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AUGUST ALSINA AT HOUSE OF BLUES

photos by JoBrea Neal

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August Alsina returned to Houston giving a passionate performance to the the fans who packed the House of Blues on Saturday night. The soulful R&B singer performed his hits and a few spiritual songs, but nothing compared to the heartfelt performance that he gave when his mom joined him on stage.

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BET GIVES A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE

This gallery contains 7 photos.

    photos by JoBrea Neal The BET Experience and Fan Fest opened up the weekend for the awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Fans came from far and wide to get a glimpse of some of the biggest names in … Continue reading

Chris Brown – Welcome To My Life

Movie Review

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by Petrice Douglas

Chris gives one of the most honest and humbling experiences you can give in this documentary. No holds barred. The way he tells his story is very well put together and done in such an artistic manner that it draws you in so close that you forget you are anywhere else but in Chris’ world. BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO!

My daughter is Chris’ no.1 fan in the world (no seriously, I’m not making this up), so we were at the theater 45 minutes early just in case something magical happened like an appearance from Chris. I sat there watching as the crowd of all ages and races took their seats. Counting how many “true” Team Breezy fans were wearing shirts with his picture or Black Pyramid, and seeing how many right answers were yelled out for the trivia questions flowing across the screen. When your child knows every single answer including the city Chris was born in, it might be time for an intervention. lol 

If you are not a fan of the “bad boy” Chris Brown, you need to see this movie to hear his side of the story and feel his pain and truth. This should help you understand how the battles he endured within and in the public eye shaped him into the “loving father and man” he has grown to be. The movie is about truth, taking responsibility for your actions, forgiveness, and love. I have never seen or heard something so real from an entertainer in my life. Director Andrew Sandler deserves all the recognition he can be awarded for the film.

For those who missed the one-day event, it’s now available for pre-order on iTunes.

Thank you Chris Brown for letting us in your life.

 

 

BIG SEAN HITS HOUSTON FIRST

by Jazsmin Douglas 

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Big Sean at Revention Music Center Houston, TX – photo by JoBrea Neal 

March 17, 2017 was opening night of rapper Big Sean’s I Decided Tour. Concert goers at the Revention Music Center in Houston, Texas were introduced to an array of artistic expression and diversity. From Tokyo to Detroit and back again the performances were on point; however, there were a few moments in the show where the audience just did not connect. Comprehensively, Big Sean and his creative team provided an atmosphere of pure hip hop. By the end of the show, I realized exactly what Big Sean had decided and the revelation is marvelous. 

I have yet to discover how MadeinTYO is connected to Tokyo, but I am familiar with his music. His popular song “Uber Everywhere” was a huge hit as he opened for Big Sean. Other songs during his set were in accordance with the sound of this era, but none of the tracks were strong enough to recall them later. Except of course, his second single “Skateboard P” featuring Big Sean. None the less, MadeinTYO’s performance was refreshing. He was great with the audience and the DJ, and blended new school dance with old school performance swag. He captivated older fans as well as the hipsters. But not all concert goers were vibing, per MadeinTYO. Apparently, the crowd was a mixture of turn up fans and fans who stand and look cute. Yeah, the crowd was diverse and quite stylish on Friday, but your job MadeinTYO is to get them turnt!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

photo by JoBrea Neal

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Fans got quite “turned up” during Big Sean’s performance, except when he forced us to switch our emotion in the middle of the show at which point I felt a little bipolar. It wasn’t just me. I asked my photographer what song felt the most out of place during his show and she was dead on. Although the song was amazing and I could not remember the title, it would have been better positioned at the end of the show. Sean encouraged the audience and then provided time to slowly empathize with his words. The moment would have been better suited for Sean to perform such a more powerful track. He might have received the reaction he wanted rather than a disconnected and detached audience.  

