Imagination Inspires Nations
This is where it all started. A Mexican joint in North Beach 2 blocks away from Bimbo’s with my darlings, Ana and Ashraf. After receiving a fortune cookie that read: an unexpected thing will happen to you, a wide-eyed angel faced boy miraculously appeared before Ashraf and sold him a $22 ticket to the sold out Janelle Monae/Raphael Saadiq show. (Backstory: his 20 year old girlfriend’s bootlegged fake ID got denied). We owe that fool one of the best nights of our young lives. 3 burritos and pina coladas later, we were ready to head to the club but not before Ana got confused for Ke$h by a light-skinned Latino dude!!! Clearly, Ana wins that one. By the time we hit the will call line, Janelle Monae was ALREADY playing “Many Moons”!!! That was the first time an opening act actually went on at 8, I still can’t get over it. I also can’t get over how fancy folks dress for shows out here! I am seriously underdressed at every event but I’m not trynna wild out in stilettos, ya dig? Anyway, we hustled inside, pushed our way to the front and let go of all inhibitions! Wooooo! l-e-t-t-i-n’ g-o! I never wanted it to end so we just kept it going:
OH SNAP! That’s right: my very own autographed copy of Metropolis. We ran out to the lobby and snatched our chance to meet Android No. 57821 AKA Cindi Mayweather AKA Janelle Monae in all her cybernetic glory! Life really is beautiful. There are no words to properly describe the whole experience. Cliche as it may be, Miss Monae truly defies all possible forms of classification. I’ve never witnessed such a contagious and energetic performer. I’m still in shock over how few people (in that massive club) were unfamiliar with her work…it goes to show you how insular our world is in which most everyone we know absolutely adores her. I should’ve known she would be so petite…but DAMN, It’s unbelievable that someone so small could produce a sound so big. It hits hard and moves deep. By the end of her set, she had converted the entire club to her religion (and fly people of color in their 30s and 40s on a wednesday night are HARD TO PLEASE). After “Sincerely Jane”, Monae jumped off stage to wild out with the rest of us and indulged in some good ol’ fashioned fun: crowd surfing. Admittedly, I got a bit teary eyed during her rendition of Nat King Cole’s “Smile”. Click the link to listen or just cop Metropolis! Wow. No one can rip it like she can. I was second in line to get my CD autographed before Raphael’s set and she is as lovely, humble and sharp as you’d guess. She was rocking classy black raybans the whole time and kept saying “why thank you darlin'” in her precious Kansas accent. She’s the closest thing I’ll ever get to Andre 3000, sigh. Shout out to that Filipino homie in line who we made friends with…he was one dedicated/nervous fan! It was hands down one of the tightest shows…ever. I love you, Ms. Monae! Enjoy another sidekick photo montage (when will they let cameras in the club???):
During “intermission” I ran into my absolute favorite spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph who lives and works out here in Oakland (though he’s born and raised in Queens, NY). I missed his epic solo performance “The Break/s” (Kurtis Blow, anyone?) @ Yerba Buena by ONE WEEK and he’s been on tour ever since. It was such a pleasure to meet him and I’m eager to witness one of his brilliant shows in the very near future. I’ll be hitting y’all up with an entry about him asap because he deserves all the hype in the world. My fortune cookie was right…the night was turning out to be unexpected and beautiful. Seconds later, Saadiq’s set started and we headed towards the front. The place was packed and everyone was ready to tear it up in their Sunday best. Enter Saadiq LOOKING SHARP AS ALL HELL! I swear I almost fainted…White, structured, skinny suit = SEXY!!! His back up singers were dressed in black suits doing CHOREOGRAPHED dances, oh shhhhhhhhhit it was beyond fly. That girl was SMASHING it. The band was ill especially the Kurt Cobain look-a-like who was hellaaaa immersed into the music. I can’t say enough about this epic 2 hour performance…my man changed outfits THREE times. He even reserved the sexiest shirt on planet earth just for the encore. Simply put: Heaven on Earth. I understand that I’m writing entirely in cliches but if you had been there yo, you would be at a loss for words just like this. Basically, Saadiq is doing the world a huge favor by resurrecting and remixing Motown. Peep the blurry (but fierce) photos:
Who knew I could have THAT much fun getting down to Tony Toni Tone’s “Anniversary” with a group of tipsy grown a$$ men on a Wednesday night. All I really want to say my darling is today is a special day we call our own…Do you know what today is? It’s our anniversary!!! AHHH!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH YOU HAVE NO IDEA!! YO, there were mad moments when the romantic potential was off the chains. I need me a mans who can sing Saadiq classics while we slow dance, YOU FEEL ME?! SHIT! Where you at future lover? Lol. I’m serious though. Holla @ ya girl. Saadiq brought out the lady soulstress featured on “Callin” off “The Way I See It” and she had serious swag. The tension was thick, it was clear they’re somehow romantically involved. Lucky lady. They met at a cafe and she invited him to hear her sing…props for making major moves. That’s what time it is! I don’t even know what else to say, every show I’ve been to is better than the last. I feel fucking great to be alive. I will be carrying Janelle Monae and Raphael Saadiq in my heart for a long time to come. You should do the same. Support the greatest music ever. Move over Mickey Factz, this game aint made for amateurs, baby:
What do you REALLY know about shirtless overalls?