The Indy Star’s Jeff Rabjohns on Ron Artest taking the stage at Vogue last Thursday night.
The 6-7 basketball star bounced around the stage, a white hat with his record label, TruWarier, emblazoned in black letters, tilted on his head.
Artest seemed as comfortable on stage as he is on the court defending an opponent’s best player.
“Pacers won, yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said as he grabbed the mike following his introduction to a crowd estimated at 500. “They say I can’t play till next year, but I’ll be back next year.”
After that reference to his seasonlong suspension following a brawl in Detroit in November, Artest spent the rest of his time on stage going from one rap to the next, mixing in other singers and rappers at various points.
Around 2 a.m., in a good mood after his performance, he leaned against a railing with his arms wrapped around his wife, Kimsha, and discussed his first live performance in the city where he plays.
“It was good,” he said. “During my songs, people were bouncing. I saw a couple people leaving at the start, but most people stayed and that was good.”
One of the songs Artest performed was “Henney,” an ode to Hennessy cognac, which has an easy-to-remember chorus and had people bouncing on the dance floor.
Another performance had the look of a rap video. Several women dressed in skimpy bikinis, some with fishnet that left little to the imagination, wiggled around on stage.
Kimsha sported a white tank top that had Artest’s number 91 airbrushed on the back and a pair of jeans with “Artest” on the backside. She danced on the side of the stage during another song.
Artest, who asked the post-concert discussion not focus on basketball, didn’t say what he was paid for the performance. At least 50 percent of anything he makes from live shows goes to charity, he said.
If nothing else, this is a classic example of why some people shouldn’t give up their day jobs. Rabjohns should leave the hip hop coverage to someone else.