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#Visuals: Antonique Smith: “All We Really Have Is Now”

Posted on May 1st, 2016 by

Antonique-Smith-All-We-Really-Have-Is-Now-Video

Growns, check out the video for the moving and powerful ballad, “All We Really Have Is Now” from actress and Grammy-nominated recording artist Antonique Smith. The climate-crisis focused visual serves as a reminder of the natural disasters and fatalities that we are facing due to climate change, while also reminding us to appreciate who and what we have because tomorrow is not promised.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

Legends Can’t Wait: An Open Fan Letter to Duran Duran & Kinda, Sorta, a Show Review Too

Posted on April 29th, 2016 by

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It wasn’t my intention to write a review about Duran Duran’s show in Atlanta on April 15, 2016 because I didn’t go there to work. GFM didn’t have press credentials. I was simply there as a middle-aged fan trying to relive a moment in my youth when being a music fan was my full-time job (Well, there was that other time-consuming thing called school). I was simply there to feel good and feel good I did for three hours. It wasn’t my intention to write about my experience, but something happened between that show and now: Prince died. What does that have to do with this? A lot. Stay with me.

Sometime in 1983 or 1984 I saw my first Duran Duran video and it started an absolute obsession. From that moment forward, I went on a journey backwards to consume all things Duran Duran. I bought Seven And The Ragged Tiger, Rio and the self-titled debut album. I recorded videos from the television on the VCR (yes, VHS tapes) I acquired every button, magazine, and poster I could. A friend and I had “I Love Duran Duran” t-shirts made at the mall. The only thing I couldn’t get my hands on was a ticket to the Detroit show. Unfortunately I had discovered the band just a little too late to see the Detroit tour stop.

I would have to patiently wait through the two side group projects: Arcadia and The Power Station (It is worth mentioning, however, that The Power Station was dope. John Taylor doesn’t get enough credit for the funky bassist he is.) but nothing feels as good as when they are Duran Duran. I finally got my chance in 1987 to attend the Strange Behavior Tour stop in Detroit. For reasons I can’t explain… except to simply chalk it up to life… I wouldn’t get back in front of the fellas until the Paper Gods show in Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia this month.

I almost didn’t make it this year. I hemmed and hawed about going until around 6pm the night before the show. A night, by the way, that Prince did two sold-out shows in Atlanta as part of his Piano & A Microphone Tour. Sadly, I didn’t have tickets or credentials for either of those shows. I figured I’d catch Prince the next time, but at that moment the fate of seeing Simon, Nick, John and Roger was just one click of the “Buy Tickets” button away. I bit the bullet and bought the ticket on this rationale: 1. I needed an escape from my stressful life for a few hours and 2. Simon LeBon is 57 (Prince was 57), and he’s had surgery on his vocal chords. They are kicking ass now, but who knows if or when they’ll decide to sit down. While I’m talking about their ages and not knowing if they will keep performing the reality is tomorrow is not promised to any of us. They could very well go on touring, but who knows if I’LL be the one who’s able or present to attend the show.

So, now we’ve arrived at the point of this open letter and why I was compelled to write it. My love and respect goes to all those fans who felt a sense of urgency to see Prince (even those who failed to get a ticket– the shows sold out in minutes) because they understood that when legends and your heroes come your way, you don’t let the opportunity pass you by and “catch them next time” because there may not be a next time– for you or them. Of course no one knew Prince would die a week later so that’s the real beauty of it– a willingness to embrace the “now” they had with him without hesitation or reservation. Unfortunately I”ll never get a next time with Prince and I regret not at least trying to secure a seat at one of those shows.

Oh yeah, about the concert– it was splendid. Chic featuring Nile Rodgers opened the show. Nile Rodgers gave his testimony as a cancer survivor (which furthers this letter’s point about living for now), played all the hits of his own and ones he put together for others including the dance hit, “Get Lucky”. Later in the show he blessed the crowd again when he joined Duran Duran to perform “Pressure Off” and a straight up throw down of “Notorious”.

Duran Duran played most of the favorites save the glaring absence of “The Reflex”. It was missed, but the show was so awesome it’s hard to complain. Simon LeBon started out with a bit of a raspiness in his voice, but by the fourth song or so his voice smoothed and he hit his stride. He sang “Ordinary World” flawlessly. The group also performed songs from the Paper Gods album. There may be some fans who only want to hear the greatest hits, but it’s good that the group has a new album. It could easily tour without new music, but the fact that there’s a new CD speaks to forward motion in creativity and life. It’s also what makes the group legendary– it hasn’t just survived all these years– Duran Duran is thriving. Not only are they still standing but stand tall. (see that kicking ass I mentioned earlier). During the encore, Simon explained to the crowd that there were reports of Prince falling ill and “Save A Prayer” was dedicated to him with well wishes. A week later, it would be in memory of him.

