Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Life of a King is the unlikely true story of Eugene Brown and his one-man mission to give inner-city kids of Washington D.C. something he never had – a future.  He discovered a multitude of life lessons through the game of chess during his 18-year incarceration for bank robbery.  After his release and reentry into the workforce, Eugene developed and founded the Big Chair Chess Club to get kids off the streets and working towards lives they never believed they were capable of due to circumstances.  From his daring introductory chess lessons to a group of unruly high school students in detention to the development of the Club and the teens’ first local chess competitions, this movie reveals his difficult, inspirational journey and how he changed the lives of a group of teens with no endgame.” [Source]

Release Date: January 17, 2014

Cast: Cuba Gooding Jr., Dennis Haysbert, LisaGay Hamilton and more.

Related Articles

1. Ultra Fest in Miami (This Looks AMAZING!!!)

2. Coachella (They Brought Tupac Back To Life)

3. Trillectro (An Eclectic music Experience)

4. Rock The Bells (They Brought ODB Back To Life)

5. Burning Man (The Most Eccentric Festival on The Planet)

6. Mardi Gras (A Drunken Good Time)

Can’t Show Any of Those Videos…just YouTube Mardi Gras and you’ll see what I mean.

7. SXSW (Feel The Energy!!!)

 

 

 

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For those who missed one of the most eclectic concerts of the year, here’s a quick rundown of my top nine most memorable experiences of this year’s Trillectro Music Festival:

1. Herbal Essences – No. I am not referencing that shampoo that had the risqué commercials back in the 90’s. While in the crowd observing performances  throughout the day I was hit with numerous waves of what Snoop Dogg terms the “sticky icky icky“. Oh don’t worry, I didn’t catch any contact. One thing I will say is that I definitely think that green magical plant is what helped keep people in positive moods for the duration of the festival.

2. Food Trucks – The food at the fairgrounds was provided by a multitude of food trucks. The most noticeable trucks were the grilled cheese truck, the cookie truck and the cheese steak truck. I ate my first cheese steak filled with cheese whiz at Trillectro and I must say the whiz makes all the difference. They filled that bread with savory steak, cheese whiz, chopped onions and topped it with ketchup and I was feeling like I was in sandwich heaven. Downside: The nine dollar price tag, the fact it didn’t come with fries or chips, and the fact they only accepted cash. But hey, when you’re hungry and at a festival you expect things to cost more and you should know to always bring cash.

3. Two Stages – Stage One: The Karmaloop stage sporting the Karmaloop logo was where most, if not all, of the EDM Dj’s ran their sets. Jumping  from those speakers were straight “wub wub!”, “boom! boom! boom!”, and a multitude of crowd snatching, endorphin surging tunes that kept the festival dwellers moving for hours. The second stage was the main stage. It was set up for the music performers. I arrived at the festival just in time to catch the last thirty or so minutes of EDM sets and then I stood in the crowd to watch Casey Veggies, Travis Scott, King Chip, Asap Ferg and Asap Rocky tear down DC like no other. Sidenote: Travis Scott is the most hype performer I have ever seen. His stage presence is not just strangely captivating, but even a little ominous. That could possibly be attributed to his hype and yet sometimes grim beats. But, there was no doubt about it. In the conversation of who reigned supreme at Trillectro, hands down it was Asap Ferg with the rest of the Asap mob. Those guys took over the stage and had the entire Trillectro festival jumping.

4. Drinks – Those who know me know that I love beer. So I was more than happy when I discovered tall boy (16 ounces) Redd’s Apple Ale was available at the festival. I think I drank three or four of them. They also had tall boy’s of Sam Adams Summer Shandy, Bud Light and a few other beers that I seldom drink. Margaritas and strawberry lemonade were also in their non-beer drink selection and when I tell you those margaritas were good too, I mean it. They were delicious! Downside: Sixteen ounce beers were priced as high as seven dollars. So make sure that if you go to the festival next year you have plenty of money on you.

