Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Hiya outside people, this is your beat reporter ma'atology here. I been to a lot of stuff this past week so like a rabbit let's hop to it....Last Thursday, I attended the Roberts Brothers' UPN Fall Party at the Orpheum Theater. It was to celebrate the the new fall season of local and national shows. Hundreds of the Roberts Brothers' clients attended this invited only shindig (can you say NET WORK!) and the motif was a Circus Du Soilee (they changed the last part to SOIREE--That was cute) kind of feel. They had rope climbers, fire eaters and the whole nine. They even had sisters in body paint and weraing barely anything to the imagination (Talk about bare necessities!) It was a nice touch. It was hosted by Mike Roberts' brood--Mike Jr (who needs a personality!!!) and Jeannie Roberts, who have their own entertainment talk show on UPN 46(They were taping some live interviews at the spot, too. I have yet to see their show cause I'm busy gettin my party on) that air at 10pm on Saturday nite (must be nice to have a rich daddy to give you an opportunity to have your own show). I hear that the show will be syndicated pretty soon. The Roberts wore ringmaster suits and top hats when they addressed teh crowd and told them that they are opening another UPn station in Columbia, Mo. pretty soon and that the new lofts across from the WS Hotel are open for those to rent. I guess I'll just take out my last two dollars and get to applying for those! But I kid, I kid. Anyway, the soiree was very nice. They had a booth where people can get their pic taken for FREE and they had jumbo shrimp, teriyaki chicken, free drinks and a dessert tray. Afterward, they had teh stage area set for people to get there paty on with a discoesque dee-jay space booth whose booth was sky high (picture the booth on the flick, "Thank God Its Friday"). Most people talked and ate, but I must say, when the Roberts Brothers throw on a party, you best believe I am there. In the house were Tavia Evans, Bill Beene, Daniel Brown, Ali Mosier, Maurice Meredith, Eric Rhone, Monica Butler, P Dub and Virvus Jones...
Saturday afternoon was Part One of Taste of St. Louis, an outside venue that took up 9th and 11th streets near Market in downtown St., Louis. It was definitely a taste--if you had some cash to taste. No freebeies here. Anyway, I got a chance to taste of few things. It was more than 30 vendore to choose from from Murphy Lees veggie resturant Good For You cafe to the St. Louis Bread Company. They also had planty of Southern Comfort booths for people to get drunk off of (they sponsored for teh most part the concert shows that took place). I tried out the cocount shrimp at Red Moon and some crawfish pasta at Monarchs, a new dining place that is located on Manchester near Big Bend. The pasta was off the chain I must say. I then walked around and saw that they had artist booths set up for people to various sculpures, face paintings, live drawings(CBABI was in teh house doing his thing) , and body art. I then walked over to teh littel area where they had a cook off for the Bets Chef. Zip Rzeppa hosted this (Remeber him from back in teh Channel 2 Days when he had the Zippo Awards). No freebeies, but it was cool seeing teh chefs getting their cook on. I had one strange occurrence during my frist day there. Thsi drunken white man with yellow teeth walked up on me and said, "Hi.: Now, you know to confront a black man like that and not kno wthem can mean trouble. But I playe dit off and said hi back to him. Then he said. "They should have this festival more often." Then grinned from ear to ear. All I could do was look at his teeth and wanted to say badly "Do you kno wthe way to a tooth brush?"I gave him a MODICUM of a smiel and just said, "Yeah." and walked off. Maybe it was my muscle shirt that got him to talk to me. Who knows. I stayed there for about a couple of hours and left (I found out the Neville Bros. were going on at 9 pm and I couldnt stay that long to see them) cause I wanted to get ready for Boy George who was coming throgh The Formula for its grand opening. They have been teasing this for the past three months with sneak previews and such, but that night was the night of their opening. So I called up my party crew, Christiaan and Kam and let them know I was going there . I got there about 11 pm and it was a nice crowd. Picture Queer as Folk meets CLub 54 and who have the type of people up in there. With an icon like Boy George, he is going to draw a very diverse crowd. They also had a live model billboard set up where teh models modleed clothes and stood like mannequines. that was a creative touch, The designs were provided by SKYLAR, most of the attire was 80s punk rock fashions--Madonna, Boogaloo Shrimp-breakin' chic I call it (Jamelle and Brandon were two of the 15 or so models who were live mannequins). Some of the VIps up in there were Marquecia