Story Time: I Was Sexually Assaulted When I Was 12

Those that are close to me know that I’ve been wanting to do a section on my site called Story Time, but this wasn’t how I wanted to start it. Not with this story. I wanted to start with a crazy or funny story, but due to my emotional state because of the recent news stories I figured I should tell this one. Please don’t forget to like and share. Click the video below for the full story…

 

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12 or 13 years old
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13 going on 14

I’d also like to add…Men would be screaming sexual assault if we held them down and shoved a dildo up their ass. Should we call them a hoe too cause they knew what they were getting into? I gotta stay off social media for awhile smh.

Perspective

This one is actually old but my blog was down at the time. So here goes…

December 5, 2016
Nicholas is 1 month old
1:15 AM

Nicholas has woken up while I’m sitting on the edge of the bed, chomping down on a mixture of two cereals. Rice Chex and some weird blueberry toast cereal that I didn’t buy. I never really can sneak and eat around him. He always catches me and then looks at me as if he caught me cheating on him. I quickly finished and sat the bowl on the dresser and slid underneath the sheets.
I laid next to him with some distance in between us and just stared at him. He looked back at me and started squirming. I laid still and watched as he used every muscle, every bone, and every ounce of his body to fight and wiggle his way toward me. I remained still and just stared. His arms flailing about, legs kicking the air and sheets, slightly rolling on his side. He stops when his hand touches my face. Opening his fist, he rubs his hand across my cheek and for a moment I thought his fight was over.
But it wasn’t. He started back up and once I realized that he wasn’t going to stop until I held him, I reached my arm out and snuggled him. He quickly calmed down and fell asleep. He needed me.

Then my emotions got the best of me. I thought to myself, if only his father would do the same for me. Fight with every ounce of his body to be closer to me. To get his family back. Show me the same strength and perseverance. He didn’t need me. Tears came flooding down.

Nicholas shifted in my arms and shifted my thoughts. He needed me. So I wiped my tears, pulled him closer, and closed my eyes. Inhaled his sweet baby smell and promised I’d always reach my arm out if ever he needed me.

They Come In Threes

Carl Rhem

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It wasn’t until I was around 8 or 9 that I learned that my brother’s father was not my biological father. My father had sent a card to my mother along with a picture, asking how the kids were and just wondering how we all were doing. I think my feelings about that at first was a little bit angry because I had been lied to, or something that important was hidden from me. It didn’t help that the years following he was not easy to contact. We never really knew where he was. The saying “Papa was a rolling stone” truly applied to him. By the time I hit my teens I remember him reaching out by mail again around my birthday. It was weird because he had sent a map of where I was located, indicating that he knew exactly where I was. However, by then I was not very interested in getting to know him. I had developed a nonchalant attitude to the fact that I had no father in my life. My brother’s father had lost my interest as well due to broken promises.

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We moved back to Philly when I was 15 and that’s when I finally got to meet him. The encounter was…I don’t know how to describe it. I was happy, a little excited, disappointed and weirded out all in one. First thing he did was hug me and kiss me on the lips. I was taken aback by that because here it is, I don’t know you and I’m 15 not a baby. He gave me all these things that I felt like were pass downs because I was his daughter. A guitar, artifacts, and a computer. We talked for awhile about our interest trying to build a connection, and then he told me that he would come see me the next day and take me out somewhere. He never came and he disappeared again.

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As I got older I realized (as much as I tried to deny it) that a part of the way I acted, the decisions that I made, all stemmed from me not having a strong and consistent father figure in my life. There were a few people that did what they could for the season that they were in my life, and I thank them for it, but it’s not the same. A friend of mine said to me when I was a teenager “You know you’re like that (fast) because you’re searching for love in men that you never got from your father.” I hated that saying and I wanted to believe with every part of my being that that wasn’t true. I wanted to believe that me not having a father had no affect on me. Well reality hit me. I’ll never forget one day my mother took me to see a dance recital called “Dance with My Father”. By now I was grown with a daughter of my own. As I watched the fathers swirl their daughters around pick them up and coddle them, I sunk down in my seat with tears rolling down my face. My mother, me, and my daughter all had missing fathers in our lives. It broke my heart and hurt me to the core. I silently cried the entire show. (I still have the DVD to the show, I refuse to watch it)

