Somebody please save the children. Iknow, I know. Last week I said I would get back to starting things off on a light note. Everybody is well aware that I’m good for a kee-kee while serving a weekend rewind of what happened in these streets as far as the kicking it. But I feel like I must let y’all know that I am also a concerned citizen. And the fact that enough children to fill a classroom won’t see another school year thanks to gun violence breaks my heart. As far as solutions, I don’t have much – except to say that it needs to be addressed like the public health crisis that it is. I’m sick over these young people – and even sicker because based on how things have gone this summer, if I took time to count or name the children who have been snatched away from their families, I would have to add to the list by the next print cycle.
Your first Salute 2019 service announcement. It’s less than a month away. I thought I would get my reminders rolling so that y’all can get your lewks all the way together. Who am I kidding? Most of the folks who will be strutting into America’s Center like the Emerald City scene from “The Wiz” have already bought, returned and upgraded gowns and tuxes at least once by now. Good for them, because you’re A game when it comes to glamour is a basic requirement. You have to have advanced placement swag for Salute. See for yourselves on Saturday September 21 as the St. Louis American Foundation presents the 32nd Annual Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship and Awards Gala. The gala starts at 6 p.m. with a party and jazz cabaret commencing immediately afterward. The tickets are selling like spicy Popeye’s chicken sandwiches. Now you won’t have to be parked in a drive-through for 35-45 minutes hour to get one (no shade to the Louisiana kitchen specialists), but please call (314) 533-8000 or visit www.stlamerican.com to get your tickets soon, because they will sell out.
Young Dro was good to go. I wasn’t expecting a sold-out crowd considering it’s been a minute since T.I.’s Grand Hustle right-hand man Young Dro was going hard on the charts. Was I the only one who hadn’t realized that “Shoulder Lean” was almost 13 years old before this week? Even still, I was not expecting to have the entire general admission and the last three rows of VIP to myself when he came through for a show at The Ambassador Friday night. It’ such a shame that it wasn’t well-attended, because I thought it was a great set – and not just from Dro. I missed a few of the opening acts, but the two that I saw delivered a solid performance. YoBanga was killing me with the backing vocals on his track that he didn’t need, but otherwise he had my attention for all of his little songs. He had a solid energy. And Bigg Rich played that empty Ambassador like it was a sold-out Busch Stadium performance. I had seen him on the scene for years before, but I still wasn’t ready for all that presence he was bringing to the stage. He even had his own baby Lenny Kravitz killing it with rock guitar as he spit his rhymes. He really put on a show – and gave the folks a wise word about knowing the business side of music before getting into deals that will have you locked down. He had the stage nice and heated for Dro to take the stage. I didn’t know what to expect because I caught him giving one of those “here we go, let me hurry up and get this over with” deep breaths while on the side steps waiting to hear his name. But the minute he put his mouth close to the microphone, it was on and cracking. He was mint condition Dro and gave people their money’s worth. The crowd was small, but got mighty when they saw that he wasn’t going to mail it in. I was thrilled with all four of his songs. Now, when the show was over, he walked off like everybody else on the gig with the clock strikes “off” on your shift. There’s no “see you later,” “thanks for rocking with me” or nothing. The end of the song was the end of his show.
Trap. Soul &Paint turnup is officially legendary. Trap Soul & Paint was back after a month away, probably a summer vacation of sorts. But the House of Soul was packed to the gills as usual on what was a busier Sunday than I planned for the week before a three-day holiday weekend. As per usual, the dexterity of the guests who could stay within the lines while dropping it like its hot still blows me away. I know I talk about them on the regular, but you must stop through and see it for yourself. And I would like to recommend that the Trap Soul and Paint team take their party on the road to at least one other market sooner than later so folks can see how STL gets down with our remix to the paint with a twist format. It’s paint with a twist, twerk and turnup! And offers guaranteed life – whether you are into art, dancing, the club, all or none of the above.
Kudos to Kris Cole. Listen, I can barely type this item because every time I think of the production that local designer Kris Cole pulled off with her fashion show The Black Swan, I have to stop and give yet another round of applause. First of all, she upgraded from UrbArts to Polish Heritage Center and had a full house. Then she had the nerve to have nearly 40 models walking her solo show. And if I start praising her for her logistics – though the urban fashion shows have stepped their game up across the board, at least here in St. Louis – you almost always have to give some leeway as far as a start time delay or and end time that runneth over! I was impressed, and y’all know how hard it is to please me. And then, to top it all off, the outfits were cute. I didn’t want to go since I had a full plate as far as my social calendar. But I would have been mad at myself for missing it. Keep up the good work.