The flight from NYC to LA (and visa versa) is always interesting. It used to feel like everyone felt slighted on the plane. People in coach thought they should be in business, people in business thought they should be in first and people flying first thought they should be flying private. Thankfully, those days are over.
This morning on my flight to the Kelsey conference, I was surrounded by true icons (the benefit of LOTS of Delta flying). Sitting to my immediate right is Chuck D. from Public Enemy – one of the first rap groups that I really enjoyed growing up and a potent voice for social change. I even had a chance to show Chuck his tracks on my iPod – a remix of Survival by Bob Marley with his voice over; a rare, but cool track from Chant Down Babylon and a remix of Buffalo Springfield’s For What it’s Worth called He Got Game by Public Enemy.
Sitting behind me is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He seems content not to be bothered on the flight, so I am leaving him alone. However, Chuck D. did have an amazing conversation with him this morning – loaded with respect, humility, praise, a love of jazz and thanks. Chuck related reference points from his life that were tied to Kareem’s career – moving out of Harlem the year Kareem was recruited, getting an autograph in ’77 at a Nassau Colosseum game, events that tied their lives together. Witnessing the conversation, even as an eves-dropper was very cool.