I’m glad I embraced the moment by going to see Duran Duran. I will also take this moment to tell the band “thank you” for providing the opportunity for me to take advantage of. I’ll do it again… because legends can’t and time won’t wait.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

#GetGrown: Cherrelle: “Everything I Miss At Home”

Posted on April 28th, 2016 by

Cherrelle-Everything-I-Miss-At-Home

Get Grown. Cherrelle: “Everything I Miss At Home” (1988)

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

#Visuals: Vivian Green: “Grown Folks Music (Work)”

Posted on April 27th, 2016 by

Vivian-Green-Grown-Folks-Music

R&B Vocalist Vivian Green released the new music video for our unofficial anthem- “Grown Folks Music (Work)” produced by Kwame’ and directed by Derek Blanks off her fifth studio album Vivid. Check her out putting in work and giving us a colorful ’80s vibe.

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

Events: Kamasi Washington: May 4 @The Variety Playhouse: Atlanta, Georgia

Posted on April 27th, 2016 by

KamasiWashingtonPoster

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

Inside The Album: Prince – Parade/Under The Cherry Moon

Posted on April 26th, 2016 by

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Editor’s note: This podcast was originally published on March 31. Little did we know that our celebration would turn into a tribute of sorts. We wanted to post this again today in tribute to Prince and on the anniversary of “Kiss” being the #1 record in the country.

Out here on these internet streets there are Podcasts and then there are events in Podcast form. This episode of Inside The Album is clearly the latter. So pop some corn, tell a few thousand friends and pull up a chair to listen to this insightful convo from GFM’s Love Man, DJ Polished Solid and The Ricker as they discuss all things Prince from 1986 on the 30th anniversary of the release of Parade!

Events: Brooklyn: Black Thought Hosts Charity Screening of the The Last Dragon w/Taimak & El DeBarge: April 26

Posted on April 25th, 2016 by

Black thought poster

Black Thought Hosts Charity Screening of The Last Dragon in Conversation with Taimak & El DeBarge

Officially Announces New Editorial Platform BlackThought.com

Black Ink Presents: The Last Dragon, a unique, one-night-only experience on Tuesday, April 26 at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn, NY featuring a screening of the film and interactive conversation with Taimak and El DeBarge to benefit his GrassROOTS charity.

Sponsored by Carbon-AR, Staple Pigeon, Pluvio Umbrella & More

Black Thought, lead singer and emcee of the iconic hip-hop band The Roots, will host a special film screening of The Last Dragon at Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY) on Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm. The screening is the first in an expected series of events highlighting classic “throwback” movies with memorable soundtracks. Tuesday’s screening will be followed by Black Thought leading a first-time-ever conversation with the film’s star, Taimak and with El DeBarge, singer of the soundtrack’s biggest hit, “Rhythm of the Night.”

The events will also benefit Black Thought’s charity, GrassROOTS Community Foundation, which provides health and wellness programs for impoverished women and girls.

Tickets for Black Ink Presents: The Last Dragon with Taimak and El DeBarge are on sale now: click here.

For fans unable to attend, the evening will also be a digital event, with live streaming exclusively on blackthought.com, a new editorial platform for thoughtful and insightful conversation on all things culture — ranging from entertainment to the sociopolitical. The website will officially launch in Summer 2016 featuring original content, new music from Black Thought, and more.

Online viewers will be able to join in by watching the film at home and live tweeting along with the theater audience. All participants will also have a chance to win autographed merchandise from Black Thought, Taimak and El DeBarge.

This unique experience will upgrade the standard “dinner and a movie” night out to include an interactive conversation about film and music led by Black Thought, who is an authority on both.

Ticket pricing and packages are detailed below.

$50 STANDARD level includes: one movie ticket, one preset popcorn, your first drink (select beer/wine/cocktail) + join the conversation with Black Thought, Taimak & El DeBarge.

$75 UPGRADE level includes: one movie ticket, one preset popcorn, your first drink (select beer/wine/cocktail), two small plate items + join the conversation with Black Thought, Taimak & El DeBarge.

$95 VIP level includes: one movie ticket, one preset popcorn, your first drink (select beer/wine/cocktail), one full entree item, join the conversation + attend our VIP after party and meet & greet with photos with Black Thought, Taimak, and El DeBarge.

*Ticket prices include food tax but do NOT include gratuity.

Who: Black Thought
What: Black Ink Presents: The Last Dragon
When: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (EDT)
Where: Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.

Visuals: Brandy: “Beggin’ And Pleadin'”

Posted on April 25th, 2016 by

brandy-begging-and-pleading-video-compressed

Brandy is on that Shug Avery in the visuals for “Beggin’ And Pleadin'”. Check it out!

About DJKKC

Kimberly Kennedy Charles (DJKKC) is trying to navigate life (in a minivan, no less) as a wife, mother, caregiver to Grandmother and writer in the 'burbs of Atlanta.