Meadows, Bill Beene, Monica, Kevin Johnson, and Brian. So we were waiting....and waiting....and waiting for teh Boyster to appear. In the meantime, the club just swelled with people . It had to have been over 800 up in there waiting to catch a glimpse of him. As we waited, the crowd srted to get queerer and queerer. It was one white guy who dressed as though he could have been Elvira or Stevie Nicks' brother , wearing a gypsy-like knee length black dress (Oh and Andrea Hayes who was doing the bartending up in there now she was not playing when she wore a leotard w/nude stockings up in there showing what her mamma gave her!) . There was also a white lady who dressed as though he could have been Elvis younger brother with teh sideburns and everything. But thats not the half of it, they got so buckwild up in there, some same sex couples started kisisng each other up in there. WHOA #1, then this black guy walks up to his white guy, grabs the white guy's shoulders from behind and simulated thrusting into his backside. NOW THAT WAS TOO MUCH PLAYING to the point that some peopel I knew left out cause of the occurrence. Good thing I am open minded to all kinds of persuasions and proclivities, cause I would have joined the ones who left out after seeing that. Anyway, it was around 1 in teh morn when the Boy finally came through and you definitely heard the change in the crowd when he did show up. They screamed and cheered as though they saw God himself. He had on a black thing-a-ma-jig and wore his hair platinum blonde and had on red lmascara on his eyes. I was even gettin into his vibe. I mean Boy George is an icon and he paved the way for people to be themsleves and be accepted in the mainstream for his art and singing. He got on the 1s and 2s and strated spinning jams for the crowd and drinking shots, thats all he did. He didnt sing or anything like that (a disappointment), but the crowd didnt seem to care just as long as they saw him there. I stayed for about abother 20 minutes and rolled off to teh East Side for a minute to Club Illusion to get some of that good ghetto chicken cause a brotha was starved. Then, I rolled back to the west side to check out the latter part of Toxic where they had Roots drummer Quest Love spinning on the 1s and 2s for the club crowd. It was cool, but when I got here , the crowd was dispanding, but I did get my two-club pop on though....
On Sunday, I checked out the second part of Taste of ST. Louis, where the Roots were performing. My boy Kam was able to join me for this. It was rough trying to find a parking spot (I got lucky Saturday finding a free parking meter spot on Pine STreet) but I managed to find one (I had to go on Tucker to get some gas becaus ei ran out trying to find a parking space) on 8th and Locust at a parking lot and walked aboiut six blocks headed South. It was straight New York walkin for real, but it was worth it. No way I was paying 10 bones for a parking space near where all the Baseball cardinal games were playing(those were the Days!) . Anyway, I got there about 5 p.m., got me some Funky Chicken at the Top of the Riverfront booth, got a southern comfort slushie, met up with Kam and we walked near the front of the stage to get a good view of the Roots when they came out (they were scheduled at 6pm but we had to wait about another half hour cause the event holders wanted to wait until the Cardinals game let out to more folks up in there--I GUESS) . As we waited, DJ Rob Swift of the X-ecutioners was gettin his mix on on the 1s and 2s of hip-hop form old and new. When the Roots came, it was nothin but a hodge podge of rock, hip-hop, jazz and everything in between (even using beats from other peopels joints like Ameries' One Thing and Ying Yang's Wait ). They even did snippets of other poeple's joints like Talib's Get By, Ray Charles' What Id Say and LL's "I need Love.". The band members are way too talented, espcecilaly the bass and lead gutiarists who was givving you serious Stanley Clarke and Jimi hendrix respectively and of course Questlove the drummer, doing his thing all the time. . I nearly lost my white cowboy hat I was wearing from bopping my head to the non stop groove. They played about a 90 minute set. Jay Z is smart for signing them to Def Jam. They definitely need a record boost in their careers. They are too talented just to be a concert band. They need to sell some records, for real. We chilled around and heard DJ Rob Swift of the X-ecutioners do his thing on the 1s and 2s he was cuttin everything from Public Enemy, to Blck Rob to Pac. After that, Me and Kam saw some familiar faces (it was more blacks on Sunday than on Saturday BTW), like Christiaan, Kevin Johnson, Coco Soul and Brian, then we walked around a bit, sat on a tabel and people watched (I saw Wiley Price and Mary Winbush all snugly,hmmm, must be love) As we people watched, the rock group Live was about to perform. Meanwhile, me and Kam were having a discussion about 2Pac and what was the name of his CD that had the cut Dear Mama on it. We mangled our brains trying to figure it out (It wasnt 2pacalypse, or All Eyez on Me) and for the next few minutes tried to find someone who can help us out on our dilemma. As thsi was going on, there were two white couples next to us who were playing invisible football (don't ask), but Kam said to me, "Is that some money own there next to them?" I said yes, and started to strategize as far as how was I going to step my foot on it and get it, by the time I contemplated the move, someone nearby picked it up. