Swag Snap of the Week: Smino and Corey Black

Grammy nominated rapper Smino made time to give back a day ahead of his sold-out 4th Annual Kribmas Concert with a special coat drive on Saturday at Clarity Salon. Rapper and poet Corey Black was among the many cultural influencers who came through.

Smino put on for STL with Kribmas. I know some of you grownheads haven’t heard of him, even though he’s been all over the “hippity hop bebop shows, radios and computers.” And did I mention he’s nominated for a Grammy, thanks to J. Cole and his Dreamville crew? Well, once again he did it big for the STL with another sold out Kribmas show on Sunday at The Pageant. I knew it was going to be so St. Louis when he scooted out on that stage in an Air Force One sleigh. Great job on the design, Brock Seals. But back to the Smino and the show. He flexes for the new school of STL hip-hop and the other night was no different. He puts on a show that can stand alongside anybody out in these rap and R&B streets. I was singing “Anita” for three whole days after the show was over. I love how he always takes a moment to recognize those who paved the way for him with a quick mix of hits, usually from the St. Lunatics. Well Sunday, Smino fans got the surprise of their lives when the mix came on and Nelly popped on stage for a hot minute. They even debuted a new track they just recorded. It was a cute moment for St. Louis hip-hop. Along with Nelly, I was thrilled to see so much support for Smino from other artists. I ran into Mvstermind, who I think along with Smino are aligned to be the next big hits for St. Louis hip-hop. The whole night made me hopeful about what we have to offer musically. 

A delicious vegan vibe. Saturday night I stopped through to see my UCME fellas Murphy Lee, Kyjuan and the lovely Seviin Li for their ultra-exclusive, sold-out vegan soul food kickback that featured more cool kids and culture shapers than I have space to mention. Plus, if I get to naming all of those names, I won’t have space to tell y’all how delicious Seviin’s vegan culinary skills were. I know y’all know by now that I eat it all – and the best way to describe my dietary habits is a quote from Evangelist Shirley Caesar “beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, hams, yams, hog, dog, turkeys, chicken, you name it!” Well maybe not the dog, but you get my drift. That being said, I have a particular expectation of how food – specifically soul food – is supposed hit when it lands on these taste buds. However, if Seviin was my personal chef, I wouldn’t need meat, dairy, cat or dog. I know, I know. I had my doubts too, but whatever that faux Salisbury steak and cheese-free macaroni had in it left me satisfied. And don’t get me started on the greens and sweet potatoes, because I won’t be able to talk about what a great vibe it was. I wish I had time to stay and get my tarot cards read, because I’mma need a heads up if 2020 is anything like the tragic rainbow-colored quick weave that was 2019. I’m just sayin.’ And can you believe that after two plates I was ‘itis’ free enough to carry on with the rest of my night? Had that been the real deal, I would have had to hire somebody to roll me around like a barrel of bootleg corn liquor as I beat the streets. Girl, if you ever start getting into meal prep or the personal chef game, hit me up!

Nichol’s grown and sexy birthday groove. Over the weekend I made more than one stop at the House of Soul as my girl Nichol Stevenson celebrated her birthday over the course of two nights at her newly opened House of Soul. The first night was a vibe with Love Jones The Band serving up soul and R&B classics as I lit into that mostaccioli and the array of wings as comfortably as if I were in my big granny’s kitchen. Yo, I might need to commission whoever made those wings since Culpepper’s has become the latest of many of my spots to give up the ghost in the Central West End – at least for the next two weeks until my annual New Year’s detox. After that, I will hit Seviin up. But back to Nichol’s birthday. Saturday night, I didn’t launch the all-out assault rematch on the buffet like I planned. I got so caught up in Terry Rogers’ set that I forgot about the food until I was all the way on Highway 40. People have “Tennessee Whiskey’ed” me to death, but his rendition may have been the best I’ve heard in a minute. And since I’m talking House of Soul, Nichol the Café Soul brand and some others are bringing Tamika Scott from Xscape there on Saturday (Dec. 14) as she shares her “Family Affair” solo EP with the world. And Terry Rogers will be performing on that night too. 

Guilty pleasure gut busting laughter with Godfrey. It was the most hilarious bit of irony that, as I was weighing the options of going vegan after Seviin’s spread, my next stop was heading to Helium to catch comedy vet Godfrey read vegetarians, vegans and obsessively healthy eaters for filth – even though he looked like he been living and eating clean his whole five decades on this planet. When he talked about how miserable folks looked in Whole Foods spending $50 for a quart of hemp milk as the rest of us lousy eaters look like the front of a Happy Meal box when we order from the value menu of McDonald’s, my conversion ended just that quickly. He told no lies – especially when he said that people go to McDonald’s so much that if they took the menu down folks would still know what to order. He gave this as a valid excuse as to why the employees have such funky attitudes when people act like they are indecisive at the counter. Godfrey went a bit too hard with his anti-church bits, considering we are in the bible belt and all, and went too long with his set in general. He is a pro and I hollered more than once. Can somebody identify the woman sitting at the second booth from the door? She laughed so loud, hard and long that I thought she was just going to start physically rolling and knock everybody on the row down like bowling pins. I might need her presence if I ever decide to take a stab at standup in a random amateur night setting. Godfrey’s opener Akeem Woods was great – even if a bit graphic – as well. I just hate that the show went so long. It might still be going on. I left at almost midnight and by the time I made it to Saturday Night Vibes at Lowes Lounge, they were making last call and Pokey Bear’s infidelity anthem “Side Piece” was blasting as folks made their way out the door. Good thing it goes down every first Saturday. That means I’ll be back next month to kick it with DJ Kut and company. 

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