360 degrees of ‘Country Grammar.’ Nelly stretched his 20th anniversary celebration for “Country Grammar” out longer than some of y’all’s cousins and aunties who declare a “birthday month” as opposed to a day like everybody else. While I still have issue with every bit of the extraness served up by my cousin Brenda as she turned 40 for six months, I’m not the least bit mad at MO for rolling out the birthday carpet for his game-changing debut. A day after releasing a deluxe version of the album, he threw all the way down with a virtual concert that I watched on MelodyVR. That 3D feature was everything I could have hoped for. And y’all know what, the show reminded me of what a bop we had in “Country Grammar!” I can’t be the only one who hadn’t listened to it start to finish in a good little minute. And I must say, the live performance reminded me that “Country Grammar” will stand the test of time as a classic. With an assist by City Spud, Nelly put on quite the show! That band was sickeningly good. Who else caught a whole new vibe from their performance of “Country Grammar” that felt like it was touched by the hand of Bootsy Collins? I can’t be the only one.
The battle of all Verzuz Battles. While I’m talking about a virtual bop, please give me a moment to say “I told you so” as far as the epic experience provided by the Snoop Dogg vs. DMX on Verzuz battle last Wednesday. Y’all had a good little time roasting DMX for showing up as a DMXL, but he will be 50 on his birthday. And not everybody has the manic metabolism of Snoop Dogg! Honey those XSL (extra small, long) blue joggers and that smedium shirt were everything I need as far as a dance costume is concerned. Let me just say, that Snoop won the battle, but he was the best for making it a team effort, while proving that whoever said “gangstas don’t dance, we boogie” is a lie and the truth ain’t in them. Listen, he’s the world’s most famous Crip, and those hips didn’t lie as he proceeded to slay us with nonstop swivels, hunches and even a salsa step or two for the girls nonstop for two hours. Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, y’all did that by setting this one up. I know people are gonna argue with me about it, but this was my favorite Verzuz to date. Yes, I enjoyed it more than Jill Scott vs. Erykah Badu. Don’t get me wrong, it was a whole vibe – but you can’t tell me that if you had the choice between the two to watch again that you wouldn’t go with Snoop. He gave us choreography and energy for days! How am I just now finding out that he is a 6’6”, 98-lb. dancing machine? Snoop and DMX are the cool uncles that everybody deserves. I learned Wednesday night that I still know all the words to Snoop’s debut solo album. Yes, I know the name of it too, but those of us who remember the era understand the title is NSFP (not safe for Partyline). That being said, I would like to formally and publicly apologize for nearly all the bad things I’ve said about the lyrics from these mannish Gen Z rappers and singers. Almost is the operative word, but I must admit that as I instinctively sang along, I thought “how did I not get arrested for saying these things out loud?” after the words fell out of my mouth. Big Granny, you were right. All the songs were filthy – and we did need prayers for our purity. However, I had the time of my life all over again reliving the disgraceful West Coast glory days with Snoop the OG on IG.
A songbird at the House of Soul. I made my way back down to the House of Soul Saturday night to hear the angelic voice of Katrina Reese with Darius Savage, violinist Bell Darris and other special guests. Because the police had Washington blocked off, I could have driven to St. Charles and back in the time it took me to find a parking place. Once I did that and made it painfully clear that my form of social distancing includes six feet in every direction and absolutely no physical contact, it was all good. For those who heard somebody yell “don’t touch me” with the same energy as the gentleman in “Malcolm X” that said, “get your hand out my pocket!” I would like to apologize for killing the vibe for that hot second. I forgot what a pretty tone Katrina serves up. Anybody that can do justice to “Soon As I Get Home” has the range. Y’all know I’m funny about people trying to sing Faith Evans, but Katrina’s rendition was solid. Actually the whole set was quite cute. I was pleasantly surprised that she decided to include a cover of Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk.” Y’all know that song has a special place in the hearts of Generation X and Generation Y.
Back at BBs with Love Jones The Band. Sunday night, I made my first return to BBs since the pandemic popped off and I’m thrilled with their social distancing practices. I felt safe and comfortable as I soaked in the sounds of Love Jones, one of my favorite bands in all of the STL. It was the perfect vibe until somebody came from behind and tapped me on the shoulder. And you already know what happened. But once my anxiety regulated after that close encounter with a personal space invader, I had a blast with some familiar faces and a few new ones as Love Jones The Band gave me a perfectly curated performance of R&B kickback covers. I was also thrilled to run into Reggie Son (aka the artist formerly known as Shorty Da Prince).
Dangerous grooves with DJ Reminisce. I still been on Facebook checking for the virtual sets of local and national DJs. And I must give a special shout out to DJ Reminisce and his “Saturday Clean Up” spin session last weekend. I don’t know remember being so bad a multitasking when used to have the jams on in the background as we scrubbed down everything from the windows, to the baseboards and the basement lounge area. Reminisce had a setlist almost identical to my daddy’s. Yet somehow in 2020, I was too caught up in Reminisce’s mix to get any cleaning done. I had to let the groove take over and reschedule my cleaning session for Sunday morning as I listened to my church livestream. Listen, I tried but I ended up dropping my family heirloom avocado green crockpot and shattering it to pieces while trying to hit a two-step to New Edition’s “Candy Girl” as I moved it from the counter to the cabinet. The Shante women have burned chili in that old girl for three generations. I hope you can live with yourself, Reminisce.