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5. DMV Music Artists – As a frequent planner of hiphop showcases in the DC metro area, a radio show host and executive producer I have developed a relationship with many local music artists. Trillectro was definitely not low on local talent on and off the stage. While walking around the fairgrounds I bumped into local artists Lyriciss, ill Stafa, Seph Ade, Nike Nando, Paperboy Prince of the Suburbs, Brain Rapp, Ike Da Kid, Kaye Trill, Stef, and many more. With all of the local artists so easily accessible, Trillectro almost felt more like the DMV’s (DC, MD, and VA) own smaller version of SXSW (South by Southwest). And let’s not forget those DMV artists who actually performed like New Retro, Phil Ade, Fat Trel, Shy Glizzy, RDGLDGRN and Wale!

6. Beautiful Women – Although there were many women who looked like they’d attended one too many ragers or just didn’t know what was appropriate for their body size. There were enough beautiful women to balance out the overall aesthetic of the festival. Needless to say, I definitely saw some head turners. But, it wasn’t just their faces that made them beautiful. So many women were dressed down and just ready to have a good time. It was moreso their pure style and what some may refer to as “swag” that drew me and many other guys eyes into their directions. It was not unusual to see natural hair, locs, tattoos, headbands, hand-made bracelets and chains, and completely couture outfits. Many women were on their hippy status and that made the vibe so much more enjoyable.

7. Eccentric People – The eccentricity didn’t end with the female festival attendees. Many of their male counterparts were adorned in hand-crafted wooden necklaces, tie dye shirts, and other throwback and vintage style getups. It was quite common to see a guy sporting camo shorts, a tye die tee, a bucket hat with marijuana leaves imprinted on it, slip-on flops, a drink in one hand and a doobie in the other. There were women wearing bra’s like they were bikini tops, kids sporting blonde locs, and black and white peace socks that revealed the plant just above their Jordans.  I revelled in the environment. I loved the fact that no two people looked alike. Everyone had their own style. The festival of individualism was a great escape from the Monday to Friday, nine-to-five khaki pants and blue shirt wearing clone doldrums that many DC dwellers undergo.

8. “Turn Up!” – The phrase of the day was definitely “Turn Up!” (to become energetic, highly enthused or overly excited) And man did we turn up once the ASAP Mob hit the stage. ASAP Ferg’s “Work” and “Shabba” got the entire crowd off their feet. At that point anyone at the festival who hadn’t relaxed and let loose, did. For ASAP Ferg’s entire set everyone in the festival turned up and went wild for the night. Of course ASAP Rocky’s surprise guest appearance during Ferg’s set was definitely a bonus that took the level of excitement to higher heights. With the alcohol flowing, the green leaves lit, and the music pumping everyone was forced to Turn Up!

9. Comradery – Myth: When large crowds of black people develop, a fight generally ensues. Fact: During the four and a half hours I attended the Trillectro festival I did not experience one fight. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying there weren’t any. I am simply saying that I didn’t hear of any or see any while I was there. I feel like the type of people who attend an event like Trillectro aren’t there to cause problems. It felt like we were all there to have fun and relax from the everyday stresses of life. Within those fairground walls, the outside world no longer existed. We became immersed in the moments. Of course within the crowd shoes were stepped on, people regularly brushed against you or shoved a little to dash for a closer view of the performances. But, it was as if there was an unspoken agreement between all the attendees there that these actions were not out of disrespect. They were simply a result of heightened energy within the fairground walls and spatial laws that meant there was no way to avoid it. But, most people were smart to avoid wearing really nice shoes. And those who weren’t, either stayed out of the large crowd or were so turned up they didn’t care.

Overall, I had a great Trillectro experience. Although the four hours I spent there seemed to fly by and I spent more money than I may have planned, my greatest memories are the expressions on everyone’s faces, the people I encountered and the overall positive vibe. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. We were all happy. And that’s what festivals are all about. Right?

