The folks didn’t seem the least bit bothered that it was a work night and rolled up in Ballpark Village like they didn’t have a care or a clock to punch in the world. Mo Spoon and BFree put on quite a cute event with Premium that included a nice set of movers and shakers in the place to be. I ran into DJ Nune (a.k.a. Lamar Harris), Shadzilla, Mocha Latte, Phil Assets, Aye Eye, Princess Stormm of Hot 104.1 FM and a whole bunch of other folks I’m accidentally leaving off. I really liked the vibe and the view of the Busch Stadium field. It was like a day party, but at nighttime. Which it is crazy, because I was just telling somebody “if the folks could capture the energy and swag of the day party at night, they would be really on to something.” Turns out I was absolutely right!
Liquid Assets might have the folks at Lux resetting the foundation of the building by the way they had the folks packed in to see YFN Lucci for my final stop Sunday night. The crazy thing is that most of the folks reading this have probably never heard of him, but he was neck and neck with Diddy as far as having that venue to the gills. Listen, the traffic around Jefferson, Washington and Locust looked like Times Square because of Lucci. I made my way in and saw all of the power players on the soulful end of the urban nightlife scene. It was a monster win.
50 Cent apologized and gave $100,000 to charity in the name of the autistic young man he accidently punished on social media. But St. Louis would have to pay for it with his absence from Effen Vodka promo appearances. Café Soul lost a nice chunk of their Prince Tribute crowd because of it Thursday night at Lux. But the show went on – and it was a good one. Can anybody tell me who the dude was that looked like a hairy, scary version of Jamal from “Empire” singing “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?” I really dug him. It was a nice little night and I got a chance to catch up with two of my faves – and my other two faves Angie and Nichol.
Y’all know what time it is … that’s right, graduation time. So now that your prayers have been answered and those punishments paid off, give your beloved grad a lasting memory to treasure this moment. Our Graduates Special Section is happening on June 16 and for the smallest of fees you can have this milestone go down as public record with our readers. We encourage everybody from pre-k- to PhD to be a part of the best one yet! You need to submit your photos ASAP because they are due June 6). Visit www.stlamerican.com to submit your grad, or for more information. Since I’m already talking about grads, I might as well shout out some of my peeps who were among those celebrating milestones. Congrats to Jamie Price, Linda Robinson and Lisa West on their new degrees!
Before I really get into this I have to get a couple of things regarding the Donnell Jones show Sunday at the Ritz Carlton off of my chest. I’ll start with some good news. The place was sold completely out! Okay, on with the reads. Somebody tell Donnell Jones to just stay home if he’s sick. People don’t get points for being a trooper and powering through in my book. Take my word for it, fans would much rather be salty about reworking their Mother’s Day plans than paying for a sick and shut-in performance. Where I want you to be is in the bed getting well! Trust me, I saw the folks faces as they left – zika virus vocals was the worst-case scenario. Some dude in the crowd had me cracking up when he said, “Bring Rhoda G back on the stage so she can use her sax to help you hit those notes?” Also, why would you beg the folks to come up to the front of the stage only to obstruct the VIP view? Donnell, next time if you are that thirsty for energy, just climb down off the stage and go to them. I don’t hold the promoters responsible for his shenanigans, but the show could have been presented in a manner that didn’t drag all night. If there is a 7:30 p.m. start, don’t do a 10 p.m. intermission. Rhoda G and Arvin Mitchell were great, but after people waited for hours they were over it by the time Donnell hit the stage. And he put the nail in the coffin with those vocals. The brunt of what went wrong with this show was on Donnell, but if the folks hadn’t been strung along all night there wouldn’t have been nearly the level of disappointment.
For the first time ever I made my way to Cherokee Street for the Cinco De Mayo Street Festival. Let me tell y’all, I felt like that dude who tweeted his love-at-first-sight experience watching the Blues the other week. All I kept saying to myself was, “This is lit! Why didn’t y’all tell me?” I had a blast – and it wasn’t just because I got a psychic reading and the woman told me I would live into my late 90s and meet my husband in September (just in time for Salute!). Seeing the blended crowd kick it together in perfect harmony was everything. And the fact that so many of my favorite artists were on deck was the icing on the cake. Tef Poe, Indiana Rome, Dharma Jean, Black Spade, CJ Conrod and The Midwest Avengers and so many other folks that I know I’m leaving out. And to that little niñito who stabbed me in the liver with his plastic sword out of nowhere as I was talking to Teresa Jenee, I’m working on a composite sketch of you. I don’t know who he was, but if that sword didn’t have a rounded tip, I’m not sure I would have pulled through – because he used every inch and pound of his body for that shanking he put on me – with intent to kill. But anyway, back to the festival. The performances were crackin’, especially the earlier ones. My witness Teresa Jenee slayed the stage wearing what looked like one of my big granny’s yarn couch throws. I will definitely be back. Not to be political, but I think my favorite thing from the parade was seeing a crowd of folks ready to mollywop a Donald Trump piñata.
