Tune into a conversation over oysters at The John Dory Oyster Bar, with my good friend & fashion photographer Joshua Woods. This Harlem native has captured photographs during fashion week, domestically and internationally for The Guardian, the New York Times, Document Journal, just to name a few. His client list includes Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Kenneth Cole.
Noisey: ATLANTA | WEBSTER HALL
A few days ago, I attended the screening of Noisey’s documentary-series, Atlanta at Webster Hall. The episodes shown, shed light on the Atlanta rap scene and illustrated the reality of what it is to live in the trap and the violence & drugs that surrounds it. At the end of the viewing there was an after party where Makonnen & Father performed in The Studio.
Makonnen perform live, changed my whole perception of him. He’s a weird kid and I say that in the most empowering way. He is not a fabricated figure whose appearance must match the music he creates. He’s a talented individual, who is comfortable in his creativity as an artist. Experiencing his performance makes you put your superficial opinions to the side and dive deeper into his music.
Like Makonnen, Father is a weird cat too –but in the best way. He performed “Look at wrist”, his most popular song right now that’s like inharmonious rhyme with an addictive chorus. Then Makonnen came through on stage with his popular track “Tuesday” and performed my current favorite, “Swerve.”
It was great to witness the chemistry among these two artist, since they both fall in such a peculiar sector in hip hop. The amalgamation of their creative aesthetic and distinct sound gives them such a great advantage in hip hop today. By standing out & being true to who they are, they have a definitely created a new lane. I am excited to see more of their work in full fruition.
Below are vines I captured from that night:
YUNG LEAN LIVE AT WEBSTER HALL
After a Monday night yoga class, I decided to yolo it and check out Yung Lean at Webster Hall. My decision was very impromptu as I was quite exhausted. However, my curiosity did not allow me to pass off the opportunity to watch Yung Lean perform live. I arrived at the venue and then BOOM –after an extensive search by security and $25 later, I was finally inside. I entered the massive smokey stage area on the second floor. The smoke was so thick one could only see the multifarious silhouettes in attendance. The audience was quite an eclectic crowd. Perhaps because it was a Monday night, that i did not see much the ‘youth’ in attendance.The majority seemed to be in their twenties which I thought was pretty cool.
Watching Yung Lean live was an intriguing experience. You have kid from across the ocean, hailing from Sweden interpreting hip hop through his own perspective and point of references. The dope thing about it all is that NYC is with it. I believe this is so because he has an authentic raw appeal. Watching him perform I was able to witness his passion and dedication to the craft. –But of course, most of his performance was pretty inaudible and difficult to comprehend. Still, there were moments where Yung Lean rap an a capella transitioning to the next song and the audience would finish the verse which amazed me.
Below are vine videos I captured from that night:
At the end of his performance I was really happy to have made a detour and attend.
Overall t’was a solid night.
R&B IN QUEENSBRIDGE
Last night, I had the great pleasure of watching a dope R&B performance by Jon B & J. Holiday. I was pleasantly surprised to hear other songs from Jon B. other than his most popular hit, “They Don’t Know”. In reality, I was floored! Who knew he had a song with 2pac? Who knew he worked with ODB and NAS? I knew that Jon B continued to work musically behind the scenes but I was so bewildered by the performances that I couldn’t help but laugh of joy for learning something new.
Then it was J. Holiday up next to the stage. I remember I heard his album after transferring my friend’s music into my Ipod mini, in my freshman year of college. I always felt that he was so talented and could have gone further than where his career took him. His album, Back of my Lac was a solid package. The content, his lyrics & the beats used on this album, were composed in a perfect arrangement for a successful career.
Unfortunately, I believe J. Holiday was one of the last R&B thugs. Timing is everything and R&B was losing popularity then in 2007. Trey Songz then dominated it by keeping fresh with more dynamic beats and collaborating with rappers. Perhaps that was the difference and why he fell off. Alas, I’m still a J. Holiday fan at heart, still rooting for him to succeed. Peep my adventure to Queensbridge Park through my vines below.
A while back, I was greeted by a sweet powdery smell at one of my favorite spots, the David Zwirner Gallery. Here Karla Black’s work was featured in a large open room that looked like a fantasy world made out of cotton candy.
The entrance of the room, held strips of Sellotape suspended from the ceiling above a powdered sheet of white and light pink stripes on the floor. In the back section there were sheets of paper and plastic also suspended from the ceiling, with shapeless tombstone-like structures standing over they sky blue powdered sheet on the floor. The work was divided into two by color with a precise line.
The materials she used were quite alluring because at a quick glance one wouldn’t have guessed what they were made of. The work consisted of powder, soap, gels, pastes and typical tools chalk, paint, and plaster.
Overall, the exhibit was an interesting because of it was a physical experience. Peep my vine to get a better feel.
SISQO IN BROWNSVILLE
I can’t believe I had the opportunity to experience Sisqo for free last night in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Sincerely it was one of the funnest times I had in a while. People from the Brownsville community came out, the djs from the radio station WBLS rocked the audience & Sisqo reminded everyone that he will always be a dynamic entertainer.
Sisqo came through with his platinum blonde hair and silver chain ready to rock it! He performed his popular songs, as well as a few Dru Hill songs leaving the audience was happily pleased. His choreography was very animated which remains true to Sisqo’s form. Oh yea– he also flipped on one hand on stage a few times…like it was nothing.
He thank everyone for supporting him and said that the album, ‘Unleash the Dragon” sold 11 million copies worldwide! Just to put things in perspective, according to Billboard, last year’s top-selling album was Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” which only sold 2.43 million.
There were no problems and no beef in Brownsville, just a good time rocking with the community, singing along to great jams and classic hip hop from the 80s & 90s. Overall, I had a phenomenal time thanks to summerstage!
Peep some vines capturing this free concert: