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#OneMusicFest 2022 Review

The annual One Music Fest was held on October 8-9, 2022 in downtown Atlanta. I really enjoyed myself. This was my fifth time attending.

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#OneMusicFest review.

It’s like Coachella meets Soul Train because the focus is primarily Hip Hop and R&B/Soul artists. Check out www.OneMusicFest.com for more info.

Ms. Lauryn Hill

This year’s headliner was Lauryn Hill and Jazmine Sullivan and a plethora of other artists on various stages such as DVSN, Ja Rule, Ashanti, Tank & The Bangas, Sean Paul, City Girls, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Saucy Santana, Alex Isley, Lupe Fiasco and Chloe.

DVSN performing.

There were also food trucks, other vendors, sponsor tents, and cool backdrops for selfies. There was even an outdoor Roller Skating rink set up to skate if you desired.

Skating area
Tank and The Bangas

My favorite performances were from Lauryn Hill, Tye Tribbett, Sevyn Streeter, Alex Isley, and Jazmine Sullivan, and when The City Girls brought out surprise guest, Usher, to perform their latest single “Good Love”.

Usher & Yung Miami/Caresha from City Girls.

During Lauryn Hill’s performance of the song “To Zion” her son Zion came out on stage with his children too. It was beautiful. Lauryn Hill is a grandma yall! Wow.

Lauryn Hill’s son Zion and his children too.

Also, Jazmine Sullivan her background singers were phenomenal and Jazmine even opened up about her personal life. She shared that her mother is battling cancer right now and to comfort her everyone in the audience cheered for Jazmine’s mother by saying “We Love You.”

Jazmine Sullivan and her background singers.

Singer-songwriter, Sevyn Streeter, also put on a great performance and she and her background dancers looked great in orange.

Sevyn Streeter & her dancers!

Tye Tribbett’s high-energy Gospel performance was amazing too and really ushered in the presence of God.

Type Tribbett

BET’s Original 106 & Park hosts, Free & AJ, were hosts on one of the stages too.

I even got to meet singer-songwriter, Alex Isley. She was walking around after her performance and I walked up to her and asked for a photo. She was so kind and smelled good too. The funny thing is just a few weeks ago I wrote about her for Magnetic Magazine, (click to read)and then boom I met her!

Singer-songwriter, Alex Isley, and I.

There were thousands of people at the event and even Stacey Abrams’s campaign was there promoting others in Georgia to register to vote.

I felt as if I got my money’s worth seeing so many artists at the two-day event. Overall I enjoyed myself at One Music Fest and if you are a fan of R&B/Soul and Hip Hop I highly recommend going!

My friend Yasmine and I at #OneMusicFest
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#OTRII Tour Atlanta Night One was LIT! (2018)

The Saturday show of the Atlanta stop of the On The Run II Tour at Mercedes Benz Stadium was crazy. After Jay-Z and Beyoncé performed the last song of the night, “APE S#!T“, a random man from the audience hopped on stage and tried to follow them until some of the dancers ran after him and fought him. I have no idea why or how this person was able to get access to the stage! Where was Security?! I have no idea, but I just hope Queen Bey and Jay-Z are safe.

Before the shenanigans at the end of the show happened there was an opening act before The Carters performed. At 7:30pm Chloe and Halle, a young singing duo from Atlanta, who are on the television show “grownish” and on Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment label were the opening act. They performed songs from their “The Kids are Alright” album and in my opinion did great singing and playing instruments.

After Chloe and Halle performed DJ Khaled came out to hype the crowd up and brought out special guests such as Monica, Cee Lo, Ludacris, and Jermaine Dupri. The diverse and excited sold out crowd went crazy as each guest performed.

At around 8:50pm the stadium went dark and the screens lit up and everyone in the diverse crowd started screaming loudly because Jay-Z and Beyoncé were about to come on stage!!!!

This was my fourth time seeing Beyoncé in concert and every time I’ve attended one of her concerts the energy in the stadium is electric! It feels like your favorite team winning a championship game and being a kid on Christmas all in one. Maybe I’m biased because I’m in “The Beyhive”, but I’ve never been disappointed with her performances even Jay-Z held his own and did well! Beyoncé’s stamina and physique, especially after recently giving birth to twins is amazing.

The Carters performed their hits such as “Crazy in Love”, “‘03 Bonnie and Clyde”, “Deja Vu”, “Upgrade U”, “NICE”, and “Black Effect”. I also enjoyed how the set list mashed up some of their individual hit songs. For example Jay-Z’s “Clique” mixed in with Beyoncé’s “Diva” sounded amazing. Beyoncé performed “Drunk in Love” and it was mixed with F.L.Y.’s “Swag Surfin'” and some of the crowd started swag surfing with Beyoncé. Also, Beyoncè danced to O.T. Genesis’, “Everybody Mad“, which she also performed back in April at the Coachella music festival. Jay -Z performed songs off his recent “4:44” album such as “Family Feud” and “The Story of OJ”. He also performed older hits such as “Dirt off Your Shoulder”, “99 Problems”, “Big Pimpin’”, and “Song Cry”.

The concert went through the highs and lows of The Carters married relationship from infidelity to forgiveness and family. Beyoncé and Jay -Z changed outfits multiple times during the show. One of Jay-Z’s standout outfits was when he wore a bandana around his head and jacket with a glittery black panther on the back. A standout outfit for Beyoncé was when she went from a white and silver sparkle jumpsuit, then a black leather leotard, then to a golden yellow gown with a golden yellow train to perform the emotional relationship song “Resentment”. Other standout songs were when Beyoncé performed the female empowerment anthem “Run the World” , Formation”, as well as “Flawless”. As she performed “Flawless” you could read the screens and hear audio from author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, talking about feminism and how society puts women against one another instead of working together and being confident.

Another stand out performance was when Jay-Z performed “The Story of OJ”, which samples singer Nina Simone’s “Four Women”. As Jay-Z performed this song various black and white cartoon images and mugshots from different activists and rappers and entertainers were seen on the screen.

My favorite part of the show was when Jay-Z and Beyoncé performed “Family Feud”, which samples The Clark Sisters’ gospel song, “He-ya”. When Beyoncé was on the stage singing the lyric “Heya” , which means eternal life, the stage literally rose up and moved across the stadium and the audience went crazy. It was so cool to me.

I loved the set design and the set list and attention to detail from the co-ed band, the multiple dancers, and the theme of going and running through the ups and downs of life. Overall, I give the show an A plus! I’m not sure if Beyoncé and Jay-Z will ever retire or if they will ever go back on tour together, but if you ever have an opportunity to attend one of their concerts you should most definitely go. Hopefully the concert will be on DVD or come on HBO like the first “On The Run” Tour did. Check out http://www.beyonce.com for more information and pictures from various cities they’ve toured.

Check out the Spotify Setlist Playlist below and click here for Apple Music & Tidal.

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J. Cole’s #ForYourEyezOnly Concert Review

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Today, is January 28th which is J. Cole’s birthday and a title of a track on his “2014 Forest Hills Drive” album. Back in August of 2017, I had the opportunity to attend rapper J. Cole’s #4YourEyezOnly concert in Duluth, Georgia at The Infinite Energy Arena. The concert started on time at 8 P.M. and lasted until about 11:30 P.M. J. Cole had four opening acts. The first to perform was the singer, Ari Lennox followed by rappers J.I.D. and Bas. These three artists are signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records. Also, Grammy nominated singer-musician Anderson.Paak and his band the Free Nationals were the last opening act for J. Cole.

After Anderson.Paak’s performance of “Am I Wrong” there was about a fifteen-minute break and all of a sudden all the lights in the arena went off and the sold out diverse crowd of over 10,000 people went crazy!

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J. Cole’s songs and the concert theme reflect his life perspective of growing up in North Carolina, dealing with life, love, racial politics, and becoming a famous rapper.  The stage was centered in the middle of the arena as if it was a boxing ring with no ropes and instead streetlights props and surveillance camera footage being displayed on the jumbo screens showing various audience members in a surveillance camera type filter. All of a sudden J. Cole was spotted walking in the audience wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and being escorted through the crowd by men wearing police uniforms as he walked up the stairs and got on the center stage to perform “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “Immortal” followed by the smash hit “Déjà vu”.

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The thought provoking fourth song performed was “Ville Mentality”. The live band with violins and keyboards offered for a very thematic and soulful background as J. Cole took time to speak to the audience about the meaning of the song and the pros and cons of living and being in the moment, yet also being aware of having a future.  After speaking J. Cole went back to performing a few of his other songs from other albums such as “Nobody’s Perfect”, “Power Trip”, and “No Role Modelz” and then continued to perform other songs off of his latest album.

Next J. Cole performed “Neighbors” and took the time to passionately explain the origins of the song. J. Cole was inspired to write this song from an unfortunate incident where one of his white suburban neighbors called an armed SWAT team to his property accusing him of “criminal activity”. The heavily armed SWAT team, with loaded rifles, broke the door to his home down and turned his home’s surveillance cameras off as they searched the premises, but they did not find anyone or anything. After J. Cole explained to the audience what happened the arena jumbo screens showed the real life footage of the surveillance video cameras capturing what the SWAT team did to his home.