If you would’ve told me before Friday night that Webbie would pull five times the crowd as Mystikal I would have laughed in your face – and been dead wrong. The folks were deep up in the Marquee to get their quarterly dose of Louisiana’s finest Cajun-battered trap star. Webbie is the least of them, in my opinion, but he clearly strikes a chord in the young savages, the reformed ratchets and everyone in between. It was pretty deep up in there. As per usual, Webbie didn’t go on stage until last call for alcohol, but I will give him credit for being there for a meet-and-greet at about 1 a.m. And it seemed like he wanted to take the stage earlier, but folks stay aching for 15 seconds of fame. I’ll never understand the fascination of people nobody knows from Adam being perched up there doing nothing. Here’s a little secret: we are not impressed. All we say is, “What are they doing up there besides thirstin’ to be seen?” But I know y’all want to hear about the show. It was only a few minutes and it started out with Creole rapper that was giving me a savage Steph Curry warming the crowd up. He was so amped – and the performance space was so crowded with ordinary people that the folks didn’t realize that Webbie had been on stage for almost 10 minutes. He started rapping along with the songs and all of that. It was the standard snippet show.
I can’t tell y’all how I thought that it was going to be the lightest of crowds up in the Family Arena Friday for R. Kelly. I was assuming that it was going to be the attendance nightmare experienced by New Edition, but I was dead wrong – even though R. Kelly was only lying to himself when he proclaimed it was 20,000 people at the show. I was like “unless there is another 14,000 watching via satellite all up and through Ameristar, he ain’t foolin’ anybody with that number.” It was packed, but it didn’t even look like 10,000, let alone 20,000. He had a near sell-out, but word on the curb is that the venue was scaled to 7,500. But let’s get on with it. “Real Housewives of Atlanta” sidekick Demetria McKinney was the opening act. I was expecting her little portion of the show to be the pits – and again I’m willing to admit that I was wrong. She has a decent voice and the thing was cuter than I expected as she did a couple of originals wrapped around several cover tunes.
Slow jam fans will be all up and through the Ambassador when Mo Investment ENT bring King of the WhinersKeith Sweat and Avant for a quiet storm double header on Friday May 20. I’m hoping that there is a seat for me this time – and that there is some order to that parking situation in the back of the building. I’m sure I’ll still have a good time either way, because aside from the logistics, I got my life from Monica and Chante Moore. Visit metrotix.com or the Ambassador box office for tickets.
50 Cent’s social media shenanigans have gotten him in trouble again. This time it means that the double dose of Fiddy in STL for Cinco de Mayo is no bueno. He didn’t have to go to court and declare the money he flossed was fake, but the court of public opinion punished 50 for dear life (and rightfully so) when he accused a special needs teen of being under the influence of drugs while he was working at an airport and posted the video for the millions on his social media channels to see. 50 Cent has since publicly apologized to the teen and his family, but is keeping the lowest of profiles for a change in light of the events. So that means his scheduled appearances to promote his Effen Vodka brand at Randall’s Wine Gallery and Lux for the Prince Tribute on Thursday night are out of the question for him – though the show will most definitely go on at Lux. I’ll be in the building, that’s for sure. And y’all should come out too in order to prove that we don’t need a national celebrity to party like it’s 1999! Anyway, back to 50. When will he learn his lesson about taking disgracefulness entirely too far? Hopefully being drug across the whole entire internet on behalf of that young man was enough, but knowing him it probably wasn’t. I’m all in favor of a taste of shade in good fun, but he is the king of taking it too doggone far.
Kells took every second of his sweet time coming to the stage. I said to myself “if he’s not on that stage by 10 p.m., I’m hittin’ it.” Just when I was about to tell my plus one “I’ll see you later girl … call me with the recap” the room went dark and the show began. The special effects were nice, but he went through his hits like he had taken three 5-hour energy shots. He must have done at LEAST 50 snippets as his dancers performed what could best be described as a blend of interpretive raw seduction with a side of twerk. I saw you moving your body like a snake Leading LadyMs. OMG Porsha LOL (the LOL is a part of her name, btw). She’s one of STL’s own, so I’m showing her love as she joins Kelly in taking his Buffet on the road. But back to “Rrra” … the fans loved the show, but I think he could have been much more intentional with it. And he could have left those allegedly funny videos on the cutting room floor. Somebody tell him the folks don’t pay him to be funny – and he isn’t – so he shouldn’t bother. I mean if Kevin Hart did four full-fledged musical numbers, regardless of whether he can sing or not, we would be over it before the first song ended. He should have nixed ALL of the videos – and some of the songs. And when he brought out that recliner and played the video of him shooting hoops, I was beyond over it. The whole show should have looked like that last portion where he was dressed and singing like a grown man with almost 30 years of experience under his belt. Most of the fans enjoyed it. I thought they were going to spend the night up in there because of the surprise storm.