 Being momentarily detached is common among family, but it does not take away from the unconditional love. The Revention Music Center was full of love! It began with MadeinTYO mentioning that his grandmother was from Houston. Then, Big Sean acknowledged his relatives in attendance who also lives in Houston, namely his aunt and a few cousins. The fun part for me, was when Big Sean recognized the audience members in attendance with their own family members. The first relationship highlighted of course being a sister! I immediately looked over at my sister as she and I began our personal hand shake in laughter! Houston’s own son of rap Travis Scott hit the stage, and things got taken up a notch when homage was paid to the legendary Pimp C.  

 Based on the artistic expression provided by Big Sean and his crew, I am positive that his decision is related to providing for his family and he is on tour encouraging others to fulfill their own destiny and do the same. The lights, videos, and images of burning windows all proved that he is an artist capable of creating intriguing concepts and visual expressions as well. Big Sean is destined to be a legend of the culture at the benefit of his fans, friends and family.   

  

Celebrities Showing Love

Super Bowl Weekend was full of great events all over our city, but the event that was collectively our favorite was The Draftkings Antonio Brown Celebrity Super Slam. It had all of the ingredients for a memorable event benefiting The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston. Fans filled the Joe K. Butler Sports Complex to watch notables like DJ Khaled, Doug Flutie, Porsha Williams, Snoop Dogg, and Houston’s own Kirko Bangz (that young man can really play ball) shoot it out in a fun game of basketball.

Here are a few pictures of the event.

Photos by JoBrea Neal

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THE SUFFERS COME HOME

by Petrice Douglas

suffers-4The Suffers at House of Blues in Houston – photo by JoBrea Neal

The beginning acts were too good for me not to give attention to in this review.img_9723Ishi – photo by JoBrea Neal

Let me start with Ishi who I had never heard of prior to the show. I knew that the music had to be something different by the looks of the band, and I was rightfully surprised. The lead vocalist looked like ZZ Top borrowed clothes from Willie Nelson who borrowed clothes from his Native American friend who borrowed a few accessories from George Clinton. As weird as it sounds, it was actually very intriguing and fit well with the performance. The style of music was just as blended with a bit of pop, disco, techno, and folk coming together to make one incredible sound. I have not heard it put together like this, and it seems like Ishi has scientifically mastered this form of art. A fusion of music that I REALLY like and want to hear more of it.

jmsn-1JMSN – photo by JoBrea Neal

Another opening talent that I am a new fan of is JMSN. This guy put out so much soul! The depth of his voice filled the house as he crooned out songs from his new album “It Is”. JMSN is as talented on the guitar as he is vocally, and hit us with a few moments of guitar solos. Bass player Taiki added some funk to the soul that kept the crowd funkyfied (funkyfied – new word that I made up to describe the feeling I was feeling at the time). Something else that was a first for me and very eye catching was the design of the drummer’s cymbal. It was cut into a long spiral shape and hung down to the floor. It was so unusual that I just wanted to jump on the stage and hit it one time. Give it up for the bad ass drummer with the bad ass cymbal!

WELCOME HOME TO THE SUFFERS! It was awesome having you home if only for one night.img_9873photo by JoBrea Neal

KAM! KAM! KAM! Did you have to kick it off with “Gwan”? THAT’S MY JAM!

You have to be hard of hearing or just plain old stupid if you do not feel the high power of music while listening to The Suffers. I am so fascinated with The Suffers from Kam’s vocal ability  and infectious tone to the band’s instrumentation skills. No instrument over shadows the other, and they have the perfect marriage of soul with a big band sound. Kam’s powerful voice commands attention with every word. Pulling from her soul, she ejects heartfelt emotions that are so free and uplifting. It was like I was watching my best friend performing on stage because she was real and personal when speaking and transitioning from song to song. Telling us how the group has been touring full time for the last two years with 400 plus performances in that time span, and that they no longer make excuses when it comes to creating new music. YES! I am here for that y’all. They then gave us a bonus of musical magic with their new song “I Think I Love You”……..oh yes I do.

The night continued to be one big happy soulful jam fest. We all enthusiastically took in every ounce of musical energy The Suffers cast upon us. At the end of their performance the love didn’t stop, and the band mingled and took pictures with fans and friends while The Waxaholics kept the music going.