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMN! Oh well, so kam saw this younger cat in nappy braids and cap who was wearing some headphones and asked him if he was a 2 pac fan and he was like, mos def, and he asked him what was pac's CD that had Dear Mama on it and he was like, "Well, you know 2pac had a lot of Cds out" (I'm like uh, that was not the question.) Then the brotha gave us this long drawn out speech about after 2pac died, rap started getting wack and who was the best locla rapper out there. I tuned him out after that and he told us he would be back. By the tiem, he left, Kam said, "Me Against the World." That was right. I hate to think about stuff that I cant think of at teh time, and think about it and get the right answer to something when you dont have to think about it anymore. Meanwhile rock group Live was performing (that cleared away the black folks of course). Anyway, by the time, we got the right answer, the youngster came back and asked if he had change for the bus. RULE #1, dont spend all your money at an event, and dont have money to get back home. HELLO!!! Soon after that, Kam and I rolled out....
This past Monday i was an invited to a media only CD listening party at the Empire Room at the Chase Park Plaza to celebrate the release of local female rapper Ebony Eyez' debut CD, Seven Day Cycle that is dropping in stores Oct 14(That is her on the pic you see in the upper right hand corner of my blog. I took a sexy pic with her at the media party, that I hope to get uploaded within the following days. Hurry up Chantal! LOL) Anyway, it was an intimate setting, with free martinis, crab cakes and shrimp. The ople invited were schmoozing and getting acquainted. It started around 6:30 p.m., but I goit there about 7:30 p.m. cause I was just coming back from the gym and got the call from Terri about thsi earlier that morning. When I showed up, EE was not there. She had to make her grand entrance. As we waited, the VIps were in the house. They were the Post's Kevin Johnson(I TOLD YOU I WASNT GONNA TELL. LOL) , Chantal of inbox, Khalil of Rolling Out, Reno of Toxic, Mike Roberts Jr, Track Boyz' Capo, Katie Duke, Monica, and STL videoman Dana Christian (Youknow you got some LOOOOOOOOOOOONG-----dreads.) But the questions on peoples' lips were where is local producer James Glasco and, STL American's Bill Beene. Well Glasco is one of those brothers who do music for the love and not for the fame. I like cats like him. I wisjh many people in the biz were like him (KEEP SELLING THEM HOUSES MAN! LOL) . As far as Bill Beene, well, according to Delores Shante's Partyline this week, EE did not give the American love when it came to getting them a CD for review. And you know what that means--I knwo from experience that if yoy dis the American who gave you your start, you will get dissed right back. So, that's probably why he was a no show. So, when EE arrived, she was gracious to everybody (her boyfriend also came-a light skinned brother who looke dmuch younger than her) As the evening progressed, I had the opportunity to interview EE about her careeer that was videotaped by Dana (Who knows where you will find it aired, I'll keep you posted) . It was all impromptu, but the professional I am, I winged it. So e hsta in some comfy sofa chairs and got to talking.
The following is my transcript of what that interview consisted of:
Ma'at: So, the new CD, talk a little bit about that.
EE: I'm signed to Trackboyz' Capitol Records, I had a year to work on the album and the name of the CD is Seven Day Cycle. I picked that name for a few reasons, it was seven years to finally get to this point, you know what I'm saying and I listen to the album, it's kind of like I'm telling how a woman's work is never done. Seven days a week we're always grinding, whether we 're at home, stay at home mom, working on a nine to five, just grinding, seven days, a continuous cycle. The Track Boyz did the majority of the production, we got a few guys from St. Louis, DJ Beats, Lil Ben and a guy out of L.A. Other than that, I tried to keep it within the family and it turned out good, real hot. This is my baby (laughs)...
Ma'at: The first single, "In Ya Face." You talked a little bit about that in the recent RFT (Riverfront Times ) article , talk a little bit about that single.
