100 Black Men’s regal Winter Royale. I can’t say I can relate with the poor soul who got the wrath of Jigga for recording Beyoncé cutting a rug on the dance floor or when he gave Kanye the “you know I don’t mess with you no more” side eye in all the photo opps. But other than that, I know exactly how the folks at Diddy’s big 5-0 party felt, thanks to 100 Black Men of St. Louis’ Winter Royale Gala Saturday night at the Marriott Grand. It was a combination of black opulence and black excellence and I got my life from every second of it. For the better part of the week I’ve been trying to decide who was best dressed and by today I had to just give up and say “everybody.” I’m serious. Everyone came so correct that I cannot pick winner. Now I will say Jason Ware’s navy-blue tux spoke to my spirit because it was so different and so fresh. But folks really honored that dress code and it was a glorious sight. I also want to give a shoutout the Dirty Muggs for mixing in some new numbers into their set list – specifically the West Coast rap tributes. Their versions of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” and Too Short’s “Blow The Whistle” weren’t songs I expected to hear at a gala. But I think that made it even more special. Shout out to the 100 for always bringing style and grace up in the place with their gala game.
Cedric’s Not So Silent Night. Since I’m on the subject of fancy events, I might as well jump right into the SSM Health Foundation benefit A Not So Silent Night with Cedric The Entertainer’s Not So Silent featuring Fatpocket at The Ritz Carlton. Before Saturday, I hadn’t been since they changed the format from concert to sit down meal. I must say that I like the remix – and not just because now there’s a plate involved. It had a cute deluxe holiday work party vibe, with the major difference. Ceddy’s Not So Silent Night has the comedy being handled by a professional. The rest of us have to settle for that one co-worker who throws back one too many and wants the world to know that he or she was voted class clown in high school and forces the rest of the office to listen to jokes that would be booed at an open mic, but you have to smile uncomfortably through their bits so staff meetings won’t be weird. But back to Cedric, he had me hollerin’ when he was talking about how he knows he’s old because of his friends. Listen, when he said his boy’s phone has Latimore’s “Let’s Straighten It Out” as a ringtone, it took me out. And Fatpocket, featuring Tish Haynes Keys, was cutting up. On a side note, I just want to say the grace and poise of Sharita Kyles Wilson always makes me proud when she delivers remarks on behalf of the family regarding the Rosetta Boyce Kyles Women’s Pavilion.
Kee-kees at Klass Klowns. I’m already talking about St. Louis funny men, so I might as well jump right into my boy Jovan Bibbs’ annual Klass Klowns show he holds around his birthday. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. St. Louis comedians are a tier above any other local comics off the rip. I promise if there was a businessman who could harness the hilarity of St. Louis comedians and present them on a global scale, they would be the Berry Gordy of comedy. I know it’s a lot that goes into that, but we have the talent to pull it off. Because I was at Cedric’s SSM Health Foundation gathering, I missed a chunk of Klass Klowns, but I still got plenty of chuckles. Especially when Darius Bradford started talking about how petty his grandmother was for hoarding all the cool air in her room. My big granny was just as ornery for how she monopolized the warm air in the winter. She would have that space heater positioned in her direction on high with such power that it made a tent when it blew up her moo moo. Meanwhile, me and my cousins would be on the other side of the house in snow suits and shivering so bad our teeth would chatter.
Tamika Scott, the one-song wonder. By now you should already know that House of Soul is going to be a part of my regular rotation from this point forward. So, you can imagine the thrill when I heard that Xscap3 (i.e. Xscape minus Kandi) member Tamika Scott was coming through to promote her solo EP “Family Affair.” She took every bit of her sweet time arriving, which didn’t bother me a bit because Terry Rogers was killin’ it as he worked up a sweat to R&B and blues classics. I promise you his version of “These Last Two Dollars” should have been called “These Last 20 Minutes” because that’s how long it lasted – and was four times longer that Ms. Scott devoted to the stage. When Terry tried to pass her the mic for his fifth breakdown of Joe’s “I Wanna Know” and she refused, I got a little suspicious of what her “pop up” concert entailed. But they called her to the stage, and she sang “Who Can I Run To.” I would be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed. But then when the band tried to smoothly fade out of the song – just like they vamped in – she issued a hard stop and left the stage. I was like “that’s all we get?” She popped in, popped up and popped out. She didn’t even give us a sip of her new stuff, which I thought was the whole point of her visit. Girl, if you didn’t bother singing it, I’m surely not compelled to hit up YouTube or Google. I know that Nichol and her crew had nothing to do with Ms. Scott’s antics, so I will be back to House of Soul for whatever they have happening for the next two holiday weekends.
All of the folks at all of the lights. Saturday night was also the December installment of All of the Lights. And you already know that so many folks home for college winter break were up in Dos Salas that it was feeling like a sauna. I don’t know what y’all do, or how y’all promote, but keep it up. It was packed from 10 p.m. up until in there. And I had to ride by three times for other stops I had to make out in these streets – and each time the line seemed to get longer.