Tag Archive | hip hop

The Music Filled Edition

First of all, I have decided I hate taking a cab in the D.C. area. Taking cabs in other parts of the country usually only involve disinterested drivers that chat on their cell phones the entire ride, or crazy drivers taking the long way to make more money, or stinky cabs. But in D.C., they won’t even pick you up. I think that is of course, the worst. Okay now that I got that off of my chest, back to our regularly schedule blogging.

Last week, I missed an opportunity to see the Lianne La Havas show, because Smokey (my car, which is named after Smokey Robinson or possibly its color) decided to act up. I was okay with this because I couldn’t decide if I liked her CD or not. However, some tweets I saw claimed the concert was a success. Maybe next time.

new orleans bingoOn Saturday, I was back on schedule with a filthy loaner, complete with a cigarette butt and abandoned M&M. I will admit I prefer a clean inside of car rather than outside of car. I wonder what that says about me. I prefer the part of the car I see the most, the interior, to be clean rather than have shiny rims and a spotless finish. Last weekend, my month of things procured from a discount service continues. I picked up a discount deal to the New Orleans Bingo! Show at the Kennedy Center. I haven’t been to the Kennedy Center since I saw Stevie Wonder like three years ago. I used to go all the time for their free events and something weird happened. Oh now I remember, I am stuck working in the Northern Virginia suburbs which to me is like working in a Playskool village. Look at the Whole Foods on every corner!

Anyway, I decided to go because the Kennedy Center posted a video of Big Freedia and I was in love. I will admit I was a little worried that the regular KenCen crowd would attend this event and be flabbergasted by twerking and booty clapping. Turns out, I was right and it was awesome. The entire event is hard to describe. There is music, bingo, burlesque, skits, traditional New Orleans jazz by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (I think this tricked the old people into attending) and Big Freedia. The bingo winner received a giant spoon, which had to be won by a robot dancing contest after a tie. One of the KenCen dames made an executive decision to go for the gusto and another gave it a nice college try.

Big Freedia came out in a God-awful weave along with two additionally terribly weaved female dancers and two male dancers. Bounce music is my shizznit as I am from Detroit and our main dance output is shaking our rumps rhythmically (see Beyonce’s Uh Oh, which is actually a Detroit dance called the Booty Hop) and jitting (which I don’t even know how to spell). The dancers did lots of wonderful gyrating and booty popping that some of the KenCen folks weren’t ready for. Hilariously, the couples behind me (my section was mostly young) joked that they would pay a million dollars to see the looks of the more seasoned attendees’ faces during that segment. I got a firsthand download en route to the ladies room, when a woman said to her husband, “That last act was weird, huh?” To which the still mesmerized hubby replied, “Sure.”

I think the event really needed New Orleans food to cap it off. Man, is New Orleans food delicious. Wait…what happened? Oh, yea. The evening was awesome, three hours of pure fun.

Row of Bar StoolsNext, I attended the bi-annual Old School Hip Hop Bar Crawl. I arrived in time for the second set, which was this awful mix of popular hip hop songs over reggae beats. Despite the hair, I hate reggae except for watered down pop reggae, so I hate reggae. I gave that a whopping 24 minutes. See, how much more patient I am becoming. We moved on the 80’s and 90’s New York set, which was filled with wondrous songs I had never heard of. I get that the DJ wanted to stand out and not lean on popular songs, but I had to Sound Hound a lot. The event ended with Mobb Deep’s Shook Ones and that helped. Unfortunately, my favorite DJ from the last event helmed the only spot to get decent food. I was hungry as cereal only lasts so long. I could only hear the Native Tongues vs. Wu Tang set faintly. But it was probably great based on past experience.

Next was the Rock-A-Fella, Ruff Ryders and Flip Mode set. What happened to Rah Digga? I loved her. I never purchased any of her stuff but she was nice. Oh, I think I recognized the problem. Last, we went to the final set at Tabaq. We choose to go upstairs and I don’t remember why.  I do love the rooftop view but was forced to listen to Feist as the music from the bar crawl didn’t reach that far. This was redeemed by the fact that the bartender gave me a free shot that I shouldn’t have taken in hindsight. And he performed the sexy straw trick. I am a sucker for the sexy straw trick. All in all, it was a great weekend. For outings. It wasn’t perfect as I was without Smokey. I ended the weekend by giving Mad Men deep concentration. (darn shot!).

2012 – The Year That Was

“Have more fun in 2013” – Nas

Courtesy of Hip Hop Wired

Courtesy of Hip Hop Wired

I spent my last day in 2012 at Radio City Music Hall listening to Nas. The concert was amazing (a little too short) and being in NYC on NYE is an experience all its own. It was the end to a unique, but not quite, year. 2012 occurred with no major life changes: no new job, romance, accomplishment. That could be why I was so disenchanted with it. 2012 marked a significant birthday as I graduated from the cool kids club, without feeling it at all. I spent the aforementioned birthday at the opening of a new supper club, that I am not sure still exists. I wasn’t impressed and didn’t check on its progress.

I decided that I needed to push myself more, personally. I am the kind of person who can stand up to a 6’4” screaming E9 in the office or climb a mountain in a foreign country, but won’t speak to a stranger at a party. Thus, I vowed to go out more and take chances. None of these things I like, by the way.