EE: "In Ya Face" wasent meant to be taken so literally. Some people were like OH MY GOD, WHAT IS SHE SAYINgG. It was more of those situations where after myself and a lot of other women I know one too many times, guys were coming up who wanted us to bend over , drop it here, and do that, so this guy was like ,"Let me see you bend over." I was like, "Bend over?" I said, "Okay, well let me put my ass in your face." And I was like, HMMM, you know what I'm saying, so I told the Trackboyz the idea, and you know we made the record and put it out in the clubs and see what people thought of it and it ended up catching like wildfire and made a video for it [which was filmed at the City Museum earlier this year , BTW]
Ma'at: Did you write any of songs on the CD?
EE: I write everything. Everything I say, I write. I will say, the Track Boyz, some of the hooks we did collaborate on.
Ma'at: Whats your favorite song on the CD?
EE: Right now its my second single, "Take Me Back."
Ma'at: A plug ofr the second single (laughs)
EE: Definitely (laughs) "Take me Back "is the one right now. We just shot the video in Atlanta, everybody be on the look out for that one real soon.
Ma'at: With you being the first female rapper in the STL, do you find your self in any kind of pressure?
EE:I dont think the pressure is on me. If there is any pressure, it's gotta be on someone else. Right now, I'm just riding it out, grinding, working hard, and everyone seem to be very responsive to it. So, I'm just hoping to do well enough to open the doors for other females from St. Louis to follow. Its time for the ladies to be heard.
Ma'at : Whats next up for you?
EE: Next up, we are trying to get on tour with Jeezy, TI, and Paul Wall, trying to be the opening act for that. So I'm keeping fingers crossed on that. I'm working on my mixtape right now and get that out in the streets and I'm trying to write movie scripts.
Ma'at:I hear that a lot from you in other publications.
EE:(excitingly) Yeah, that where I'm ultimatly gonna be the big picture for me.
Ma;at: What kind of scripts do you write?
EE: Comedy. Me and a friend of mine, who I used to rap with, we used to be in a group called Nassir[sic], me and her been vibing a lot lately , so trying to make that happen eventually, but I got of work to do, definitely an amateur right now and I don't mind admitting it.
Ma'at: The name Ebony Eyez, how did you come up with that?
EE:My real name is Ebony and when I was small, it used to be a nickname and I used to be in a rap group when I was like 10 or 11, and Double E was my name back then and it stood for Ebony Eyez, so I just decided to adopt it when I started taking rap very seriously.
Ma'at: What do you se eyourself 10 years from now, still in the business?
EE:Ten years from now, that's a hard one to say , but I knwo I'd definitely have a couple of books out, movie scripts, trying to get everyone on the big screen and see my name on the credits, you know, written by Ebony Eyez, that's my ultimate goal at this moment.
After that, I continued mingling and Kevin Johnson gave me some scoop on coemdian Mike Epps' personlaity. He interviewed him for a preview story about him coming to the Lou with Charlie Murphy at the Fox this coming up Staurday and Kev was telling me he asked him about being comfortable as a sidekick in the flicks he has acted in with Ice Cube and Cedric and Kev said britha went ballistic and said that is NOt a sidekick and he shared equal billing just like them. I was like what wassup with Epps? It was Cube who gave him his start and no one knew who he was before until "Next Friday" came out? What was he tripping off of?. Then Kev told that he said that he did not care for "The Honeymooners" cause the flick did not represent black folks and he had nothing to do with the creative process of the flick. Well, yeah, to a certain degree. For one the film was mostly shot in IRELAND, where there are NO black folks that I no of are on the Census Bureau register. But Kev said his attitude was very arrogant and that is unfortunate becasue he seeme dto be easy going, but I guess with fame, thats what happens. We'll see how well he does when he portrays Richard Pryor and see how comfy when he is doing a MAJOR LEAD ROLE of a legend and there's no sidekick to fall back on. Uh-huh. Good thing Charlie Murphy is humble. Its good and that will take him very far cause he's been at iut for years, longer than Epps and he is able to embrace his fame and run with it Anyway, I stayed for a another hour or so and left out. I tried to slip through Mike Jones' Football Watch PArty that was happening at Cafe Eau, but they was not letting me in regardless if I was press or not. I didnt sweat it and just bounced.
