This week I’m starting things off with a shameless plug for the next upcoming festivity presented by the St. Louis American Foundation. Hey, at least I’m consistent. Anyway, nominations are underway for the 2019 class of Young Leaders. If you know somebody under the age of 40 making major moves in the St. Louis metro area, you have until December 30, 2018 to submit their name in the mix to be considered. The competition is always fierce. And each year I’m more and more impressed by each cohort – which will be revealed leading up to and celebrated at the 9th Annual Salute to Young Leaders in February. Our Young Leader alums have gone on to do phenomenal things. I would need the rest of Partyline – and more than a few extra pages – for their sum total of accomplishments. The list is narrowed down to twenty of the cream of the crop, but you won’t know if someone you may consider a diamond will shine amongst the nominees if you don’t submit their name. Visit www.stlamerican.com to download the nomination form, which must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call (314) 533-8000.
Cheering on Kennedy Holmes. I know Partyline is pretty much for grown people, but my soul wouldn’t sit right if I didn’t holler from here to Hollywood with delight that our own Kennedy Holmes will be singing for team J-Hud on the season 15 finale of “The Voice.” At 14, she’s the youngest finalist in the show’s history. She is such a super-talented gem, comes from a wonderful family and has done our city proud so far – and will continue as one of the top four next week. I’m claiming that Holmes will bring it home Monday night!
Haute glamour at the 100’s winter gala. I was hoping I had hopped up in the Grand Marriott just in time for the 100 Black Men Winter Royale Gala after-party when I headed up the escalator Saturday night. What? Y’all already know formal programs are not my jam! I got there just as things were wrapping up, which means I had a chance to see the slayage of some of the folks who probably wouldn’t be a part of the post gala turnup. Primarily, Urban League CEO Michael McMillan’s mother Ms. Rita. Can we just talk about that splendid bob for a second? It was life. Actually, she was serving from head to toe – as per usual. The Winter Royale was probably the most stylish per capita of any I’ve seen (with the exception of our Salute to Excellence in Education, of course). The folks were taking fashion risks, and every gamble paid off. Namely, the gentleman I only know as Frederick S. Some people call it mermaid, others call it unicorn – I call it the two-sided sequins that is all the rage on throw pillows this year. Whatever it is, Frederick had a whole jacket made out of it and served up a LEWK! folks couldn’t resist rubbing it back and forth from black to white. Then there was Winnie Caldwell, who was serving a contemporary big chop shadow fade up top and “Harlem Nights” realness from the neck down with a magenta and gold iridescent gown with a matching train. It sounds extra – which it was, but it was also life. And can I say that I have never seen black-on-black sequined/rhinestone so many times and so many ways as from Marquita Chapman, and I’m here for it each time. Also, let me tell you about the glorious and gorgeous melanin love that was on display through Olympic Gold medalist Dawn Harper Nelson and her handsome husband Alonzo. They looked like they walked right out of Wakanda – and I drank in every second of it! Congrats on the baby! He or she will be a chocolate delight! Before I get accused of being utterly superficial, let me give a shout out to all of the men and women the 100 Black Men honored at their gala for the good works within the region.
A Power 100 preview. Since I’m already on the subjects of influencers, achievers and the number 100, I might as well let y’all know that DELUX Magazine’s Power 100 is coming to the Chase Park Plaza on the Sunday before Christmas. Because Keith Griffin and company know how to pack out a party to the point where there’s really no need for preview coverage, I normally reserve my remarks for the recap. It might be sold out already. But I wanted to make sure I gave a reminder to the folks since plenty of my faves are among this year’s honorees. It’s going down Dec. 23. Be sure to check back here for the rundown.
Tavern night turn up. I have a feeling that the world’s best dry cleaners won’t be able to fully alleviate the now permanent aroma of Newports, Kool Filter Kings and Benson and Hedges Menthol Lights with a side of chicken wing grease smell from my new coat. But the clearly permanent aroma was a small price to pay in exchange for the kicking it experience served up at Tavern Night Sunday at The Ambassador. I’m telling you, I had the time of my life! Whoever the DJ was on the tables before DJ Kid Capri showed up was so good, that I would have thought it was Capri if he hadn’t been so quiet as far as hyping on the mic. And when Capri hit the stage, baby it was a wrap. Quick weaves, sew ins, full units and silk presses (okay, it was more like press-n-curl on the tavern scene) alike became casualties of the dance floor. He and Doug E. Fresh are neck and neck when it comes to getting the party live. Yes, it was that __________(insert new slang for lit). The favorites of the tavern community were toasted and the turn up was real!
Hip-hop fans left young stars hangin’. I guess the millennials didn’t want to be bothered with the rising rap stars that rolled through the Lou early this week. Dave East’s supermodel good looks and cheekbones chiseled to the gods weren’t enough to get the girls over to Pop’s to see him in the flesh Sunday night. I was turning up with my tavern folks, but according to the social media channels of my dear friend Kevin Johnson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, East’s empty boots show was canceled just before the headliner took the stage – and in lieu of refunds, fans were offered a bottle of alcohol and a photo opp with East. Help. The nearly as handsome Vic Mensa, who gave me my life when he opened for Beyonce at the Dome, sadly, he could probably see clean through to the window for his performance snippet as the latest Hot 104.1 FM Who’s Next artist when he hit up the House of Soul Monday. Perhaps they should stick to weekend bookings.