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When I was pregnant with my son, my mother had searched and got in touch with my father and gave me his information. This was two years ago, and my father was now in his 70’s living in a senior living apartment home. We talked frequently building a relationship, which also connected me with siblings I never knew I had. He apologized for not being in my life and I forgave him. I just wanted to move forward. He tried to tell me his life story almost every time we talked on the phone. I received pictures of him and my mother, family members, and pictures of him over the years. I quickly learned through our conversation that my father was adventurous, BLUNT, a handy man, a photographer, loved the water especially since he loved to fish, loved weed and alcohol, a free thinker, was an avid drug user back in the day, and looooooved women. Oh, and he hated needles. I appreciated his honesty with me, but I wasn’t happy about some of his stories and some of the things he sent me. I was disappointed in the fact that I never really had an idea of what type of man my father was nor envisioned him any certain way, and now that I knew who he was it wasn’t satisfying. We had a little disagreement, and by the time I had my son I was so occupied with him that I didn’t speak to my father as frequently as before. I realized that it was for the better that he wasn’t in my life when I was growing up. He said to me often that he did some things in his past that were bad and that he was a bad man. I continued to tell him that I loved him after every phone call.

October of last year my brother that I had grown close to, Carl Jr., called me and asked had I been in touch with our dad. Said he had been trying to reach him for the past couple days and wasn’t getting an answer. I tried calling and didn’t get an answer either. My mother called me shortly with the news that my father had been in the morgue for over a week. No one knew. The story goes that he died sitting on his couch in his apartment watching tv, alone. When they found him the tv was still on. I sat on the edge of my bed and cried so hard. The weeks prior he had sent me these homemade DVDs that he had made during some of his travels. Every time he called he asked me had I watched them, and my answer was always no. I felt guilty. I had planned on visiting Philly that fall/winter, but my funds just wouldn’t allow it, so I promised him that I would visit in the summer for my birthday. Now it was too late. The first and last time I saw my father I was 15. My brother Carl was beside himself, especially being that he was the closest to him than any of his other kids. Seeing him struggle with funeral arrangements, I found some cheap flights, took off work for bereavement, and flew to Philly for a week.

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I’ve Always Been A Cry Baby

It was crazy to me that here it is, my father never really did anything for me. At least not since I was an infant. And here I was helping clean his apartment and planning his funeral. It saddened me that this man sat in the morgue for over a week and no one knew. As a human being I still felt compassion for the situation. It was a weird feeling that my father’s death is what brought my siblings and I together to meet for the first time. Halfway thru the week that I was in Philly, and halfway thru many donations from my friends and family to help pay for my father’s funeral, my brother Carl Jr. drops a bomb on me about my father’s checkered past. His experiences as well as others. I reflected on my father’s words to me during one of our conversations, “I was a bad man”. The information that I received was not only heartbreaking but the timing that I received it was just all wrong. A part of me was a bit angry at my brother for telling me this during this time. I couldn’t help but to think if I knew what I know now before I took that flight, would I still have come? Would I still have cleaned out his apartment? Would I still have asked for money for his funeral? How would the people that donated feel if they knew this information? Then I thought about the worst thing that I’ve ever done in my life and the secrets that I hold. I thought about if it were me lying in the morgue for over a week, would I have wanted someone to have enough compassion for me to take care of my body and give me a proper burial. So, I pushed aside my feelings about the information and continued with the process of burying my father. The last day that I was there I was able to get in touch with Medicaid, they paid for his cremation, and I refunded the $900 that I had raised back to everyone. The funeral wasn’t until after I left, and my mother went in place of me, which was very big of her considering.

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When I got back home before I finished unpacking, I sat down and watched the homemade videos my father sent me. My daughter came in the room and hugged me while I cried some more. Like many others I’ll never know what it’s like to have a father. No matter what type of man he was, I can’t deny the fact that his blood runs through my veins. I didn’t hear too many bad things from my mother about him growing up and I thank her as well for offering her support given the circumstances. She was his ex-wife, she was abused, and she paid for his urn and held his flag during his military service. All I can say is Rest in Peace dad and I wish things would’ve been different.

George Gary

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When I think of George the lyrics play in my head “Diamond in the back, sun roof top, diggin the scene with a gangsta lean woo hoooo”. He always rode with his arm hangin out the window, bobbin his head to the old skool. Honestly, whatever old skool music I know, I know it because of him cause that’s all we listened to whenever we rode around.

