Swag Snap of the Week: Maurice Harris and Yvonne Osei

World renowned artist and floral designer Maurice Harris made a masterpiece in the afro of visual artist Yvonne Osei during his “Don’t Touch My Hair: A Talk and Demonstration” as part of the Saint Louis Art Museum’s 16th Annual Art in Bloom programming Saturday morning.

Chris Tucker hit, then absolutely missed. I got the biggest pleasant surprise so far in 2020 for the first half of Chris Tucker’s show at the Stifel Theater. I was expecting a wreck when he didn’t approve any photographers to shoot the show. But he proved me wrong the minute he bopped all across that stage in a rose gold sequined tuxedo jacket to the Bruno Mars jam “24K Magic.” He came out clowning about coronavirus. Yes, the jokes were racist toward the Chinese, but I was like, “new material, who dis?” The last two times he came to town, he gave the exact verbatim performance – and the jokes were about a decade old. It was to the point where I thought, “Maybe we were just hyping Chris Tucker up and he wasn’t as funny as we all thought during his Def Jam days?”

I was like “This is the Chris Tucker I remember.” He was back cussin’ and everything. I all but fell out when he was talking about that little boy that fell into the gorilla pit with the late great Harambe and how he’s certain the boy’s mama pulled a “black mama move” and told the zoo folks to leave him in their a little while to teach him a lesson. Yes, Harambe’s tragic demise was a few years ago, but it was new to Chris Tucker’s act and it was funny. And then when he claimed that R. Kelly low key tried to kidnap him and that he should have let those girls go when their daddies started looking for them because you don’t mess with a black daddy. I was laid out. The show was great, until it wasn’t. It seems like just when I said to myself, “Chris Tucker is out here pulling an Eddie Murphy, but with standup,” he went flipped a switch and smuggled in those moldy old struggle jokes from the last time. I felt the shift happening too. Every time somebody in the audience would say “I love you,” Chris would say it back with a real soft and wispy voice. I knew he was fighting the urge to jump into his Michael Jackson bits with all his might. Then he surrendered and leaned into it. He could have just thrown the whole last 25 minutes away. We miss Michael too, but “Rock My World” video was 20 years ago. Opening act Sherman Golden was funny enough – even though he hadn’t said hardly anything I hadn’t heard before … possibly from other comics.

No love from the Nu Chi Ques. Let me tell you, I was all set to tell you about how the third time was the charm for the Mardi Gras Party held by the Nu Chi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi. I parked and made my way to the Airport’s club Aero, only to receive the “Harpo, who be dis woman?” treatment by the Omegas working the door. I explained who I was and what I was there to do – and figured it would be easily resolved, because our photographer made it in without a hitch. Then a gentleman offered to escort me into the party. I was like, “Oh, how polite… but you don’t need to do that.” He insisted. Once I got in, I thought it was going to be all good. But he kept hanging back. Then I was like, “I’m fine, I don’t need you to escort me anymore.” He responds, “I can either escort you through the party, or escort you back out the door.” I was shocked, because this has NEVER been my experience with the Nu Chi, or any Ques in the region for that matter. I told him that I usually get in make my rounds and let the folks know how y’all like to kick it. But this gentleman, who was serving tall Garrett Morris realness, told me that nobody should have let me in last year. All I could do at this point was make a dramatic exit and go on about my business. Can somebody please explain to me what is gained by treating somebody who came to cover an event with such shade? I mean, I just don’t understand it. Now, not only will nobody hear about your party, but they will get all types of tea about your lack of hospitality. I guess I will have to keep my kicking with the Ques limited to the MO side chapters until further notice – because they always show me nothing but kindness.

A Skee-Phi Fashion Phirst. But let me move on and give props to some black Greeks that rolled out the red carpet for a sista. On Sunday, I hit up the Caramel Room in Bissinger’s building on Broadway for the Phirst Experience Fashion Show presented by the Gamma Omega Chapter of AKA and the Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. They started a bit past fashionably late, but the event was such life that it was worth the extra time I spent mingling and launching a preemptive strike on that dessert display. The clothes were life, y’all! Especially that half green/ half pink ensemble worn by Chi Anderson. I know I will get myself in trouble if I try to name names of all the fabulous slayage that folks came through with that was as pleasant as that marvelous weather. Just know that it was life.

B-day big ups at Blue Dine and Lounge. The folks showed up and showed out in droves at Blue Dine and Lounge for owner Arthur’s birthday weekend of events at Blue Dine and Lounge. Understand that I wanted to kick it from my car because there was no more room – especially on Saturday night. If that lone parking spot hadn’t opened up in front of the Kingdom Hall, Arthur would have most certainly had to settle for a drive through birthday dap. I thought they were going to have to set up booths in the Family Dollar and have folks parking down towards the Pageant. Yes, it was that serious.

Just a couple of months until Three 6 Mafia. Yep. The Academy Award-winning artists that brought us some of the best ratchetry rap music had to offer will be reuniting on stage at the Chaifetz Arena on May 23 and I haven’t been able to stop myself from randomly singing “you know it’s hard out here for a pimp” whenever the urge hits me – I’ve even caught myself humming the melody out loud during church. What? I go to the live stream service, so nobody heard me. Anyway, Juicy J, DJ Paul and ‘nem are bringing Crunchy Black, Gangsta Boo, Project Pat and more to get lit like only Memphis rappers can. Is it too much for me to request that they hire Terrence Howard to show up in full character as DJay from “Hustle and Flow” with a full roller set and that tattered mini keyboard to host the concert? Probably so. Oh well, it’s going to be epic either way. So be sure to get your tickets.

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