How Do I Adult? Too Old to Attend Mainstream Hip Hop Shows Anymore

Danelle Sandoval
(Photo: OBSEV / Getty)

There are a lot of things you grow out of: your first bike, your old sweaters, your Lego bricks (OK, maybe not completely). You get the idea.

For me, though, even as a grown adult, there is one thing that I can’t seem to let go of: mainstream hip-hop.

I don’t know what it is, but every time I try to convince myself that I’m not a freshman in college anymore, there’s just something about screaming lyrics that include the words “f*ck” and “you” that I just can’t completely grow out of. Call me childish if you will.



However, I’ve come to conclude that trying to grow out of mainstream hip-hop isn’t the problem. No, oh no. Attending shows and watching live music is where I hit the crossroads. Yes, Bone Thugs reference.

While I can attend a classic hip-hop show and not feel like a complete outcast, attending a mainstream hip-hop show is a whole other animal. Normally, at a classic hip-hop show, people go for the art and the feels, not to turn up or get ratchet AF. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad thing to bust out the Nae Nae, but sometimes it's just too much, and you start to feel, well, a little too old for this. Being at Big Sean's show at the Palladium in Los Angeles on November 21 completely obliterated and slayed my 24-year-old spirit right to its core. Saying I was the black sheep of the crowd is an understatement.

Why? Well, first of all, I went with a bunch of my 30-year-old comrades who also enjoy mainstream hip-hop, but don't necessarily need to get sh*t-faced to have a good time. The kids falling all over us because they were knocking back two drinks every half hour particularly tainted our enjoyment of the show.  And we were pretty much over it. Well, at least I was.

Not to mention, I actually felt like passing out by the time Big Sean went on stage. Not because of over-drinking, but because it literally took three hours of opening acts before he actually performed. Yes, I had to endure opening acts that were barely understandable, and immerse myself in a crowd that was pretty much enamored with cocktails and liquor.

In any case, I just REALLY wanted to sing "IDFWU" already and call it night. My bed, PJs, and Netflix were calling my name.

Those kidz' energy tho was literally through the roof.



While all this was happening, all I wanted to do was sleep. I simply did not have the energy that the aggressively kissing couple next to me had. And for that reason, I felt extremely old AF.

In fact, to make matters worse, I even wore the same clothes as everyone else at the show. I’m now realizing that black crop tops and high-waisted pants are anything but original and that I may have to throw away everything in my closet. That is, unless I want to look desperate. #nothanks

However, my outfit wasn’t the worse part of it. Nope. Let me give you an even more detailed recap of exactly how it all went down, and how I came to the conclusion that for as much as I want to love mainstream hip-hop, I cannot continue to attend concerts. Being in that crowd made me realize that I cannot deal with all the bullsh*t that happens at shows like that. I can't even begin to tell you how many fights there were in the audience. Pointless, drunken fights. #smh



This is how it played out. I walked in the room and was greeted by a bunch of immature children who were all on the verge of a blackout. Yes, this was before the openers came on. There were a bunch of slurred curse words flying from on and off the stage, girls were falling, and people were already doing the drunken version of the Nae Nae.

I, on the other hand, well, I had about one drink for the night. I’m a pretty tame 24-year-old, and I felt completely stunned as I saw the guy next to me chug his drinks like they were the last alcohol-infused cocktails on the planet.

I then reminisced about how I’d been able to down a bunch of hard liquor shots in college and how it had no effect on my body. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I don’t throw up from a glass of gin and ginger. In other words, pretty much everyone was wasted, or at least pretending like they were.



I mean, I wasn’t there to babysit children. I just wanted to have a damn good time singing along to "Beware." That was all. But like anything else in this world, getting what you want isn’t always easy.

Anyway, while the girl next to me was trying to stand up straight, I was also having difficulty standing up. Not because I had some of whatever she was taking, but because I simply could not carry myself in four-inch heels anymore.

I tried to be cool. I tried to twerk in heels. And I literally broke them. This is what happens when I try to be bougie at a f*cking 18-and-over rap show:



Yes, while everyone else was getting turnt, I was moping next to my boyfriend, who asked the guy running the soundboard for gaffer's tape to fix my hopeless remains of a shoe. I’m telling you, attending this show was all wrong. 

While my boyfriend was able to fix my heel, I was left with the crowd of young millennials and their abnormal tolerance for alcohol. I get it, I used to be able to down vodka like a champ and still hold it in, but you'd never catch me falling on the literal concrete. Either these kids don't know how much is too much, or they really just DGAF.

I got through the night, somehow, even with all the spilled drinks on the dance floor, bickering Instagram influencers, and a broken heel. 

So, how did I get over it? I pretended like I was 21 again. And hey, it didn’t turn out so bad.

I mean, Big Sean was great, and I was seriously impressed with his live performance. In retrospect, staying in the back of the crowd wasn’t as bad as I’m making it seem.

Other than the raging hormones, drunken stumbles, and slang that not even I could understand at times, all in all I enjoyed the music, and that’s what these shows should really be about.

For now though, I think I'm better off enjoying my mainstream hip-hop at home or in the comfort of my own car. Growing up doesn’t have to be so hard. I guess it’s just being wiser, that’s all.