George and my mother got together when I was around 7 years old and were together up until I was in middle school. He was the closest thing to a father figure that I ever had. I remember his house being our home away from home. Well they were engaged. We went over to his house every weekend and I was always excited cause I had my own room with a tv in it, he had cable and we didn’t, like really all the good stuff was at George’s house lol. He treated my brother and I like his own and we were a family. He took care of us. Even though it didn’t work out between the two of them (for reasons that’s none of my business) I know they loved each other and he taught my mother a lot. I remember her being annoyed because everywhere we went somebody knew George and he had to stop and talk to them for damn near an hour. We could never go any where and come RIGHT back home. Every time we got in the car it was literally a trip, nothing quick about it. I can still picture him drippin in jewelry, waves in his head, and smelling like Joop cologne. I remember being fascinated by all the things he had.

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In George’s Backyard

He was a good man. Even after him and my mother split, he still took me to school every morning and sometimes picked me up. Even after that ended I knew that if I ever needed anything I could call him. He lived down the street from us so he continued to drive by, honk the horn, and wave at us whenever he saw us outside. It was comforting to know that he still cared and was looking out for us.

Time went by, I grew up, moved away, and lost contact. When I first heard about George having health issues a couple years ago, I made sure to visit him while he was in a rehabilitation center recovering. I wanted him to know that I still cared even though I wasn’t in touch. Every now and then I would ask my mom how he was doing whenever he ran across my mind. On March 9th his niece messaged me on Facebook to let me know that he had passed. Of course I was very sad but it wasn’t until I attended the funeral and saw him that it weighed heavy on me. When I heard all the other stories from other people and just thinking about how he was good to us, I just broke down in tears. George was the best example of a man that I have to date. He worked hard and was a provider. He was stern but yet kind at the same time. I’ll always be grateful to him for that. Rest In Peace Georgy Porgy. P. S. He gave my mom the nickname BoBo which to this day I still have no idea where that came from.

Carl Jr.

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I’m still not over this. A day after attending George’s funeral, March 20th, I learned that my big brother Carl Jr. had passed away. I got up that morning, still with a heavy heart, scrolling Facebook and saw my brother’s picture posted with a caption that read “Rest In Peace”. It felt like my heart stopped. I thought to myself this can’t be true! NO!!!

The day that I met Carl Jr. he cried and he hugged me so tight. I’ll never forget that hug. From day one when we first spoke he always seemed so excited to have a little sister. Always genuinely concerned with how I was doing, how my kids were doing, and what was going on in my life. I never felt so close and connected to someone I only met a couple times in my life.

I know that Carl Jr. took our fathers passing very hard and a couple times he also pulled disappearing acts. Unfortunately, Dec 31st was the last time I had spoken to him. I had been angry with him at the time over a promise that he had made and didn’t fulfill. Even though I was over it soon after, I didn’t reach out to him and vice versa. I think he thought that maybe I was still angry with him, but I really wasn’t. By now I had planned on moving to Philly in the summer and planned on spending a lot of time with him when I got there. When I learned about how he passed I became angry. The selfish side of me felt like he left me behind and that he wasn’t thinking about how many people loved him. The selfish side of me felt like every time I get close to something, it’s taken away from me. That anger isn’t there anymore but I’m still very hurt behind it. I never thought I could miss someone so much that I hadn’t even spent a lot of time with. The memory of the last time I saw him still lingers in my mind. He hugged me so tight and said, “I don’t want to let you go”. I love you and really miss you Carl Jr. and I hope you know it. Rest in Peace.

Album Review: Wade “My First Song Is My Last Song”

Genre: Rap/Hip Hop

 

Last weekend I got the chance to sit down with my good friend Andre Ruffin and review “My First Song Is My Last Song” by Dallas underground artist Wade. I actually saw Wade perform at Wild Out Wednesday at Murphy’s and I was just as impressed with his style, lyrics, and delivery then as I am now with this album. As soon as I got home I downloaded it straight to my phone and listened to it several times since. Both Andre and I feel that it is a great album and it’s something that music lovers would absolutely enjoy. Our favorite songs are “Lounging”, “Day After”, “Dedikation”, and “Achy Blues”. One thing that I like the most about this album is that it gives you a variety of different styles all while remaining true to himself and his message. There were some songs we didn’t particularly care for, but at the same time it could cater more to a different type of listener and they may love it. The video is a bit lengthy so I’ve provided the times of each track below just in case anyone wanted to skip some parts.

Thanks again to Wade for asking me to review and thanks Andre for reviewing with me. It was fun, we have to do it again.  🙂 Don’t forget to like, share, and comment.

P.S. I promise I won’t chew gum next time.