2012-07-21-YO-Sushi-Union-Station-52After viewing Yo! Sushi’s television debut on Travel Channel’s Fast Foods Gone Global and discovering the chains first restaurant was coming to DC, I knew I had to try this place out upon its arrival. I recently visited the first Yo! Sushi in America located in none other than Union Station in the Nations Capital where I was greeted by a very modern decor and tapas like fare. So many things caught my eye I almost don’t know where to begin. I guess the first thing I noticed was…everything. It was almost like a sensory overload. There were brightly colored seats and wall panels, neon lights, a food conveyor belt (we’ll go into detail on that one later), wait staff dressed in Japanese-style garbs, and a color coded plate system like none other. The music was upbeat, the atmosphere was casual and the clientele was as diverse as the city of DC itself. This was an entirely new experience for me and I must admit I highly enjoyed it. I sat on a bar stool near the entrance of the restaurant. (Something I don’t normally do, but it wasn’t bad.) Although the restaurant was open and colorful, there was still a sense of privacy when speaking with my guest. I also noticed the manager attempted to optimize privacy by sporadically seating parties of two or more so no one would feel too crammed or uncomfortable. Bonus points for that one!

An added bonus to the bar seating areas is that they each have a personal water faucet, bottle of soy sauce and wasabi. The individual faucets definitely come in handy when you’ve realized you were overambitious with the spicy wasabi. My guest and I were greeted by our server for the evening. She explained the color coded plate system. (There is a varying cost associated with different colored plates.) Watching the food revolve around the food conveyor belt – a sort of automatic mini airport walkway for Japanese treats – in front of us only made us more hungry so after we placed an order for a couple of hot dishes we began grabbing the tastiest looking few off the belt and started to go to town on a variety of sushi and sashimi. Although the sushi was good. The most memorable dishes were the fried calamari and the chicken teriyaki. Pardon my American palette. The calamari was lightly battered and yet still crunchy. While the chicken teriyaki was hot and flavorful. (I am a sucker for anything teriyaki by the way, so my tastebuds may be a little bias.) They both went well with my Yuengling, which only costs $3.50 during their 4pm-7pm Happy Hour. (What a steal?!) The cordial wait staff combined with the delectable dishes, the vast variety of hot and cold food options, the inviting atmosphere and the great happy hour prices are what make the Yo! Sushi experience memorable and it is definitely an experience I shall have again. So if you’re ever in DC, go to Union Station and experience it for yourself. Check out this YouTube photo sequence below for a better look at the first Yo! Sushi in the United States.

 

If you live in the DC Metropolitan area, consider yourself a foodie and have not yet heard of Hot N Juicy Crawfish, you might want to rethink your self – proclaimed title. This place is a genuine seafood sensation. Until I visited, I had never tasted crawfish. I always thought they looked like little insects of the sea. Sorry for the creepy image. But, after dining at Hot n Juicy Crawfish, it definitely made me a fan of those little meaty crustaceans. But, surprisingly it isn’t the seafood that is the crown jewel of this dive resembling restaurant. It is their special combination of spices, seasonings and cooking methods that have allowed this place to expand to five locations throughout the United States, building a name for itself one major city at a time.

HotNJuicy1While there, I enjoyed one “experience” selection – one pound of crawfish, one pound of shrimp and one pound of Andouille sausage with two half corn cobs and two medium potatoes with Hot N Juicy Special seasoning and mild spice; one bag of mussels boiled in their mild Hot N Juicy Special Seasoning, and one bag of shrimp boiled in their mild Hot N Juicy Special seasoning. All of it was amazing. The seasoning is so good that it is almost hard to formulate words that express the level of flavorful excellence they have executed within every bag. The food was so good, it made Bud Light – a beer I am not a fan of – the perfect liquid companion for this culinary quest. The combination of spicy seafood and savory sausage with the bubbly Bud Light was hot and juicy and refreshing all at once. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my Sunday. In between shucking shells into the tin bucket they give you and devouring morsels of shrimp and crawfish, I enjoyed great conversation and even better aromatics from the kitchen. All while unconsciously keeping my clothes clean thanks to the bibs our server gave us. The only downside to the Hot N Juicy Crawfish experience is that at some point you get full, but you still want to try everything else on the menu.

