Swag Snap of the Week: Mali Music

My girl Angel Shields’ latest installation of “A Night of Soul Searching” starring Mali Music Saturday night at The Ready Room wasn’t my first stop of the weekend, but it was most definitely my favorite. He was the coolest dude on the planet – and turned The Ready Room into the Ready Room Transformation Missionary Baptist Temple of the Holy Deliverance. I know some folks don’t check for inspirational music on a Saturday night, but anybody who rolled through – even if you were coming from the club – would have got happy enough to feel a praise and a shout in their spirit after the way he blessed the stage. Music Unlimited with Corey “SaxMo” Allen got things started and the lovely Therese Payne (who was having problems with the sound to the point where one of her songs sounded like a remix because of how she kept singing “soundman”). And when it was Mali’s turn, I knew it was going to be a serious matter from the first few bars that the band served up. They brought that heat, and Mali fueled the fire. With The Hamiltones, PJ Morton and now Mali, my girl Angel is three-for-three in blowing me away with the talented folks she’s brought to the city with her recurring concert series.

Lupe’s fan fiasco. Listen, I will be the first one to tell you that Lupe Fiasco doesn’t get his due on the hip-hop scene. And once again he proved himself worthy when he played the Delmar Hall Wednesday night. However, I can’t co-sign with ole boy who being so hype that he had to be hemmed up and carried out of the concert because he would not stay from on top of the tables. I cannot tell you how many times security politely asked him to hop down. And he still acted as if they were in the wrong for finally carrying him out the door. That little dude made them earn every bit of whatever they were paid to keep the crowd under control with his little stunt. Then once they got him outside, he pulled an Effie White “And I Telling You I’m Not Going…” move by trying to push past the whole team to get back in and get his fill of Mr. Fiasco. He linked his arms around the bannister and was trying to be like a tree planted by the water and not be moved. I feel like they might have had to get a straightjacket to cart him off the premises. Lupe was tearing it up, but I don’t think he warranted that reaction. Shoot, I can’t think of anybody I’ve seen recently that had me dancing in my seat, let alone on the table. I take that back, St. Louis’ own Mvstermvnd had me grooving at the top of the show. He’s definitely one to watch. It’s a bit off topic, but since I’m talking about ones to watch, I will go ahead and give a shout out to East Boogie’s own Fresco Kane for putting in work with the one and only Mariah Carey – he co-wrote her latest track “With You.”

Hot mama Robbie Montgomery. Mariah isn’t the only one with new music in these streets. Wearing a cut-out catsuit that would have given Mariah a run for her money in the “Emancipation of MiMi” days, Miss Robbie Montgomery of Sweetie Pie’s fame had the 40-somethings feeling jealous. If somebody told me that I could like her when I get that age under the condition that I have to instantly jump into my 70s – I would go ahead and subscribe for AARP. A few folks might have said she wasn’t dressed appropriate for her age, but they need to go somewhere and sit down. If Angela Bassett can wear her stomach out in her 60s, then Miss Robbie can flaunt a little leg and thigh meat for her EP release concert Saturday night at The Sheldon. I’m just sayin.’ The show was cute, but because I was double-booked. I heard good things about it. Shout out to Lady Re and Kiki The First Lady for lending their talents.

TK is the black Dorian Gray. We already talking about old people looking young, so let’s give some attention to comedian T.K. Kirkland – who was in town for Jessie Taylor’s birthday weekend at The Laugh Lounge. I have seen some young looking folks, especially the ladies on the sales, administrative and editorial side of the St. Louis American (Barb, Mary, Pam, Robin, Deidre, Angelita, Dawn, Sandra…everybody). But I need to know what demon got T.K.’s spirit in exchange for him to be looking 29 at 57. Have y’all heard of Dorian Gray, the fictional character that locked his age away in a painting? Well, T.K. must be his cousin. If he didn’t have those throwback “Def Comedy Jam” and “Comic View” episodes as receipts I would say he was lying through his teeth about his age. He was still funny – until he went left and started talking about how black people need to get some life, health and auto insurance. He must have a financial advisor side hustle. But when he went in on the group in the front, I was hoping there was secret sewer exit for the sake of his personal safety. Then I found out when Jessie took the stage that the family T.K. was talking about belonged to him, I fell out. He was like “that’s alright, we’re gonna jump him after the show.” I hollered!

Prince gets the Puccini treatment. St. Louis was one of the lucky cities to get a stop of “4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince” Sunday night at The Fox. When I tell you that the whole experience had me feeling like I was back in first chair (okay, second) in the Hazelwood Elementary School 6th grade orchestra. I know some folks were mad that there wasn’t a vocalist, but I don’t expect to see one at a classical music performance unless it’s an opera (that would have been kind of tight to see his music done in that format as well). And we know these singers have been 0-1000 when it comes to the Prince tribute performances – so it was for the best that there wasn’t a vocalist. I think Sunday will probably be the only time I’ll see a violin soloist in thigh-high suede boots doing body rolls as she stroked her bow across the instrument, which is disappointing. All the fans had a good time – especially the woman with the tambourine that was throwing the beat off for everybody.  Shout out to QuestLove for his curation and the talented local musicians who accompanied the touring band and made the whole evening possible.

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