 

 Andre’s Ratings                              My Ratings

Lyrics – 4 Stars                                Lyrics – 4 Stars

Beats – 4 Stars                                Beats – 4 stars

Delivery – 3 Stars                           Delivery – 4.5 Stars

Quality – 4 Stars                             Quality – 4.5 Stars

 

Track 1 – 2:05
Track 2 – 5:30
Track 3 – 10:50
Track 4 – 18:25
Track 5 – 25:13
Track 6 – 32:47
Track 7 – 41:06
Track 8 – 47:19
Track 9 – 55:00

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.wade.5832

https://www.instagram.com/wadewithme/

Music Review: Brennen John – “Don’t Go Alone”

Genre: Inspirational

 

Yesterday I was offered the chance to listen to an unreleased single by Brennen John and not only was I thrilled because of the exclusivity and consideration, but also super excited about the fact that it encouraged me to embark on this new journey of doing music reviews. Brennen is from Dallas and has been singing professionally since 2009. He already has quite a buzz on the internet and on the underground scene in the DFW. Because his single hasn’t been released yet I’m unable to do a recording of my initial reaction but I can still describe it to you guys.

Listening to this song makes me imagine enjoying a cool breeze, smiling while the sun beams down on my face, all while letting go of all my problems. I swear I played it like 6 times today. Everything from the finger snaps, melody, harmony, and the “Don’t Worry Be Happy” feel of the song puts you in a good mood. I enjoyed every single run that he did too. Sometimes people can do too many runs and it messes up the song but it wasn’t over the top, it was just right. I bobbed my head and tapped my feet the whole time. This song not only gives you hope but it also makes you want to grab someone, give them a hug and let them know that no matter what they’re going thru, you’ll be there for them and everything will be ok. This inspirational pick me up is right on time for anybody who’s going through hard times or feeling down.

If this delightful tune is a representation of more to come off of Brennen’s up and coming album I’m sure it will be a hit. Definitely be on the lookout for this guy! I love feel good music. Even though my interpretation of the lyrics was that God will always be there for you and be a shoulder to lean on, the message in the song is universal regardless of what your religion is. I wish you guys could have heard it the same time I did but you can follow him at the below links to hear some of his already released music. “Don’t Go Alone” will be available on Feb. 5th on Itunes, Amazon, Google Play, and CDBaby.

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Ratings

Lyrics – 5 stars

Beat – 5 stars

Delivery – 5 stars

Quality – 5 stars

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/brennen-john/id690203446

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brennenjohn

https://soundcloud.com/tags/brennen%20john

 

Don’t forget to like, comment, and share 🙂

Alsace Carcione Takes Home The Title of DDFW’S Master Of The Mic

Listen I am still hype from this past Saturdays DDFW Master Of The Mic contest! I didn’t even know anything about the show until the week of because I hadn’t been on social media for like a month. I also had no idea that this contest had been going on for months and this show was the last one with 6 finalist. Mark Spits and Madame Mims represented Fort Worth, Pudge Brewer and Ritchy Flo represented Denton, and Alsace Carcione and T. Lindsey represented Dallas. Celebrities D.O.C, Dorrough, and Erykah Badu were the judges. I wasn’t even going to do a review for it because I mainly went to show support for Alsace and knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay for the entire show. But I’m just so happy about her win that I had to make a post.

I got to Tree’s at 8:30 and the place wasn’t quite packed yet but the DJ already had people on the dance floor pop locking, break dancin, and dropping it like it’s hot  having a good time. After finding out the time that Alsace would be going on, my company and I decided to go across the street and eat some nachos at Fuzzy Taco’s (YUM 😛). We hung out there for almost an hour trying to pass the time then headed back to Tree’s. By then more people had packed in and a fella by the name of Mike Lackey was on the stage beat boxing and warming the crowd up. He did a good job, I have no complaints. But hey guy if you’re reading this, I would like to see more videos on your instagram page!

My company and I sat back and watched more people pour in and take pictures in front of the huge Master Of The Mic background. Different races, different styles, different ages, different everything was in the building. The place was filled with artist and people who loved art. It was quite a unique crowd and I loved every bit of it. My company, who is very picky about music, bobbed his head to DJ Snoopi’s mix and gave me the look of approval. The first act to hit the stage was Pudge Brewer from Denton. Unfortunately he didn’t hold my attention. I won’t say he was bad because I don’t think that at all. I was running into people that I knew and also chatting with my company so my attention just wasn’t fully on the stage.