This past Tuesday was PArt Two of Ebony Eyez' CD party, this time it was for the public, and it was FREE at Toxic. And when I say free I mean Free, (well the drinks were not free). And the thug critters were out and about in there. Packed like Neo Ice Cream in a carton. Kam and I rolled up in there, all up in the spotlights standing on the raised paltform on the edge where the VIp seats were so people can see us as they pass by (All I had to drink was a Corona, can you beleive it!!!!). I was being super sexy that night. I had on thsi tight brown butterfly collar short sleeve shirt half buttoned down showing my chestes and these African custom made jeans that had everybody talking. Well, I have to be Ma'at, regardless if every1ne else was wearing thug gear. Anyway, up in the place where I saw my braidstylist Lily, and she commeneted and told me that I was just showing too much chest. Hmm, I must have got her WUH going. LOl. Anyway, Kam and I walked upstairs to teh VIP area where I saw Kevin Johnson, Coco Soul, Chingy and his enterouge (who arrived after 1 am) , Thompson, Chocolate Tai, Blu Bolden, Dana Christian, and Isis Jones to name a few. As we chilled and talked, ate mostocooli and spicy and fried wings, the performances of the night finally got going around 1:30 in the morn. Toxic kills me with this late late night concert stuff. I guess the stragtegy is, keep people there as long as possible, hostage, get it packed as much as possible and then give them a show. Thats all fine, but during the weekday is not cute. Oh some HPNOTIQ girls (one being Miss model Jamelle) were passing out blue glow sticks for people to purchase HPNOTIQ, but all I saw were peopel putting the sticks in their mouths, hands and over their ear. But gettin back to this late late night performance stuff over the weeday, folks gotta make some scratch, Okay. Anyway, they had some opening acts including King Jacob, and The All Stars feat. Potzee (Thier song that had them rapping a screeching car sound was hilarious to me) . then Ebony Eyez graced stage. this sista had on a tight leather jumpsuit with designer boots with rainbow trimmings on them. She definitely looked like a star. She performed snippets off her CD (Oh DJ AJ and Charlie Chan did their thing on the 1s and 2s all nite BTW). For some reason, fellas did not feel her. They nodded their heads, but that was it. The sistas were into her cause well she was speaking to them. As she performed, this sista walked up behind me and said she couldnt see downstairs where teh stage was. I was leaning on the railing and chilling. She said if she could squeeze in between Kam and I and, I said sure. Then she started grinding her pelvis on my backside. I was like now, if I did this to her, she would sport lumps on my skull. Ya feel me. But I let her do whateva. Getting back to Eyez, when she performed In YA Face, the place just went crazy. That explosive beat is infectuous and definitely should have been a #1 hit on the charts nationwide for real (it barely squeaked into the Billboard R&B 100 charts so I hear). Then Eyez just went bananas and started to nino poppin at the last instrumental break of her song. The crowd went even crazier from her dance moves (She kept cussin up a storm too saying how hot she u was--as in swaetin, dabbin her grill with a towel). She definitely knows how to rock the house and her voice is definietly distinctive--kind of reminds me of MC Lyte back in her day and littel bot of Lil Kim, too. Before she left the stage she said that STL needs to support Stl rappers cause they are working hard trying to make a name for STL, then she said that we nee dto support artsist who come from STl like Nelly, Chingy, J-Kwon, Penelope, Potzee, All Stars, King Jacob, St. Lunatics (She forgot to mention P-Dub, Hmmm) that got a generous amount of applause. Soon after she and her enetrouge walked upstairs to VIP and girlfriends hair was sweated out, looking liek a wet poodle and she was fussin with somebody in VIP asking them why didnt they come downstairs and rocked the house with her. I grabbed the lower part of her arm, but her attention was on whomever she was speaking too. Oh well, so much for media courtesy. Around this time, it was nearly 3 am and peopel were leaving out. Kam and I split. I just had a feeling all nite that something wa sabout to go down. It was too many Thug roaches for something not to go down. By the time I got to my car. there were more than 10 police cars racing to get to Toxic. Come to find out someone was fighting up in there, but by the time, the cops got there, the fighting stopped. They must have been waiting in the bushes for something to happen up in there. Thats why I dont like going to clubs where there is a very young urban ghetto scene. Someone has to act crazy (But then again the scuffle at Seven a couple of weeks ago with GROWN Up Keith Harris caught everyone by surprise). But overall, it was great turnout for STL, and with it being free to get in, paid by Eyez, did help matters and the support just as much.
Well, I know this was a bit much, but as popular as the site is gettin', I gotta maintain. Up next, the Mike Epps/Charlie Murphy comedy show at the Fox, and the return of 5 spot at Club Dreams (formerly Kastle) and any thing else that will come up. Until next time, see ya outside!