RIP Randy O’Jay. When I tell you that my heart was torn into itty bitty pieces upon learning that longtime radio man Randy O’Jay (Brooks) passed away on Tuesday. You might remember him from his Majic 108 FM days – and if you want to really age yourself, then you can admit that you almost always saw him with the late, great Dr. Jockenstein. Either way, he was truly a class act and a delight. As if my heart couldn’t get any heavier because of this pandemic, I looked on Facebook and found out that Randy O’Jay was gone through a flood of tributes. His death wasn’t COVID-19 related, FYI. I know some are suspecting such – but that wasn’t the case. He will be dearly missed by every single person who ever met him – I mean he was truly a joy. I’m sending prayers to his friends, family and the folks who became his family as they shared the airwaves. I’m sad that he’s gone, but he and Dr. Jockenstein probably have a heavenly roll call happening right now. Rest easy, Randy O’Jay.
Babyface vs. Teddy Riley: take one. I know plenty of y’all were furious that the super-production Teddy Riley was prepared to give us – as a one man band, multiple microphones and a hype man – resulted in a scratch for the long awaited (what, seven days is like 15 years in internet time) and highly anticipated battle with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, set to feature 20 of their favorite hits. I don’t know about y’all, but based on all that equipment and technology Teddy serves up during his live shows – that Babyface was going to be the root of any issues with using “the internets”… especially when he was so slow to log in. But when he perched up in his studio with an iPod and a microphone, it was all good on Face’s end. I know folks were frustrated, but I got my life and was able to make it through the weekend because of that tinker toy technology that couldn’t get past the third song. First, I got my first hint that Babyface is an undercover king of shade – which he confirmed during the rematch. “It’s just me. I’m…you know…social distancing” when Teddy’s team said that there might be an interference with whatever was happening on Face’s side of things. And I also learned that Tamar isn’t the only messy sister amongst the Braxtons. Urban America’s beloved deep-belting vibrato vixen Toni has some shady boots in her bones, based on the memes she was producing as we impatiently waited for the battle that never quite was. I had such a good time between Black Twitter and the reenblactments of Teddy’s turn, that I’ve decided that Teddy “threw in the tile (yes, tile)” for the team so that we could have something to kee-kee about through the weekend. Who else can’t get Babyface calmly saying “Teddy…Teddy…Teddy” out of their head as he attempted to communicate?
DJ Nice saved the night. Now folks were acting like the Saturday, non-battle was so tragic, but it was actually an epic win, thanks to DJ D-Nice, who came through and caped on Instagram yet again to carry us through our social distancing frustrations. Listen, when it’s all said and done, Nice needs some sort of national award for how he’s been clutch by way of his turntables throughout these ______________(insert challenging, uncertain, unprecedented, difficult, trying and the few other words they keep rotating in and out across all these commercials) times brought on by The Rona. He went in for the Babyface vs. Teddy Riley battle. How do you win a battle when you’re not a competitor? By spinning their greatest hits so smooth and seamlessly – and having the actual singers of said songs chime in in the comments. My heart will never be right again now that Tevin Campbell told the world that “Can We Talk” is essentially a stalker expressing himself through song. Between the lyrics and the cover art that has lil’ Tevin looking like a straight up creeper staring into somebody’s soul who absolutely does not want to be bothered makes me want answers from Babyface.
Dropped ball on The Beatdown. Speaking of spin sessions, I have kicked myself all week for completely missing the Biko vs. Reminisce ‘Beatdown” battle on IG Live. I was looking for it on Facebook at first. And then when I didn’t see it right away, I got so caught up in revisions that by the time I finally figured out where to go, they both had long since logged off and carried on with the rest of their socially distant lives. I demand a link to the original – or a rematch. I figured it was going to be a close call. At least now I don’t have to be the bad guy. Send me that link or get back in y’all labs and go live for us one mo’ time.
Face vs. Riley: the unfinished finale. It only took two days for Teddy and Face to make it back to the ‘Gram for their as-promised battle. Was it me, or did the wait from Saturday night through Monday not feel as long as the 20 minutes it took them both to post a hashtag? I haven’t been so frustrated getting my mother hip to using video chat in Facebook Messenger so she can “see my face” as we socially distance. Sorry to put you on blast Mama, but it’s true. They finally got on and Teddy was still having a few little problems, but they managed to get halfway through – and had a half-million folk tuned in – before technology said lies. IG Live couldn’t handle it, so they say, but I knew when Babyface whipped out that acoustic guitar for “When Can I See You?” that it wasn’t going to end well. Teddy was fit to be tied. Soon after, everything went left and he had to log off. But Babyface jumped back on with an inspirational finale, featuring Whitney Houston and her duets with BeBe Winans and Mariah Carey, which took the win. Sorry Teddy. But Face’s move was so smooth, classic and timely. Don’t get it twisted though, it would have been too close for me to call had Teddy been able to finish.
Impressed with the Prince tribute. Because the tributes have been so hit or miss, I was ready to shade the Grammys’ Prince special for filth when it aired on CBS Tuesday night. But honestly, other than John Legend’s decision to go topless under his blazer, Naomi Campbell’s wig fail and the Memorex of Usher, I wasn’t mad at a single bit of it. Miguel gave me life. H.E.R. hit all those notes, honey. And y’all know how I feel about Gary Clark Jr. Oh, and can we talk about Wendy (from The Revolution) and her guitar slayage? And a barefoot Sheila E brought the house down, and St. Louis’ own Lynne Fiddmont was there lending her beautifully blended background vocals for all of it! I also spied St. Louis familiar faces Janee Hardy and Debra Bass in the audience.