Around 10:30 Alsace came full force starting her set off with a cover of “Killing Me Softly” and who else would be more appropriate to sing along other than her music partner Diva Sol. She then followed up with “Ain’t Goin” hyping the crowd up even more. THE BAND…OMG I mean they were amazing!  Even the host gave them their props.  I looked over at my company who was seriously enjoying “Black America” and “Been Grindin” (his fav) bobbin his head. Oh but when she did “Time Travel”…let’s just say there’s a reason I don’t have video footage for it because I was singing and dancing hard the whole time. And I saw you Alsace up there jiggin lol. The audience was absolutely feeling it too. Diva Sol went into straight up Rock Star mode during “Been Grindin” and started swingin her braids. Girl do you have whiplash after that lol? There was no surprise that she performed the song “Have Mercy” dedicated to her mother who is battling cancer, being as though this was such a special moment for her. As I watched Alsace take over the crowd, I couldn’t have been more proud of her. By the end of her performance both me and my company looked at each other and said she’s got this. 

Next up was Madame Mims, who to me seemed like she got a bigger introduction than the previous artist, but that’s neither here nor there. Her style is different and maybe even a little eccentric. It was something that I think I would have needed to listen to before seeing it performed. Honestly transitioning from Alsace to Madame Mims had me feeling like my high was coming down. And I’m not just saying this because I’m a fan of Alsace. A performance is a performance regardless of who I’m familiar with and not familiar with. It just seemed like a slow start. Like when you’re watching a movie and you’re like COME OOOON GET TO THE GOOD PART. I will say she had a nice flow though, there is no denying that. I left shortly after so I didn’t get a chance to see her full set and I hate I missed the others as well. My company really wanted to see some of the other male artist but it was getting late and he had work in the morning so we had to burn out. When I woke up the next morning and saw the good news I literally shouted.

Even though I didn’t get to see the other acts, I’ve seen the hard work Alsace puts in day in and day out to reach her goals (in her personal life and as an artist). That, along with the way she captured the crowd while going from one sound to the next and transfered her energy and emotion into the crowd, was more than enough for me to feel that she deserved the title of Master Of The Mic. The first ever to be exact. Congratulations again champ 🙂

To the other finalist reading this, so sorry I missed your performance and congrats on making it to the final round. Hopefully I’ll get to catch you guys at your next show. I’m especially looking forward to seeing Terrence because I have been seeing all the buzz online about him.

I know usually I post the videos below via Youtube but I have actually already posted them on my Facebook page so you can head over there and check them out at http://www.facebook.com/shelly80sbaby2
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to like, comment, and share 🙂

The Break Up

Have you ever been in a relationship where both of you did some things wrong and instead of solving the problem or coming to an agreement you continued to point the finger at each other? Well that was basically the overall reason for my recent break up (without going into details). It got so bad that arguments were literally occurring every day. Hurtful things were said and petty things were done on both sides and unfortunately there was no fixing it after that point. Somewhere down the line the fun, trust, honesty, respect, compromise, and consideration was all taken out of the relationship. I made one last attempt, but it was too late. We just couldn’t see eye to eye on certain things.

I sat back and had time to think about everything. I realized my faults and most times couldn’t bring myself to admit to them when I should have. Pride is a motha. People like to say well everything happens for a reason but that doesn’t soothe the pain you go through when you go through a break up. Even though we were only together for a short time I can honestly say my feelings for him were very real and I loved him. Still do.

Rihanna Stay Video

The hardest part about going through a break up is not being able to see their face, feel their touch, or hear their voice again. Plus he was introduced to the world, family, and friends and you have to go through that whole “we just didn’t work out” thing with everyone. I’m a deep thinker sometimes and I feel deeply, so whenever I’m going through something unfortunately it’s hard for me to just let it roll off my shoulders. I will almost always put up a strong front because I never like to appear weak, but inside I’m hurting and extremely disappointed.

Then there are the thoughts of wondering if they are with someone else. Have they already moved on? Did they ever really love you? Why couldn’t we fight just a little harder for the relationship? Maybe we just need a break? Maybe he’ll come running back and we can fix things? But the likelihood of that happening just isn’t there. Sacrifices were made on both sides and I can’t help but to think it was all in vain. I took a chance on love after not being in a serious relationship for 5 years and it just really sucks.

In the end I know I have to be strong. I have new opportunities coming up that require me to be focused and have my head on straight so I’m going to push through this. I guess I will have to look at it as a lesson learned.

