie Street Northeast), as the video shoot continued with Bun B and Chris and Neef of the Young Gunz. Wale’s been at Yardfest every year since, and with his appropriately-titled MMG debut about to drop in two weeks, it’s looking like his hard work is going to pay off.
I’ve learned my share of lessons during Homecoming. Some of the best advice that I can offer is to avoid blowing your money on shit you won’t remember wearing and may never wear again. Also, be wise with your footwear selections if you plan on getting close to the stage at Yardfest, because your feet will get stepped on and possibly covered in mud. Then, of course, there’s always that one party that’s “the thing to do.” I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to chill outside of the venue and wait for the festivity to end. Plenty of people aren’t going to make it inside, so it’s almost like another party. Plus, you can simultaneously save yourself money and a possible headache. And don’t be surprised by what you see. In my time, I’ve seen a ton of groupie activity, as members from both sexes tried their hardest to get chosen by celebrities. Yeah, I just said that.
As for maximizing these final days of Homecoming, remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Nostalgia is created every year, so while I implore everyone to leave it all on the field this weekend, pace yourself so you can actually remember it. With that said, go forth and create more stolen moments.