Young Leaders 2K19 is around the corner. That’s right, in less than a month, the ultimate opportunity to get introduced -or reminded – to the individuals that hold the region’s future in their hands will be here. The St. Louis American Foundation’s 9th Annual Salute to Young Leaders Awards and Networking Reception. Thursday, Feb. 21 is the date – 5:30 p.m. is the time. The Four Seasons is the place. I absolutely, positively cannot wait. And if I don’t find a replica of that sickening hot, fire red coat Nancy Pelosi was wearing last month when she let Trump know that she was not to be trifled with in a 2X by next Tuesday, I will be commissioning a local designer to make me one. My grand and epic entrance will have the girls saying “Olivia Poooopppppeeee?” *Soulja Boi ‘Breakfast Club’ interview voice*. But enough about me, let’s get back to Young Leaders. I can’t reveal the 2019 class just yet – but as per usual, there will be some shining stars to join the alumni that have gone on to make major moves in this city and beyond for the better part of a decade. Plenty of the past winners come through, which makes for a night of networking that you wouldn’t believe. So, get your best business attire game together – and don’t forget those business cards (you have enough time to get some made if you don’t have them already) because professional connections will be made for those who come prepared. Be sure to get your tickets before its too late. Visit www.stlamerican.com or call (314) 533-8000.
No feature from Rudy Francisco. I remember being crammed up in the Blank Space during the early days of Poetic Justice and now Corey Black is packing out the Grandel for its debut as the latest venue for the monthly open mic. If that ain’t a “started from the bottom, now we here” testimony/ministry, I don’t know what is! I was sick to my stomach when I learned that a flight logistical nightmare (and no, it wasn’t due to the shutdown) meant that Rudy Francisco wouldn’t be in the building. But the crowd didn’t mind one bit. They were in it for the long haul too. The show officially started at 8:30 and poets were still spitting after 11. And folks really poured their hearts out on that stage from “Me Too” to a white ally telling his folks about themselves for their centuries of crimes against people of color. “It’s time for America to be who we said we were going to be…with all men created equal” got all sorts of finger snaps. I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t get to see Rudy Francisco spit live in the flesh. But I had a wonderful time with all the woke folks and wordsmiths.
A birthday jam at BBs. I ended my weekend by stopping through BB’s Sunday night to wish my favorite bass player in the game a happy b-day. Now folks will claim that I’m being partial to Melvin Moore because he also works for the paper, but anybody who stopped through could see for themselves that Mello is the truth – and has plenty of love from the music scene in this city. I got more life from The Love Jones Band’s Melvin’s birthday jam session than I have plenty of major concerts. I’m just saying. If I get to naming folks, I’m sure I will leave somebody out, so I will go ahead and say many of my faves were there to support. They got down. There were so many certified clutch musicians in the building that they pulled a “a presto change-o” and swapped the whole doggone band out without missing a beat. You heard me – a whole other impromptu band took the stage and tore it up. As much as I enjoyed the music, I still feel a type of way that BB’s was out of their famous fried cheese grits by the time I decided to go ahead and place a to-go order. Serves me right for straying from my diet!
NBA Lateboy. Perhaps I should have googled him to find out that NBA Youngboy was only 19. Because I was not expecting to feel like I was at a high school homecoming pep rally when I went to check him out Saturday night at The Ambassador. When they said 21 and under, they meant that. I haven’t been in the midst of a crowd that spry since I went to that KidGoalss show at The Pageant awhile back – which looked like Disney on Ice or a throwback to Sesame Street Live. Those baby millennials were eyeing me up and down like a school dance parent chaperone, just one “Shoot Dance” away from embarrassing my child up in the concert. NBA Young Boy took his sweet time getting to that stage – and some of them had been up in there since their legal guardian dropped them off after dinner. The kids seemed to forgive him, even though he showed up at almost afterparty time. I can’t say the same for the folks responsible for carting his fans back home. I can’t tell you how many times a window rolled down from a running car to ask me “Is it over yet?” as I walked along Halls Ferry (where I had to park) headed to my next stop.
Bowties, stilettos and brown liquor. Let me tell you how a QuikTrip run ended up being a hot tip for lit time. I was minding my business getting a Big Q when I ran into Damion “Super Ego” Mitchell. He told me that he was having his Bowties and Stilettos 8-Year Anniversary Party at Lowe’s Saturday night and asked me to stop through. I’m so glad fate saw fit for us to run into each other, because I had a blast. Him and Raphael from the Umbrella Group were clean as the board of health. Damion’s jacket was doing the absolute most – yet I lived. I don’t think the club had to turn the lights on that bedazzled thing was so bright. They could have hooked him to the ceiling and spun him around as the strobe light. I’m not hating. It looked good. It was just extra. But not as extra as the girls who were celebrating their birthday with multiple sips of that brown. The turn up was real.
A week away from Will Downing. Don’t be walking around here mad because you missed the chance to get booed up and groove to the sounds of Will Downing next weekend at Harris-Stowe. It pains me to say, that he is one of the last of the old school R&B crooners we have left. (R.I.P. James Ingram.) It’s happening at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10. Be sure to get your tickets…Metrotix at (314) 534-1111 or metrotix.com.