Concert Review: Jazmine Sullivan @ House Of Blues/The Reality Show Tour

Jazmine Sullivan sang her ass off and shook her tail feather this past Friday at the House of Blues. The sold out show included the very talented up and coming artist Jordan Bratton as her opening act. Jordan performed well and Jazmine had the entire crowd going AWF! There were so many people there and there was a lot going on in the crowd before Jazmine hit the stage that I had a slight panic attack and almost left. But I stayed and toughed it out and gathered as much footage as I could for you guys. Get into the details below…

So I arrived at 6:40 and there was already a line but thank goodness it wasn’t that long. Doors are supposed to open at 7:00 but I think it was more like 7:15 once we started going in. Once I made it inside, to give you an idea of how close I was to the stage, if there were rows I would’ve been in the 4th row. The most annoying part about the whole night from beginning to end was the amount of times people kept getting in and out of their spot to go get drinks or whatever. It was the same group of people that were doing it in front of me. Now I understand leaving and coming back once, maybe even twice. But these folks did it at least about 6 or 7 times. I was so over it. Each time they did it I had to back into someone else to make room.

Jordan Bratton hit the stage around 8:00. He started out hiding a little because the lights were very dim and he had a hoodie on. When the beat dropped I literally felt like the bass was gonna make my chest explode the way the vibrations moved through my body. I think everyone around me was a little taken back by it too. He started out slow and then turned up and bounced around the stage full of energy. Some of his dance moves seemed to incorporate some martial arts. Some of the people in the audience seemed to know who he was and nodded their heads with approval. I didn’t know who he was until I came home and did more research on him. I realized I had seen him before when I stumbled across his video for his song “Stranger” and I remember thinking back then this guy is gonna be doin big things. Little did I know he was already doin big things at the young age of 9 playing Simba in Broadways The Lion King. Through his lyrics it’s clear that this guy still remains humble as he warns people about temptations and losing themselves in the fast life. He did a good job and held the crowd’s attention for the most part. There were two awkward moments though. The first one was when he asked the audience to take a pic with him for Instagram. The crowd didn’t turn up for the gram though when the pic was taken. Also during his last song there was a pause moment and everyone thought it was the end and started clapping, mainly because they were ready to see Jazmine. I don’t think it was any shade towards him. Nevertheless he did a great job. During one of his songs he had the lights flashing on and off giving a real rock star kinda feel. It was pretty cool. When he jumped on the piano and started playing he was making these facial expressions that reminded me of Tommy Davidson when he sings lol. He did about 5 or 6 songs including single “Danger” and a cover of Drakes “Hold On, We’re Going Home”.

It was now 8:30 and the quilted curtain was closed and a DJ and the back played some tunes for the crowd. This is when the moving around got to be too much for me and now I was starting to get an attitude with people. One guy who was returning to his spot got up behind me and while I was trying to move to the side he said “alright now don’t back into me like that, I might like it”. I looked at him like MAN GON ON! Then another guy moved him and his friend up next to me, which cause me to almost fall into the people on the other side of me. I gave him the evil eye and he was like “Aw sis don’t be like that it’s Good Friday”. I said “No it’s hot and I’m tired of all this moving!” Some of the people that were saying excuse me trying to get through weren’t even originally in front of us. At that point I started having a panic attack and said to myself if Jazmine don’t come out in 10-15 I’m gonna have to leave cause I can’t take this anymore. This was normal wait time for a concert but this particular crowd was very antsy and personal space was no longer an option. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore an announcer from 105.7 I believe began to introduce Jazmine.

It was now 9:14 and we heard Jazmine on the speakers before we saw her. It took a minute for them to open the curtains, longer than usual or expected. Jazmine appeared in a skin tight black leather dress with tassels hanging from the sleeves, opening up with her song “Famous”. The vocal powerhouse then continued with her first single “Dumb” off of her latest album titled Reality Show. When the crowd saw her dancing and breakin it down they got hype and started bouncing and dancing too. She continued with songs from her first two albums including “Bust Your Windows”, “Lions Tigers and Bears” , and “Holdin You Down”. She danced and had some choreography during her performances and not once sounded out of breath. She performed an acoustic version of “Stupid Girls” and killed “Forever Don’t Last Always”.  There was one guy in front of me that you would have sworn he was in church the way he was raising her hand every time she hit her signature notes. I had to keep moving so that it wouldn’t be in the videos I was recording but I think it’s in every single one lol. During the show she talked a little in between songs and spoke to the audience about self-love. I remember when she decided to take a break from the music industry but I’m so glad she was able to overcome her battles and deliver us that good music we yearned for. She has such a great voice and she is definitely a great performer as well. I have no complaints what so ever. Well I do have one but it was my fault. She started closing the show with “Need U Bad” around 10:13. I recorded some and made my way thru the crowd toward the exit. I was disappointed she didn’t sing “In Love With Another Man” but I was ready to go. I later got home and went on Instagram to look up other peoples videos and low and behold she sang it after I left. I was so hurt lol. I threw a slight temper tantrum lol. She sang a total of 12 songs but I didn’t record them all.

