Kevin Federline at the House of Blues Chicago
By Mark Guarino
They call him K-Fed. Except now he’s just Fed-Ex.
Kevin Federline, a backup dancer turned celebrity husband turned tabloid punchline, faced the unfortunate duty of competing with news of his own divorce Wednesday when he headlined a show at the House of Blues.
Federline, 28, received notice of his divorce Tuesday via text message by pop tart wife Britney Spears, 24. The couple’s divorce papers are currently plastered all over the internet. The day she filed, Spears staged photo ops with her ice skating in New York, in which her newly toned body was showcased as well as an impeccable smile that said, “thank heaven for pre-nups.”
Calling this breakup tacky is like saying the Wisconsin Dells should tone it down just a tad. When this couple married in the fall of 2004, they became the high priest and priestess of slumming behavior that would have made Roseanne and Tom Arnold blush. The union delivered two babies, but what seemed most important to the couple — and the media franchise that fed upon their every crumb — were the residuals of such a move: a reality television show, merchandising and Federline’s current transportation into a rapper.
When opportunism is your only talent, why feel shame?
At the House of Blues, Federline encountered an audience (the majority let in the door for free since ticket sales were practically nil) comprised of curiosity seekers, ridiculers and women vying for his eye. “I see some fine ladies here,” he said from the start. “You know I’m a free man, right?”
His production did not flaunt the excesses of his ex-wife’s extravagant stage shows. Instead, Federline hyped the crowd accompanied by just production tracks from his album. Two dancers, a DJ and one hype man made up his crew. They played what was an underwhelming, 40-minute set that was more a promotional appearance than actual show.
The audience was clearly not there for the music, but for the opportunity to witness perhaps the single most maligned rapper in history. Middle fingers waved in his direction and one sign directed an obscenity. A crew of college age males (“NW Law hearts K-Fed” read one sign) dressed in K-Fed regalia (trucker hat, fur coat, wife beater T-shirt), making it somewhat clear this night was no different than Halloween.
Federline logged about 30 of the 40 minutes due to two breaks. Hey, a guy needs some rest when he’s working that hard. New songs boasted the hard truths of life in Malibu with a world famous pop singer. (For the record, money, champagne, Ferraris are good, the paparazzi are bad.) The crowd reacted accordingly. “I love all of you — even you with the (middle) finger up,” he said. Then the DJ played a song familiar to a Chicago audience and seemed strangely relevant for the night. The title? “Golddigger” by Kanye West.