To recap my year, I am using the same system I’ve employed since 3rd grade. It first starts with best friends and new friends. I did make a few new friends, so go me!

Favorite TV Shows:

  1. Parks and Recreation
  2. Scandal
  3. Chopped

Least Favorite Show:

Who has time for that?

Favorite New Show:

Nashville

Fun Fads:

  1. Ridiculous VH1 Reality Shows
  2. over-the-top nails,

Sports:

My Pistons weren’t good this year and my Tigers were swept at the World Series

Best Concert:

So difficult… as I went to a lot of great shows, but I’ll give it to Nas, since he was  last

Honorable Mention:

Summer Spirit Festival, since I went free and Sharon Jones is awesomeness

Best Songs:

This was not a great new music year for me, meaning that I really haven’t been  exploring music like I should. That should be something I vowed to change in 2013

Favorite Movie:

Honestly, the only movie I thought about a week even after viewing was The Silver Linings Playbook. I just loved it.

Honorable Mention:

The Avengers, because I was so amazed that they pulled it off

Funniest Moment:

There will be a ham. This line represents the ridiculousness of my work environment perfectly

Strangest Moment:

That awful wind storm in June, plus I was stuck driving in it

Worst Moment:

Having my car towed, darn it

Fun Moments:

  1. All the moments on this blog, of course
  2. The annual Boo Bash
  3. Finally visiting South Beath

Favorite spots:

  1. Panera, which shouldn’t be shared but I eat there once a week, lol
  2. My beloved yoga studio, a good one is hard to find
  3. Queen Makeda/1920, who knew I’d be happy going to the same spot every  week

Favorite meal:

Drag Brunch in Miami, honey

Regrets:

Oh my

Highlights:

  1. Achieving a headstand in yoga, I joke that this is my single biggest accomplishment this year
  2. Completing The Warmth of Other Suns, as that was a long book

Third Week of November

My third week in November—second on a $30 entertainment budget—included only one outing. I was scheduled to attend an Omega Psi Phi Founders Day event for the odd price of $16.24; however, plans changed. A friend of a friend’s mother died, which required immediate attention. 2012 forever will be remembered for me as the year of parental death. So many of my friends and former classmates had parents die this year. This is especially difficult because childhood friends’ parents have more of an indelible mark on your life than current friends’ parents, due to the fact you remember eating at their houses, seeing them at outings, watching them drive you around. It’s a different relationship.

Gentleman Jack Logo on the Andrew Mellon Auditorium Ceiling

For my lone outing I attended the Gentleman Jack’s Art, Beats + Lyrics. I typically never wait in line, outside for anything. Even, Black Friday (post forthcoming), I just arrive right before doors open and just glide in. So this event tested my patience. I arrived not at the start, 7p, because I heard the lines are long and figured that arriving later would allow for the line to die down. This was remarkably untrue. I began to lose my patience after about 30 minutes of waiting in the cold and my lack of knowing anyone important enough to let me cut the line. However, I discovered that friends were slightly ahead of me and got an impressive 30-40 people jump, which isn’t worth telling. The event was a mix of art, music and drinks. Free drinks have an amazing ability to go quickly. Upon entering, we immediately entered the drink line, where we received the last of the last of the specialty cocktails. Good thing for that 30 person jump.
The first act was Mansions on the Moon. A casual onlooker remarked that they sounded a bit like U2. I could hear that slightly. They had a rhythmic guitar sound that is reminiscent of the Irish band. It made for great background music to view the art on display. Next, was Shock G of Digital Underground, the fun hip hop group from the 90’s, which sadly is best known for launching Tupac. He prompted a contest amongst my friends to name all of the Digital Underground songs that we could. Boy, was that a sad output. He could actually play an instrument, which impressed me more than his attempts to get people to jump up and down. People waited in line too long in the cold for this to actually happen, maybe if it was a beach concert. He did more songs than we remembered as we forgot Kiss You Back, which is shocking (no pun intended) because I owned that song in high school, back when you could buy singles on cassette for .99 cents, pre-iTunes.
Finally, we were treated to Scarface, whose songs I definitely remembered. He came out playing the guitar!!! This was awesome. Then he sang some Led Zeppelin, thanks Twitter as I don’t know 70’s rock music at all. It really is a black hole of my music knowledge. This was not as awesome. I became concerned that since this was a free event we would be treated to those weird artistic shows that Billy remarked on in Purple Rain that only satisfy the artist. However, Scarface said that he was just bullshitting and moved on to the hip hop he was famous for.

As for the art, it wasn’t my taste. It verged a bit on the kind of artwork you see on t-shirts at festivals and fairs. However, I love faces and these items were my favorites. I thought Mansions on the Moon made a better backdrop for perusing arts, as Shock G and Scarface took attention away from the exhibits, the make your own art installation and the not sure if it was ironic opportunity to take a group picture (the kind you saw in clubs in the 90’s and that my college crew refused to take). Meanies! Now, I have absolutely nothing capturing that part of my life.

I might go again if I can find the will to stand in line again. However, it was free, which means more money for next week. Yay!