ENCORE PLEASE!

Kirko Bangz Day In Houston

by Petrice Douglas

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photos by JoBrea Neal

November 22, 2016 is officially Kirko Bangz Day in the City of Houston. Ashley Turner presented him with a proclamation during his “Back Flossin'” concert at Warehouse Live on Tuesday in front of a packed house. In true Kirko fashion not making the day all about himself, fans were treated to the concert for free with a canned food donation as part of a benefit effort with Houston community leaders. Notable local talent such as Tim Woods, DJ XO who is also Kirko’s DJ, Neekdaskittz, MC Beezy, Final Draft from Atlanta, and several others opened up the show.

Congratulations Kirko on your well deserved day!

ScHoolboy Q Blank Face in Houston

by Petrice Douglas

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ScHoolboy Q at Revention Music Center – Houston                             photographer – JoBrea Neal

 

Fans filled into the Revention Music Center for the first Texas stop of ScHoolboy Q’s Blank Face Tour.

First up – Joey Bada$$. Kicked the night off and warmed the crowd up real good.

Headliner – ScHoolboy Q. Doin’ what he do!

Groovy Tony is what we call him, and he came out blazin’ that “Gangsta” right out the gate. Tie-dye hoodie and dark shades all in tact. The crowd went crazy! I must admit that I went a little crazy myself because the music made me do it.

No over-exaggerated staging or dancers were used in his set. The simple yet very captivating stage lighting and tour logo as a backdrop was all that was needed to compliment the sound. Honestly, with lyrics like the ones ScHoolboy Q spit he doesn’t need all the extra shenanigans.

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ScHoolboy Q

Though the crowd was jumping and moshing throughout the night, I think he expected a little more. He compared us to the crowd he had a few months ago at Warehouse Live, and said that he didn’t feel that same energy. In the words of our First Lady, when they go low we go high. That was all it took to get the crowd all the way turnt up. From “Blessed” which had the best light show of the night to “Collard Greens”, all I could see were hands in the air, bodies moshing, and dancing crutches. Yes, someone had their crutches in the air like dancing batons. That’s the kind of power ScHoolboy Q gives off, and it made us feel unstoppable.

One Hell of A Duo – Blaze and Black

By Petrice Douglasphotographer - JoBrea NealBlaze and Black – House of Blues September 2, 2016

We should have listened the first time when we heard about the fusion of sounds and cosmic energy hip hop duo Blaze and Black bring to the stage. All we have to say is, “they are one hell of a duo!”

The two along with band The Artthrobs layer r&b, pop, and hip hop to create a nice palatable sound that keeps you wanting more. The lyrical flare and high energy Black exudes across the stage is infectious while Blaze’s vocals help you feel every word.

More on Blaze and Black

Don’t Believe Me Just Bite

vegan burger

STOP THE PRESS RIGHT NOW! Somebody just said this burger is a vegan burger. Stop lying! Tell the truth and shame the devil.

Yep, it’s true. What you are looking at my friends is vegan deliciousness with double no-meat and all from the new love of my life Green Vegetarian Cuisine, 6720 Chimney Rock Rd., Houston, TX 77081. I went ahead and put the address and you can thank me later.

I’ve tried this restaurant three times. Once to try it out on DoorDash, once to see how the restaurant was personally, and once because the food was so freakin’ good the other two times that I had to go back again. Even people that are not vegan or vegetarian go for the fever from the flavor of what they have on the menu. The Cauliflower Hot Wings are soooo good. A tiny bit of crunch with a nice mild buffalo sauce. I’ve also had the Real Deal Enchiladas, and they ARE the real deal for real FOR REAL. I’m telling you that you will not know the not-meat is not “real” meat. I’ve tried other things on the menu, and I have not been disappointed at all. My family agrees with me that this is THE go to spot when we want to eat out and not have to worry about compromising our health for tasty food.

One word of caution – they are not open on Saturdays.