Friday, March 17, 2006
Hello cyberfans! This is Ma'at giving you the regular 411 on what is happening in the Lou. This week, I am posting two blogs. My normal one here and a special edition blog following this blog on my interview with the cast and crew of the Alton based film, Pieces of a Dream. OK lets get on with the gettin while the gettin is good!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Last Thursday, rapper Chingy had his 26th B-day party at Pepper Lounge. I was was one of the unlucky ones who didnt get the 50 or so RSVP email back to the sponsors of this Hispter Magazine but it is all good. I heard that the party was like the Maxim Magazine Party there a few months ago with people who were not on the RSVP list were able to get in ( I also heard that most of the crowd was mostly white. But more interestingly, I heard that Chingy and his bodyguard was at the Shell Gas Station off Highway 70 taking the Lucas and Hunt exit before hitting the party. What was going on there? I wonder what car they were gassing up? In unrelated Chingy news, did you know that he will be in the next "Scary Movie" film series? It suppose to come out April 14. In it, I beleive he's playing himself. Hopeit's not that much of a stretch!
Last Friday, I went to my girl Ingrid Owens (pictured in the center of my blog) fundraising party held at the Formula (for more oin her campaign go to ingridowens.com) . She is running for the 74th District Rep and I came through to support(Did you save any of those chocolate strawberries for me? LOL) . Man, she is one trooper. she wa stelling about how the haters are treating her , but keep your head up, ma. It was a little skim as far as the people when I got there (I got therr when they opened). But I paid my 10 bones for a donation to her campaign and greeted with the elect hopeful. While there, I also chatted with Clear Channel Sales rep Pierre Troupe (who is related to Mo. State Rep Charles Quincy and poet Quincy) who was talking about how the radio biz has changed since he was in the game and Formula owner Sonja Brascomb who said she wished she was going to the R Kelly concert (which was going on later that night) and that someone offered her two tix but for close to a 1,000 or so dollars a piece. She was like, "For that kind of money, R Kelly better pee on me." I was dying when she said that! Maybe she was playing and giving me a taste of her stand up act that she has been doing lately at the Improv and all but it was all good. I understood what she was saying. She also told me that she was throwing an aftrpoarty for some of the cast of the play "Issues' when it hit the Fox later on this month. Scheduled to attend are cast members Angie Stone, Kim Fields and Sonia's good friend Mel Jackson (who is the light skinned brotha who played on "Deliver Us From Eva.")
After a few more chats and chews, I drove to the Fox to meet up with my buddy girl Tiffani Blackmore for the R Kelly concert that was going down at the Fox. After I found her walking up Grand from Enright, and bearing the STL hawk, we got our tix (VIP3 section) and went into the Fox hoping we wouldnt be late. NOT. The following is my review of the concert:
R Kelly becomes Mr. Showbiz for STL fans at the Fox
A sold out crowd came out to see controversial singer R Kelly. Although the R came out on stage an hour late (with no explanation as to why but there were rumors including a supposed 30 minute video was suppsoed to open up his show), but after dozens of classic soul hits blasting from the speakers, the lights went down, the cheers began and the show was about to go on.
The 90 plus minute set started off with a bang as a black silouhette of the megastar appeared to be walking (with loud walking accompanied SFX) up toward the staircase with white lights around him only lighting up the Michael Jackson styled hat, tie, gloves, and shoes. Then, he proceeded to do a Star Wars like gestures ala the Gloved One to make the stage lights appear with the stroke of his hand.
After that, the show, turned to a melody driven set with a band playing with programmed tracks, background singers lip synching R Kelly's background tracks, and the man himself takling liberties to sing live and on track. Yet, the R&B thug did not deter his legions of fans who stood up through all of the concert yielding that R Kelly, beside his personal troubles, can still hold an audience with his music and voice.
The highlights of the show( beside the opening) were his testing out two songs yet recorded accapello style, the double entendre songs, "In the Kitchen" and "The Zoo" (which yielded a moan call for women as thoughthey were a monkey in the wild). Another was his surprising hip-hop dancing with his scantily clad female dancers (from Nino Popping to Lean with it Rock with it) while the music from STL rappers Chingy and Nelly's "Right Therr" and "Grillz" and D4L's "Laffy taffy" played.
An unsual moment in the show occurred when R Kelly was about to perform his soap opera drama hit song, "Trapped in the Closet." (which was one of the few songs he performed completely) As there was a prop of a closet was placed at the center of the stage and the song was played, one had to visualize the music video to keep interested as the closet was the only thing the crowd saw until he opened the door during mid-way into the song. He then proceeded to act out all of the parts (even mimicking the gay guy Chuck) lip synching all the way (akin to his performance at this year's MTV Music Awards).
But the R redeemed himself when he changed into his stepper white clothes and did a medley of "Step In the Name of Love" and its sequel "Happy People" and had some members of the crowd to come on stage to join him step.
Overall the show ws OK. It lacked the heavily scripted production of his show in 2001 when he ws at the Fox to promte the CD, "R," but he was intriguing enough to hold people's attention. -30-
There were several afterparties going on after the R Kelly show, the official ones were at Toxic and Plush (a twofer). One of my source bugs went to the one at Toxic and said that he showed up and went upstairs in VIP and had ladies come through only. Downstairs there was a throne like chair on stage to make it fit for a king. But other than that, that was all that was happening. Good thing I didnt go cause I would have been upset only seeing the top of his head surrounded by a beavy of hoochies. You would have also thought the Loft was where the after party was casue what I hear there was line in front of the club before the concert even started. Now that is too much playing. when I tried to drive through there, the line could have stretched the length of Grand where the Fox begins and and Gary's Restaurant ends! There were two afterparties on the East Boogie side at Blackmon's Plaza and Club Rio. I didnt hear if he showed up or not at either (they were charging 10 bones and a discount if you had your tix stub), but more than likely he did cause like he say in his songs, his party ends until 6 in the morning.
Last Saturday, I was planning to go out, but the threat of tornadoes and all, had me to chill and watch a new episode of "Saturday Night Live."
Last Sunday, I heard that the Cometry show that poet Chill Da Playa threw at the Loft hosted by 104.9' personality Selena J. My source say it was packed with nothing but grown and sexy people.
Last Monday, I had a meeting with STL photographer Bob Morrison and make up artist Cynarra Rodriguez at Whole Foods in Brentwood.. I am planning on doing a photo shoot this Saturday at a building near Turner Middle School.
TIDBITZ. Kudos to former KMOV-TV's Julius Hunter (seen on the right of my blog) who is now over the ST. Louis Police Board. I hear he's trying to get the Mayor Francis Slay in check in the mayor's office and Police Chief Mokwa as the liasion. Hmmm, its going to get hot in March for sure....What was up with STL born fashion mogul Kimora Lee SImmons kissing Mariah Carey at the Soul Train Music Awards ala Madonna and Britney Spears style?. What is really going on with that? And speaking of Soul Train Awards, why did Gwen Stefeni get a nod for Best Soul Female Artist? Now dont get me wrong, I think she's cool and all, and she made a splash on the Hip Hop charts withher hit, "Holla Back Girl," but to be in a category with heavy hotters like Mariah, Alicia Keys and such, seemed odd to me.
Well folks, hopefuilly I will be in the land of La La starting next Monday to make some connections and see the sights. I will keep you posted.
Again, if you have anything you want for me to blog on here, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.