what is up beloved readers!
so i am at the 50 for 5E event [our last night in this venue] – a fundraiser for our Detroit community-owned hip-hop venue. the funds will go to the restoration/construction of the new venue.
the event will run from 5pm tonight till 5am tomorrow morning and i am gonna be liveblogging it for as long as i can hang! i just drank a big old iced coffee drink which should keep me poppin for at least the first 5 hours
i got dressed up for the event:
one of the freshest aspects of the event is the ticket package – tonight you can buy a $50 package [designed by Wes, 1/3 of the Emergence team] which includes 10 entries into the future 5E Gallery location [just down Michigan Ave from the venue we're in tonight] and 5 drink tickets.
the first act i saw was karanji featuring the soul water band. the singer in the band has one of the loveliest voices i have ever heard come out of a man. there are 50 artists performing tonight – i hope this dude sings with all of them.
i have my computer so that i can get several hours of work done for ruckus and us social forum. i bring the movement to the club.
to balance that, i have not 1 but 2 flasks here tonight because people always get generous with my stash and it’s 12 hours after all. #don’tjudge.
mz jonz is hosting right now. that enough is reason to stay all night – she is the funniest person i know who isn’t a paid comedian.
detroit has so much talent – aztec is rockin the stage right now. they took all the tables and chairs out to accommodate how packed it’s gonna get in here tonight. right now there’s a half-moon of folks trynna bop their heads as hard as his flow.
the most exciting thing to me so far is that Fowl is in the building. i worked with Fowl through Detroit Summer when he was a baby. Now he towers over me, and easily holds the title of “Person who is gonna be unbelievably famous real soon”.
self says has the whole room chanting ” i love myself – i like myself – i love myself – i like myself.” yes i do. you can chant from afar
Big A is on the microphone. this dude is so angry and political on the mic and then get him on the side and he is the sweetest person ever. he’s heading to lebanon for while – i really appreciate the content of his lyrics, he talks about the hardships of life and how love comes through it all.
fowl just rocked the mic – 3 songs but it coulda been 20 – he is such a star already
oh my goodness. a little baby just got up and rocked her abcs over the beat. that is what’s up.
ok we been in it for a minute now. i am still going strong. if you check my twitter feed we’re posting occasional photos of folks who got the ticket package. you can donate online at 5egallery.org.
ok, finale just arrived. he took a pause from patiently waiting for his baby to arrive to come through and perform tonight. my girl dream just arrived looking lovely.
its beautiful to see all the familiar faces here tonight – this really has become a family event – folks roll through with their babies, folks come to support each other. there are folks in here who had their first performance ever in this spot. its a beautiful thing.
ok we got 5 hours left…i can’t lie i am a little sleepy already. but i love 5E, and i love the folks who are here who haven’t performed yet. finale, invincible, miz korona, monica blaire, mz jonz…quest mccody? mu? big tone? yeah the night has barely begun. so i am hangin tough.
it helps that Jessica Care Moore has been hostin and performing. She is wearing the smallest purple thing that’s allowed outdoors – every time she walks outside it’s 5th avenue. this is the sound: “i’d fuck you but then i’d have to kill you – with interest, for your interest.” ok?
and the money is rolling in. you can give, no matter where you are! just go to 5e Gallery to donate from afar.
community venues are so important – 5E has hosted an all women’s hip-hop night which has revitalized the city. piper carter and sicari ware have put in hours of time, along with dozens of other members of the community, to create a truly beautiful space for folks to come together and create.
wow an artist named dumani just got up and did a gorgeous rendition of lift every voice on electric guitar. that song is one of the most perfect things of all time, in my opinion. here’s the lyrics:
Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
in my research i just discovered [remembered?] that this song has many verses. some are very religious. this is on the list of stuff i have to learn for my repertoire of black music. being in this space tonight makes me remember that we have always come together and supported each other, created together, and made each other’s dreams possible. that’s all that is happening tonight – piper and sicari and invincible and others have organized a space to uplift the community and now the community is giving back.
finale is on the stage. in my humble opinion, he is an unparalleled artist when it comes to speed and complexity, and he’s kind of the quiet storm. off-stage he’s quiet, humble, sweet. then he gets on and it’s just the most raw in your face flow you ever heard. he’s my favorite rapper in detroit after invincible. matter of fact – i’ll be right back.
i have returned. 3 hours left. i went to check out finale and invincible performin together. these are two artists who are amazing on their own, but my first experiences always involved them performing together and i love the impeccable respectful energy present when they share a stage. it always feels a little dangerous, like they could push each other over some edge of quality into a new form of music. every time i see finale i feel an upswell of love that is reserved for my chosen brothers, which includes finale and sam, my sister’s husband, who i literally, instinctually call brother when i see him.
i wonder how clearly i am communicating at this point.
i wonder who the deep detroit readers are who are reading this 2:19 part of the blog
miz korona is now on the stage. she is slept on in a way that makes me wanna shake people. she was in 8 mile. in real life she is an incredibly raw, incredibly charismatic rhyme artist with a bullet proof delivery. “i’m from the zoo where the lions, tigers, and wolverines live…it’s a zoo i go ape/spit banana clips/ill monkey bars…”
just went running like a screaming michael jackson fan to faint on the floor while monica blaire delivered, as she always does, the performance of the night. part of me wants her to be famous, and a smaller more selfish part wants to keep her here in detroit as the pearl in our oyster. i can’t even quite explain what happens when she sings. she dances. and she throws her head back in ecstacy. and then she opens her mouth and this thrilling, sensual, spiritual wall of sound comes out. she plays with you and then she delivers. on my very first trip to detroit, on my ride to the airport, my ride jenny lee passed me her cd. and i kind of fell out. i was a superfan before i ever got to see her live.
and then i saw her live.
i think she could save the world if her full power was unleashed on the masses. because she makes everyone feel better about themselves, and about being alive. she has two songs right now that are restorative: “i’m not scared any more of bein something great.” and then – “you’re a rocket/you’re on fire/you’re gonna take us/so much higher”. blast off.
really longing for skittles and m&ms at this point in the evening.
ok now i am freaked out excited because diana nucera and i just made a date to make music with sterling on monday.
i honestly have no idea who is on stage – music is playing. i am asleep but still got my eyes open interacting with folks and writing this.
it’s 4:18am. this is one of my favorite times to be asleep. being awake right now seems a little like an insult to my soul. or my body. i never used to do this without help.
i just met mike “agent x” clark – one of the best house djs ever. i didnt get to hear him but he’s on podomatic.com so go check him out.
wow – i had to correct my spelling like 18 times in that sentence alone. i am focusing and bringing myself into present. the desire to sleep is just because i am normalized to think i should be sleeping now. but i remember a time when i would always be up at this time on a saturday. and i would see the sunrise. wait for it.
ok y’all. the event is done, we are breaking it down. i could say a lot of things right now and the majority of them would be unacceptable for public consumption. i don’t know tho, this might be private writing at this point. i am literally writing just to move my fingers and thus be doing something and thus not sleep. drums still goin, music still goin, so we can bop while we clean. but that was quite the event and i am so excited to climb in my bed and stay there indefinitely.
thanks for reading!