Swag Snap of the Week: Nic and Tony Thompson

TBeats Studios founder Tony Thompson with up and coming soul artist Nic. Thompson presented Nic and his new music to an intimate crowd of influencers Wednesday night at The House of Soul.

A whole COVID violation mess at Mystic. Y’all just couldn’t let the Wheelhouse be by itself as a major violator of social distancing on the nightlife scene, could you? I’m glad that this little Mystic mishap was kept mostly between us – unlike that Ozarks party and the Wheelhouse, which made international news for their mass gathering judgment lapses that could easily spiral into super spreader shenanigans. However, I must call a thing a thing and say how disappointed I am that the North County spot had folks squeezed from the windows to the walls up in there. And don’t get me started on the “parkin’ lot pimpin’” that occupied the entire surrounding retail strip once the club reached capacity – and yes, I do mean “pre-Rona” capacity. My heart sank when I saw clips from the concert making rounds on social media. I wouldn’t risk my health for anybody, but folks were up in there lowkey putting their lives on the line for a rapper who didn’t even know the words to his own songs when he rapped to those tracks. Listen, I know it’s hard. I know we want to get back to normal when it comes to kicking it. My whole livelihood is quietly contingent upon St. Louis nightlife getting its groove back, and I care enough about y’all to say stay home as long as it takes to keep Rona from wreaking havoc on your households. You might think I’m stretching things if I say that by not following orders, you can go from living it up to laid out in a matter of weeks, but why risk that becoming your story? And if not for your own sake, stay out these streets for your granny, aunties, and mama ‘nem. The next time you are suffering from withdrawals because you can’t be on a whole personal space invading wave, consider that you doing so right now might give somebody you love and who has supported you when you needed it most, something they might not be able to recover from. I didn’t want to clog Partyline up with gloom and doom, but I feel like these things had to be said. Now that it has, shall we get on with things? 

TBeats’ newest protégé. Those folks who have been living under a rock are about the only ones unaware that Kwame Building Group founder Tony Thompson puts his pockets where his passion is as far as giving rising local artists a jumpstart in the music business by way of his TBeats brand. Singers, rappers and musicians have had the chance to record in his state-of-the-art studio with top-notch production tams. He’s presented TBeats artists on stages across the region – including The Pageant and The Sheldon, to name a few. Well last Wednesday, team TBeats presented his newest artist, a soul singer named Nic, and celebrated the upcoming release of his EP with an intimate gathering at The House of Soul. Social distancing restrictions were in full effect as folks seemed to catch a vibe from the event that was a listening party and concert blend. The crowd was small because of the COVID-19 restrictions, but there were some heavy hitters in the building to see what Nic had to offer. They ranged from politicians to promoters and fellow artists. It was a cute time catching up with folks I haven’t seen since  The Rona popped off. Nic has some edges to be smoothed out – which I feel will come naturally as he gets exposure and experience within the industry – but I can see why Tony has decided to get behind him. 

The best of the Bs. For the first time ever, I was actually thrilled that I accidently forgot to cancel a free trial membership before the charges kicked in. I set a reminder and everything to make sure Disney+ didn’t get any coins out of me when I signed up for the channel just to see if “Hamilton” was worth the fuss of seeing on film and stage. It absolutely was, except for the salivation issues from the man who played the King, but let me stay on topic. I still managed to forget and give them $6.99, but after watching “Black Is King” from Beyoncé, I almost felt compelled to write in with a love offering on top of my membership as a token of my appreciation. Now I’m not going to say that the album part was my favorite of Bey’s – though she deserves a nod for diversity of sound and incorporation of Africa into this musical and visual remix of “The Lion King.” However, the visuals were downright stunning. If y’all see me walking around after things open up with some braided and beaded bangs, blame Beyoncé for the inspiration. And while I’m on the topic of braided bangs and Queen Bs, let me whip these faux locs to Brandy for giving life in the form of her latest album “B7.” Brandy did not come to play with us on this record, honey. I haven’t been so enamored by Brandy and her soft-spoken vocal runs since “Almost Doesn’t Count.” Can somebody pass a note to Moesha asking her to dust off those leather Daisy Dukes she rocked on stage at Lumiere Live some years back and take “B7” on the road AS SOON AS IT IS SAFE to do so? 

Music in the streets. There was an impromptu socially distant music festival happening in the Lafayette Square neighborhood Tuesday evening, thanks to the minds behind The Black Rep. Around this time they would be in rehearsal for their fall musical, but The Rona has made that an impossibility. But those walking past got a taste of the talent that usually graces their stage – and backed with live musicians to boot – Amber Rose (not to be confused with the hip-hop vixen), TreG, Herman Gordan and Denise Thimes, to name a few. And speaking of the grand diva Ms. Thimes, why in all my years of seeing her – on stage and out in these street – I had never seen her in a pair of jeans before Tuesday? Now she had a blouse on that was doing so much that the outfit couldn’t be consider casual, but she did indeed have on denim from the waist down. Oh, and I’m loving that magenta bob on her! The Red and Black Brass Bandalsorolled up to make it as close to a version of an ESSENCE Festival type experience (but with social distance, of course) as I’m going to get in 2020.

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