The rain had the R. Kelly crowd quietly holding themselves hostage in the Family Arena – and it kept the masses in their houses on Friday night. I went to three separate places and I could have rounded them all up and comfortably hosted them for a “Blue Light Basement Party” without having to bother opening the windows for fresh air. I let the storm chase me all around Midtown and Downtown East as I went on a quest for a solid crowd. I didn’t find a single one.
I’ll tell who the weather didn’t bother one bit: Nappy DJ Needles’ Super Natural crowd. They brushed the rain off of their shoulders and let it soak into their kinks, curls and fros as they came through the Blank Space Saturday night for Needles’ recurring homage to the naturalistas. As usual it was everything. Folks danced like nobody was watching and Needles’ spun like everybody was listening. I got my life and embraced this good humidity-inspired frizz.
Radio One St. Louis Programming Director Boogie D and his lovely wife Jami Ballentine Dolby joined Old School 95.5 FM Spring Jam headliner Anthony Hamilton before his set at the inaugural concert Sunday night at The Fox Theatre.
I almost had to take a week off ofPartylinefor bereavement. Yes, my heart wasthatheavy when TMZ broke the news thatPrincehad passed away. I know y’all know, because folks were so devastated that some of y’all seriously considered taking a mental health day from work last Friday. I spent from 12 noon Thursday until I hit up my first Prince Tribute Friday night praying that it was the most elaborate celebrity death hoax in the history of the internet. Sadly, it was not to be. I’m still sick as I write this, nearly a week later. To simply say that he will be missed doesn’t do justice to his place in many of our lives. He actually described our feelings for him best wit the lyrics in his song “Adore”…. “Love’s too weak to define, just what you mean to me.” Rest well Prince Rodgers Nelson. You changed the game and blew the ceiling off of possibilities and creative boundaries.
Since I’m already in the flow of the Prince Tributes, I might as well keep it going with Prince’s conservative long lost twinLarry Blue’sSomething Purple Party at Troy’s Jazz Gallery. His birthday parties are the stuff of record and Saturday night was no different as he switched the Somethin’ Blue to pay his respects to Prince. I knew it was going to be one for the record books when newly relocatedDebbie Flemingmade at trip back to STL just for the occasion. Even with my expectations, I had no idea how real the turn up would be. All of the high-powered folks let loose by evening’s end. And you know I was going to say this at least once, but they partied like it was 1999 up in there!
Nothing….I mean absolutely nothing could have prepared me for what I experience when I made my way toNappy DJ Needlesimpromptu That Purple Stuff at 2720. Now I had to stop by to see what Needles had cooking – mainly because he gave Prince his due while he was on earth with regular episodes of That Purple Stuff. I had to be on hand to see how the energy would go for That Purple Stuff now that he has passed on. I get to 2720 and there is some sort of psychedelic yoga transcendental meditation session going on. There I was like “I know I wasn’t hip to all 40 of Prince’s records, and I’m well aware that there was a side to him that I didn’t now, but I think I would have heard if he had made ‘music’ like this.” Somebody who sounded like a human oboe was doing some kind of hum as the folks just sat there Indian style on the ground. It was like I had been sucked into some alternative reality life force. I’m sure it was the bewildered look on my face, but one of the staff said “the Prince tribute is around back.” I walk through the Woodstock 2.O crowd in the backyard and head up the steps to see that Needles is gettingitin.org! But the most glorious thing of it all is that a huge chunk of the hippie crowd had trickled upstairs to join us. They brought their glow in the dark hula hoops and did their flowery hand choreography as they sang along to “Raspberry Beret.” Prince would have got an utter kick out of seeing these absolutely unlikely crowds imaginable party in his honor.
Good Gawd Almighty, the grown folks have their own Super Jam! And the first one was just about everything any of us could hope for with Old School 95.5 FM’s inaugural Spring Jam. I’m not sure I’m sold on the name, but the concert itself made up for it.Lyfe Jennings, Angie StoneandAnthony Hamiltonhave the distinction of being the first-ever Spring Jam artists when they took the stage Sunday night at The Fox Theatre. Lyfe Jennings made his sampler show even less filling by doing snippets and repeatedly asking how much time he had. It didn’t make him any less talented though. I hate to say it, but Angie Stone was a snooze to me. I feel like when the sound couldn’t get right, get tight she never checked back in and yawned her way through the show – and so did I. Angie looked AMAZING though. At 54 she would give any single 37 year-old a run for their money. She did my jams, but her heartor her voicewasn’t in it. After saying “she was cool…I guess,” when Angie Stone left the stage, Anthony Hamilton hopped across the stage with a full leg brace. I was a nervous wreck when I saw him that I would be underwhelmed, but I should’ve known better. Anybody else would have stayed on the sick and shut in list – or completely mailed in their performances. Anthony did that! I’m so sad that his backup singers The Hamiltones’ latest innanet hit (yes, I said innanet) “Put Some Respeck On It” hadn’t dropped until Monday. In hindsight, they should’ve given us a sneak preview when they were given their moment in the spotlight during the show. But back to Anthony…He was more subdued than usual –which is understandable considering his state. Even still, it was enough for me to feel like I got what I needed from Anthony and left feeling satisfied.