MTV2/Vibe Magazine’s “Sisters for Hiphop & Soul Tour” (by Mochaspresso)
When I first heard about it, I thought “Hmmmm… India Arie is headlining, Mystic, Heather B., Rah Diggah, DJ Jazzy Joyce, Tweet… maybe I’ll check it out.” But being the forgetful procrastinator that I am, of course I waited until the last possible minute to decide to go. So, as I’m walking up Broadway toward the venue, I’m hoping that the show isn’t sold out. Lucky for me, it wasn’t. There was no line at the door and I was able to walk right in and buy a ticket at the box office.
**Message to the guys, if you want to meet women… go to this show. The girl/guy ratio had to have been about 5:1 or more.**
It was the first thing I noticed as soon as I walked in. That and the diverse make-up of the crowd. Various ethnicities were represented as well as various age groups. The coffeeshop chicks (…a group that I rep proudly) were in full effect. So were the cats with the meticulously neat dreadlocks, the headwrap crowd, the club sluts and there was one lone banker type w/ a loosened tie who looked as if he came straight from his job on Wall St. All of these different people came together and were vibing off of the show’s common theme which was “Love Yourself”. It was beautiful.
As for the show, I had a very good time. I wish more people could have seen hip-hop like this so they would know that there are so many different aspects to it. The media publicizes shoot outs outside nightclubs but they never tell you about the dozens of positive hip-hop events that occur all over the city all the time.
I arrived late so I missed Rah Diggah and Heather B. I’m a little disappointed about that because I’ve always liked both of them and felt they were a little slept on. Jaguar, whom I’d never heard of before that night, was the first set that I saw. She hails from Philly and has a filthy mouth but she was really good. She reminds me of Millie Jackson. Sort of a mix of blues and funk and talking about “real shit”. She did a song that I assume was called “You Can Get The Fuck Out” that really got the crowd amped & crazy. Suprisingly, even some or the guys were into it.
Has anyone ever listened to an albumn once or twice and felt ambivalent toward it then seen that same artist perform live and gained a new appreciation for them? That happened to me w/ Mystic. I still think the albumn is kind of monotonous as far as it’s theme and tempo but there is a lot of depth to her lyrics. She didn’t have a live band but at least she apologized for it and flipped it well by going the “this is real hip-hop w/ nothing but 2 turntables and a mic” route and she gave her DJ some time to shine and do his thing.
DJ Jazzy Joyce was there as the resident DJ and entertained the crowd between sets. She played all the usual Hot97 favorites and even tossed in a little reggae set that got a very favorable response from the crowd. Shabba Ranks’ “Trailer Load” and TOK’s “Chi Chi Man” seemed to be the main crowd pleasers.
Missy Elliot came out to introduce her newest protege’ Tweet. She only performed one song that I don’t remember the name of but it was cool. India Arie was amazing. I saw her open for Sade a while back and I’m happy to see her headlining this time around. She started w/ an acoustic guitar medley which was so refreshing to see. You don’t really get to see artists performing w/ live bands and actually playing instruments in popular R&B anymore. Not like in the 70’s when most R&B/Funk bands had full blown brass sections. My night was complete when Musiq Soulchild came on stage w/ her for a duet during “Strength, Courage and Wisdom”.
Overall, it was a good show. Cheap too. The tickets were only $25. Some people thought it was a little expensive for the Roseland Ballroom and list of relatively unknowns except for India Arie. But I look at it like this… I paid $80 for a Janet Jackson ticket and was even willing to take the train down to Philly to see it. Then the snit cancelled her show at the last minute. So $25 for a show w/ a good vibe, artists that show up and that apparently started on time was worth it to me.