A few words of advice to the first timer: Be cautious of the spice level! Every level packs a punch. When only boiled with mussels, even the mild spice can cause watering from the eyes. I was glad I did not venture into spicier territory. I would have surely been overwhelmed. Needless to say, if you want a great dining experience with great food and cordial wait staff, Hot N Juicy Crawfish is the way to go. And if you attend on a Sunday afternoon, be sure to order two drinks at a time because the waiters can get pretty busy running around fulfilling every diner’s request. I’m curious about whether the other locations are just as good or better than the DC one. I guess I’ll just have to travel to Vegas, Florida, or California and find out for myself. In the meantime, check out a few other reviews of Hot N Juicy Crawfish here: Yelp!, FourSquare, TripAdvisor, and Zagat. AND check out their Unique Eats special below!

Maryland Hip-Hop artist B Tha B-Boy is back at it with a visual for his new song “Meaning of Art”. The Fatz HD directed video displays ‘B’ in a variety of urban and natural landscapes. The gritty spaces displayed in the video are a stark contrast to the urban landscape of downtown Washington DC and they really bring life to the harsh realities of B’s lyrics within the song. Unlike most hip-hop videos of today, this visual actually tells a story and allows the viewer to watch it unfold within the lyrics and on-screen. I’ve probably said this before, but I am truly a fan of this guy for stepping out of the commercial hip-hop comfort zone of limitless N-words, sex talk and drug lingo to tell a story that is often left unspoken. Videos like this prove that Hip-Hop videos are not always composed of half-naked women, a collage of close-ups of jewelry and expensive cars and 100 guys in white tees repping their neighborhood. A visual can be so much more stylistically appealing and the lyrics can portray a far different picture. Check out the video to “Meaning of Art” below and let me know what you think. Also, be sure to follow B Tha B-Boy on his social media accounts [twitter, facebook and soundcloud] and download his latest project for free HERE!

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Deli Style WrapsFor the last few years The Delegation (formerly known as The Whole Damme Delegation), a self-proclaimed “Hip Hop Noire” band has been steadily climbing up the popularity precipice, spreading their unique sounds around the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, or what is commonly known as The DMV. The band led by fellow University of Maryland alumnus and Undergrounduates emcee Navid “The Swami” Azeez has been producing and hosting events and concerts around the DMV every month for the last few years and this year is no exception. Comprised of Navid “The Swami” Azeez on vocals, samples and production; Evan “The Locksmith” Ignatz on the keyboard; Sammy “The Drum” Morehead on the drums, Artit “As, One” Sriboonruang on the turntables and production, and Liora “Lil Lio” Valero on vocals, The Delegation delivers an eclectic experience that only an audio-visual melting pot of rhymes, sights and sounds could brew.

TD1After performing at DMV venues like Penn Social (DC), Brass Monkey (Baltimore) and Fat Tuesday’s (Virginia) last month, The Delegation is bringing more musical madness with Deli Style Wraps – their monthly performance and open mic cipher jam – at Zeba Bar in DC on Friday March 8th and for Navi The Swami’s birthday party at Zeba Bar on Friday March 22nd. Traditionally, Deli Style Wraps allows for an hour and a half performance from The Delegation and then an hour and a half freestyle open mic jam session backed by the band. This is one audio acid trip you won’t want to miss. This event is totally free and open to the public for music lovers 21 and over. Interested in getting down with The Delegation for Deli Style Wraps on 3/8? Click here! Want to help The Delegation celebrate Navi The Swami’s bday on March 22nd? Click Here!

Check out some highlights from last month’s Deli Style Wraps featuring yours truly.