So in conclusion it was a great show, no disappointments from the artist or venue, only the crowd. I was a tad bit surprised there wasn’t a security check. I guess they figured Jazmine Sullivan fans ain’t gonna cause a ruckus. I sure wanted to fight some of those people though. I got a good view and the ticket was only $39. Peep the pics, links, and videos below. Don’t forget to like, share, and comment. Also follow me on Instagram for clips of the shows I go to before I post to the blog.

 

 

https://instagram.com/thegreyfocks/

http://jazmine-sullivan.org/

https://www.facebook.com/jazminesullivan

https://instagram.com/jsullivanmusic/

 

****Don’t forget to like, share, and comment :-)****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concert Review: Erykah Badu @ The Bomb Factory In Deep Ellum

This was absolutely the WORST experience I’ve had with a venue since I have been doing this. At first I tried to be understanding because it was opening night, but then I remembered it was RE-opening night. So they’ve done this before. Which means they should have been better prepared. So many things could have been done differently that would have cut down on the confusion that went on the entire night. They failed miserably when it came to the reserved seating in the balcony and also preparation for the line outside. As far as Erykah Badu, I honestly don’t have anything bad to say about her performance, she was perfect.  So let’s get into it…

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I had purchased my ticket for $50 pretty much as soon as it was announced back in January and I decided to buy a seat in the balcony so I wouldn’t have to stand. I really wanted a break from general admission standing only tickets. I picked a seat close up that would be perfect for capturing footage of the show.  Since I had a reserved seat I didn’t rush out the house to get there before the doors opened. Doors were supposed to open at 7:00 and I arrived on the street of the venue at 8:30. To my surprise while riding around looking for a parking spot, I discovered that the line to get in was wrapped all the way around to the next street. Basically the line was one big square around the venue. My mouth fell open in disbelief, but then I shook it off and said maybe by the time I find a parking space the line will have gotten better.  WRONG! The line was still wrapped around the block 30 mins later. One thing is for sure, Dallas loves Erykah Badu! A friend of mine said that she felt like she was in line at an amusement park. By now it was 9:00 and I was missing the opening acts. Another friend inside said that they did good but then the person sitting next to me inside said I didn’t miss anything. I didn’t make it inside until 9:30.

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Once I got inside and took a look around I realized this place was HUGE and it was PACKED! It was very dark too.  I made my way upstairs to the balcony and it was packed up there too. The security guard at the bottom of the steps had to point a flashlight on the steps to help people find their way. People that didn’t have reserved seating were really taking up too much space and it was hard moving around up there. I kept thinking if there was an emergency or something, this would be really bad. They really should have cleared the way for people to make it through. There were a couple flat screens playing sports throughout the venue and it didn’t seem to interrupt anything. Once I made my way to the end of the row where I was supposed to be sitting I noticed someone was in my seat. So I spoke with the security on that end and he directed me to the other end of the row. So I went to the other end and someone was sitting in that seat also. So security made the person get up. Throughout the night they had to keep asking people to get up because the seats didn’t have any signs or numbers on them to let people know those were reserved. When I was sitting there I was thinking to myself I know I paid to sit closer to the stage. So I asked the person next to me on my right did they select a closer seat and they said yes. I asked the person on my left and they said yes also. So I pulled the seating chart up online and low and behold they had switched everyone around. Instead of them seating us the correct way with the seats going 1-33, they had it the opposite way going 33-1. So everyone who was supposed to be closer was now far away. The couple next to me complained that they had been moved 3 times already because security kept sitting them in the wrong seat and they were just gonna let it go. Because I have a blog and wanted to get great footage and wasn’t JUST there to enjoy the show, I went to the security guard, showed him the seating chart online and he talked in his ear piece and I went and sat back down and waited for him to come and fix the situation. Well he never came. So I went and talked to him again and he advised me to go to the ticket booth and speak to someone down there. By now it’s 10:15 and I was scared the show was about to start and I would miss it so I rushed downstairs as fast as I could and got ahold of the box office manager. She told me she would see what she could do and come up there and find me. I ran back up stairs and to my surprise my seat was gone. Not that someone was sitting in my seat, but my whole seat was gone. So once again I’m back talking to security to get now another issue solved. And once again all he did was talk into his little ear piece. Another security guard had made her way over there and informed me that everyone on that row paid the same price so it’s not like one person gets better than the other. I angrily said to her “I paid to be in seat 8 not seat 26! I selected a closer seat!” She said to give her a minute and she’ll be back to help me. I stood there looking misplaced and frustrated. She never came back so I just took it upon myself to ask everyone in seats 1-7 to kinda scoot down and make enough room for me to get back into my spot. Everyone was nice and understanding and they moved down for me. I gave security the evil eye because I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just do that. But even after all of that I still had no seat. So I just stood there in my space for majority of the show. The box office manager finally made it up to the balcony where I was and all she did was hand me her card along with the production manager’s card and offered tickets for another event. What I really wanted was my money back.

