A gut-busting birthday bash. I made my way to The Laugh Lounge once again for my boy Jessie Taylor’sannual birthday comedy bash – and once again it did not disappoint. Jessie and national comedy scene veteran Ray Grady served as the main attraction. But it was the poor gentleman who epically bombed Sunday night that was responsible for the comedy gold that took place, in response to his tragic flop of a set. Because I don’t want him to be anymore scarred – but mostly because I don’t remember – I won’t use his real stage name. Everybody kept calling him Courvoisier – yes, like the cognac – so I will too. That poor thing couldn’t get folks to look him in the face, let alone chuckle in response to any single joke he threw their way. As if the walk of shame that he had to endure from the stage to the door wasn’t bad enough, Jessie eulogized him after it was over. No, I’m serious. He actually cued up “Gangsta Lean,” encouraged the audience to sing along and put their cell phone lights in the air. And when they got to the part where the dude sings “I tip my 40 to your memory” with all of his heart – as the crowd was singing along with Courvoisier posted up in the back the whole time – Jessie poured out a sip of his drink on the stage. I don’t know if he thought it was going to shame Jessie into stopping or what, but Courvoisier came back to the front of the stage. What did he do that for? The people were still singing, the lights were still waving back and forth. Then Courvoisier put up the praying hands – I’m assuming for some show of mercy … that he didn’t get. And when Jessie said, “Your arms are going the wrong way, they should be like this,” and motioned them across is chest like when a poor soul is in a casket, I thought they were going to have to have a whole other service for me, because it took me out. I haven’t shamefully laughed so hard at someone’s expense since Jessie took a man’s cat/coyote/coon fur coat vest jacket item and laid it across a stool and invited people on the stage for a public viewing at the Spotlight. Who else remembers that?
Jidenna’s ‘I Love Africa’ movement. Listen, I knew I was going to get a colorful blouse, jungle inspired set and juke to some music that sounds a lot like Fela Kuti when I hit up The Pageant to see Jidenna Tuesday night. But what I was not expecting was to hear him giving all sorts of speeches to get folks on board with embracing their African roots all night long. Before you jump silly and accuse me of complaining, I didn’t say I was the least bit mad about it. I said I was surprised that he devoted so much time and energy to it. He was serving Lady Blacksmith Mambazo realness with his blouse and pants. And by evening’s end, he had swagger-jacked my uncle Jake’s after church burgundy leather slide-ins. That’s right, the house shoes that he slipped into to relieve his feet from his Stacy Adams, yet still set his matching tie and flower off for Sunday dinner guests. He didn’t give me as much of the electric energy as he did at the Ready Room last year, but I still got my life – especially when he started dropping knowledge. Leave it to me to know every raunchy word of JT’s verse on the City Girls club hit “Act Up” during his trap karaoke portion – and then be ready to change into a dashiki and ride with Jidenna all the way from 85 to Africa when he started talking African love and revolution. I don’t know what was happening for that encore, but I won’t hold it against him – because otherwise, it was a truly solid set. His opener Kelechi was cool, but I didn’t feel one way or the other about him until I saw how he went out of his way to engage with the audience following his part of the show.
A head start on that summer 2020 body. If y’all are anything like me, you didn’t live up to the resolutions for making your 2019 revenge body goals a reality. I really hope y’all weren’t exactly like me – and brought your fall 2018 body to summer 2019 with all sorts of “summer is gonna get the body I give it” attitude. I’m saying all of this to say that with less than three months left in this whole decade, why not be ahead of the game and start your journey to living your best body type by stopping through the Get Sexy Movement and Healthy Habits Healthy Happy hour on Saturday from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at 62 Grandview Plaza Shopping Center. Twerkercise, Trapercise and Zumba are on the schedule and Healthy Habits will be handing out complimentary shakes. For more information, call (314) 898-8898.
A natural treasure. I had such a good time partaking in the 5th Annual St. Louis Natural Hair & Black Cultural Expo on Saturday, that I stopped back by Sunday afternoon as well. It wasn’t as heavily populated as last year, but they still had quality products and information – as well as an opportunity for black businesses and those who cater to the natural hair community to have a captive audience. Shout out to the whole team of folks and my regular favorite natural hair entrepreneurs – including Tendai Morris’ Healthy Hair Solutions. Chris Simpson and the rest of the team are meeting a need with the expo and I hope the support continues to the point where it constitutes them coming back for the next 50 years!
Art Beats and Lyrics is bigger than ever. For those few uninformed folks, Art, Beats & Lyrics comes back to the STL tomorrow night (Friday, October 18). It has upgraded in venue size once again – and for the first time I believe there might be enough space for my pinkie toe and elbows to make it through the night un-assaulted. That’s right, ABL 2019 is going down tomorrow night at Chaifetz Arena. Every space so far in all the years ABL has been coming to town, folks have been bumping into each other as the peep the artwork, sip drinks and enjoy the show. Now if it’s too crowded for the Chaifetz, they might as well move it to Busch Stadium and be done. I’m excited because I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been disappointed with this annual set and have at least four fingers left. And did I mention the Pharcyde is the featured throwback hip-hop act? I already have “She Keeps on Passing Me By” stuck in my head out of anticipation.