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After this song, J. Cole performed a few more songs and then the show ended. I thought of J. Cole as a pastor speaking to his congregation through music. The message he delivered that night was about life and living and enjoying yourself. I really had a good time and would pay to see him perform again. He has a positive and humble vibe. Overall his energy, stamina, and stage presence was great. If you ever have a chance to see J. Cole perform live I would most definitely recommend you to go.

 

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Ariana Grande’s #SweetenerWorldTour 2019

December of 2019 I attended Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener World Tour” at Colonial Life Arena in South Carolina and I enjoyed myself! Although the pop/R&B singer, Ariana Grande, is in her mid twenties, her fan base is a wide range of ages considering some of her fan base knows her from when she was a child actress on a Nickelodeon children’s TV show to her adult pop star life. There were a lot of preteens with their chaperones, teenagers, and college-age adults there.

Near the t-shirt and merchandise lines in the arena were areas for young people to register to vote. I thought that it was cool that Ariana is using her platform to make sure her fan base is registered to vote in local and national elections using the hashtag #thankunextgen.

At 8:25 pm the lights in the stadium went off and the opening act was the pop/rap duo Social House.

They’ve written songs for various pop stars and performed a couple of songs. After Social House performed there was a break and most of the audience sat in anticipation as a pop and r&b playlist ranging from Whitney Houston to The Backstreet Boys played in the background until it was time for Ariana to hit the stage. At 9:25 pm the antsy crowd went crazy because Ariana finally hit the stage and there was a huge moon lunar eclipse prop behind her and the dancers.

Ariana had her signature ponytail hairstyle and her petite frame was glowing belting out ”An Angel Cried” followed by other songs like ”R.E.M” ”7 Rings”, ”Side to Side”, ”Breathin’”, and other tracks off of her ”Sweetener”, ”Thank U Next”, and ”Dangerous Woman”, “My Everything” and “Yours Truly” albums and since it’s December she performed some songs off of her “Christmas & Chill” mixtape.

I left the show a little early to beat traffic. Overall I enjoyed the almost sold-out show and the visuals. I just wish Ariana would’ve come on stage earlier considering the concert ticket said 8 pm and she didn’t start until almost 9:30 pm. Ariana was energetic and her voice was crisp and her dancers and the band were on point! If you’re interested in more concert details follow the #SweetenerWorldTour hashtag on social media or check out http://www.ticketmaster.com.

Below is a Spotify playlist with some of my favorite Ariana Grande songs. Click here for Apple Music and click here for Tidal.
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Ariana Grande’s #SweetenerWorldTour

December of 2019 I attended Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener World Tour” at Colonial Life Arena in South Carolina and I enjoyed myself! Although the pop/R&B singer, Ariana Grande, is in her mid twenties, her fan base is a wide range of ages considering some of her fan base knows her from when she was a child actress on a Nickelodeon children’s TV show to her adult pop star life. There were a lot of preteens with their chaperones, teenagers, and college-age adults there.

Near the t-shirt and merchandise lines in the arena were areas for young people to register to vote. I thought that it was cool that Ariana is using her platform to make sure her fan base is registered to vote in local and national elections using the hashtag #thankunextgen.

At 8:25 pm the lights in the stadium went off and the opening act was the pop/rap duo Social House.

They’ve written songs for various pop stars and performed a couple of songs. After Social House performed there was a break and most of the audience sat in anticipation as a pop and r&b playlist ranging from Whitney Houston to The Backstreet Boys played in the background until it was time for Ariana to hit the stage. At 9:25 pm the antsy crowd went crazy because Ariana finally hit the stage and there was a huge moon lunar eclipse prop behind her and the dancers.

Ariana had her signature ponytail hairstyle and her petite frame was glowing belting out ”An Angel Cried” followed by other songs like ”R.E.M” ”7 Rings”, ”Side to Side”, ”Breathin’”, and other tracks off of her ”Sweetener”, ”Thank U Next”, and ”Dangerous Woman”, “My Everything” and “Yours Truly” albums and since it’s December she performed some songs off of her “Christmas & Chill” mixtape.

I left the show a little early to beat traffic. Overall I enjoyed the almost sold-out show and the visuals. I just wish Ariana would’ve come on stage earlier considering the concert ticket said 8 pm and she didn’t start until almost 9:30 pm. Ariana was energetic and her voice was crisp and her dancers and the band were on point! If you’re interested in more concert details follow the #SweetenerWorldTour hashtag on social media or check out http://www.ticketmaster.com.

Below is a Spotify playlist with some of my favorite Ariana Grande songs. Click here for Apple Music and click here for Tidal.
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Janet Jackson’s State of the World Tour

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My Concert Review of Janet Jackson’s “State of the World Tour” in Atlanta, GA!