No Nelly for me. So, this spot was originally devoted for my rundown of
Nelly’s epic headlining performance as part of the Live Nation Drive-in
Concert Series. The show was the culmination of a full weekend of performances that Live Nation presented. The concert also celebrated the 20th Anniversary milestone of Mo’s diamond-selling debut album “Country
Grammar.” Since I didn’t get approved to review, I will just hit y’all with
the same secondhand info that everybody got from somebody else. Oh, and
word to the wonderful folks who were selfless enough to lowkey stream the
whole show with an abundance of clips on social media. It was almost like
I was there in the flesh…almost. I was thrilled to see City Spud, Kyjuan,
Murphy Lee, Slo Down – yes, him too – take the stage at Hollywood Casino
Amphitheater. I was shocked that Ali wasn’t up there as well, but I don’t know why. I’m glad y’all think enough of me to think that I have the piping hot tea and was willing to serve it up – at least that’s how it felt all in my inbox. But I didn’t even have any Lipton at home iced tea powder for the nosey children. I don’t know why he didn’t hit the stage with the rest of the ‘Tics. Based on Ali’s nature, I feel like if there was something behind it, he would have made it plain already. So why don’t we apply that energy to showing the rest of the reunited group some love and give it up to Nelly for putting the hip-hop we produce in the global spotlight. Oh, and big ups to J-Kwon for holding down as a special guest of the show. According to the cobbled together concert I got via Facebook Live, Instagram Live and clips for days, it was another good one for Nelly and the ‘Tics – and as perfect of a way to celebrate 20 years of “Country Grammar” as possible considering that Miss Rona made it impossible to bring the whole city out with a riverfront celebration or block party. A full on, traffic stopping, street re-routing super show is the anniversary event the album deserves. But shout out to Live Nation for finding a way for the region to rock to the record with Nelly and them as they gave the album and other hits to fans live and in the flesh.
Chan’s Tuesday midday Quiet Storm. Was anybody else tuned into Charlie Chan Soprano’s Facebook page Monday or Tuesday? What, the days still don’t bleed together for you? Quit lying. Anyway, back to Chan. How dare
you turn Facebook Live into a full-fledged blue light basement party? Listen,
I stood up from my iPad and slow danced with myself. What? It’s perfectly
natural, right? Okay, maybe not. Don’t mind me, just let me get back to telling y’all that I have not had Quiet Storm vibes that strong since Doc Wynter was still on Majic 108! Chan had me at “hello” when he hit us with the Mint Condition classic “Pretty Brown Eyes.” And of all those songs he played, I only had an issue with Ashanti’s “Rain on Me.” Listen, I love Ashanti as a human, but her catalog does nothing for me. And I know I’m not the only one. Before I even fixed my thoughts to doubt Chan’s fifth-degree black belt on those tables, he hurried up and hushed me when he hit us with Erykah Badu’s “Next Lifetime.” Listen, I haven’t listened to a virtual DJ set uninterrupted since the early days of DJ Nice’s Club Quarantine, but Chan had my feed on lock. Sir, you jumped from Tony Terry to Silk’s “Lose Control!” What were you trying to do? I barely made it through my afternoon without nearly getting into an entanglement with somebody. What? You know I couldn’t let Jada’s word go to waste – even if the joke is stale by now.
An exciting new Verzuz. Yes, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz have still been
carrying on, but in full transparency, I haven’t really cared about the most
recent ones – although the church girl in me did get a kick out of the Fred
Hammond and Kirk Franklin little meetup to play their snippets. The
Battle of New York between Jadakiss and Fabolous couldn’t compel me to
step away from “The Men Who Built America” Marathon I had crackin’ in
my basement theater. Yes, an educational biography series about John D.
Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and
Henry Ford are more interesting to me than anything Fab or Jada could do.
And I felt like as much as I love John Legend – and y’all know I adore him –
isn’t strong enough to offset my aversion to Alicia Keys. But with this DMX
vs. Snoop Dogg, Verzuz once again has my attention with “The Battle of the
Dogs.” I would normally call Snoop Dogg the obvious winner, but I learned
the hard way that if you play your hits right it can be anybody’s game. I am
a ride or die disciple of West Coast rap, so I am partial to Snoop. I feel like
the show will include priceless shenanigans and memes galore. The battle will
take place on Wed. July 22. But the folks at Verzuz do give us an exact time.
It’s an odd move, but I can understand it – not only because Snoop and DMX
could show up at any old time, but because the other battles tended to start an hour (and in some cases two) after when they said they would.
Lavell Crawford is making a trip home to the Lou. I don’t know what you
plan to do, but the middle of next week I will most likely be busting a gut
during a social distant pair of performances happening at Helium starring St.
Louis’ own comedy favorite Lavell Crawford. I know what you are thinking,
and I was under the impression that I would have to wait until September (at
least I think that show is still on) when he came to Chaifetz with Sommore
and ‘nem. Needless to say, my heart jumped for joy when I got word that
he would be stopping through Helium to tide us all over. Now it’s only two
shows on Tuesday, July 21 and Wednesday, July 22. Both shows are at 7:30
p.m. I’m sure – especially with COVID-19 capacity limits – that the show will
sell out. We can only hope that they will add an early and/or a late show.