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I tried to just enjoy the show, but the more I looked at my screen on my phone when I was recording and saw that the footage and pics wasn’t as good as it would’ve been had I been in the right seat, the seat that I selected online when I paid for my ticket, the more I got upset. Not only that I paid more for my ticket so that I could sit instead of stand and here I was standing, after already standing in that long ass line outside. Erykah Badu made it onstage around 10:56 and opened up with “20 Feet Tall”. The wonderful lady next to me offered to take turns sitting down because she felt bad for me and was just as pissed about everything. Erykah had on this huge black pancho-esque coat and I couldn’t help but think damn I know she is hot as hell in that thing. She took it off later during the show revealing her overalls. One of her kids ran out on stage during her performance, I’m assuming her youngest one. It was cute. She repped her city hard during the show and the crowd embraced her with open arms. The songs flowed smoothly into each other without her hardly coming to any stops or intermissions. The sound was crisp and clear and she had a backdrop with graphics playing during the show. While I was there I received a text from my friends letting me know they would be around the corner at a spot called Freemans (The Free Man Cajun Café and Lounge) and asked me to swing by before I went home. The more I stood there trying to focus my camera, the more being there with my friends seemed like a better idea.  I looked around and found an empty seat and went over and asked the people around was it taken, and one of the gentlemen was kind enough to carry it over to my area for me. But even after I got a seat I still just couldn’t shake it off and get over the fact that I was so far away. I gave up and said goodbye to my neighbors after she performed “Window Seat” around 11:30 and headed downstairs to the box office to see about a refund. The box office manager was nowhere to be found and I didn’t want to wait around for her. I made my way to Freemans to meet my friends. While I was walking down the street I chatted with a couple who were walking behind me and asked them did they enjoy the show and they said they did, and that the long line to get in was their only complaint.

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I met up with my friends and I have to say I had way more fun at Freemans than I did The Bomb Factory. I had a front row view of some very talented individuals that were performing. The more intimate feel along with good drinks and good company definitely made up for what I had just been through. The group that was performing was called The Found which included Marcus Jones (drummer), Chris Traylor, MC Cyfa Fix, Charlie Hughes (guitar), Robert Gaines (Bass), Jordan Walker (keyboards), and James Robinson (keyboards).  The band was all the way live and had me sayin yaasss and bobbin my head the whole time. They was jamming and having a good time while doin it. From what I was told they perform there quite often and also at Sandaga 813 downtown. I remember thinking damn this is what I’ve been missing out on all this time. My friends have been trying to get me to go to Freemans for awhile now and I’m so glad I went and had such a wonderful experience.

So my night wasn’t completely ruined, Erykah Badu was awesome, The Bomb Factory gets a thumbs down, and I’m already ready to go back to Freemans. Shout out to the people that were nice to me at The Bomb Factory: Ashley and her boo (seats 9 & 10), Whitney (seat 7), and Flozell for carrying my chair for me. Thanks for reading this loooong review and don’t forget to like, share, and comment. I definitely would like to hear other peoples experience there at The Bomb Factory. Peep the links, pics, and videos below…

https://www.facebook.com/erykahbadu

https://twitter.com/fatbellybella

http://www.thebombfactory.com/

http://www.freemandallas.com/

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