this week’s ralphie report: kanye, rihanna, lupe, & chris brown.

Overall, “The Glow In The Dark” tour did not disappoint. Lupe Fiasco played the “opening act” role well. The first Chicago-born rapper to take the stage rocked skateboarding-inspired hits like “I Gotcha” and “Kick Push”, while also moving to the Grammy-award winning “Daydreamin’” and radio-friendly “Superstar”.

The hook on the latter song is sung by Matthew Santos. Fiasco and I chatted for a hot second backstage. Lupe shrugged off the lack of recognition Santos received on Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor, where he made a cameo on “American Terrorist.”

“Man, its whack. You know how it goes,” an annoyed Lupe told me before ducking in to his dressing room, which neighbored Rihanna’s.

Pharrell brought the crowd an early dose of ego with N.E.R.D. I laughed during the singer/producer’s quick disclaimer that he wouldn’t swear – yet still performing songs like “Lap Dance” and the band’s latest single – “Everyone Nose” (take an educated guess as to the subject). Of course, a surprise cameo on stage by Chris Brown also energized the set.

Short of performing two big songs, Rihanna killed it. Anyone that watched her perform previous to this tour cannot deny that RiRi blossomed into a force to be reckoned with – a performance that showcased her vocal abilities while adding theatrics to the experience.

But the Barbados-born songstress won me over before she took the stage. I sat down with an engaging and warm Rihanna in her dressing room a mere fifteen minutes before she took the stage. While her puppy “Oliver” scurried about, we chatted about everything from the success of her latest song to her recent impromptu-photo-op at KFC in Miami.

“Take a Bow” set an American record last week for the largest jump in seven days to number one, climbing from 53 to the top.

Even Rihanna admits that she’s told a few guys to take a bow.

“I’m sure every female has gone through that,” RiRi said. “Whether it’s a guy approaching you in a club in the most arrogant and aggressive way, and you just have to be like, ‘Please!’”

The “Umbrella” diva and I laughed when I presented my gift to her, a pair of glasses complete with a fake nose and mustache. After all, you never know when you might be in a fast food joint with a certain someone and you want to stay incognito from the paparazzi, right?

None of the 97 BHT staff could fathom why Rihanna did not perform her latest hit along with “Shut Up and Drive.” After a quick 35 minute set, the singer dashed back to her bus en route to the next stop – Montreal.

The 20 year-old left with 19 year-old Brown in tow. I ran in to Chris backstage. After snapping a photo with the R&B crooner, I informed him that BHT plays his current single – “Forever”. I also assured him that I did not bring up his name once during my interview with his boo (a mandate from Island Def Jam), to which he responded with a “good lookin’ man.”

I suppose those photos that emerged last week of the two singers smooching would’ve solicited a “bad look” – however I decided to save the awkwardness and not inquire.

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