All-Star Weekend LA

As we all know, all-star weekend took place in Los Angeles, CA this past weekend.  This is the biggest event for the NBA organization and I was elated to participate in some of the festivities.  My first all-star experience happened to be in New York and I thought to myself, now what’s going to be able to top when I met Paul George.  There were a number of events going on that weekend so you had to make yourself an itinerary and stick with it; discipline is key people.  Trust me on this 😊

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To kick off the all-star weekend, I went to see Black Panther.  Although this has nothing to do with the actual all-star event whatsoever, the fact that it was released during this weekend meant I had to go and see this.  I mean, I think everyone put this on their agenda for opening weekend.  Now back to the NBA.  I had the pleasure of meeting both Andre Drummond and Lou Will at the Kia Loft space.  Their setup was cool as you could take on a match of NBA 2K, try to beat the escape room within the 10 minutes allotted or post to your social using their hashtag and get an instant Polaroid printout of that picture.  Pretty cool stuff, right?  I also was able to check out the American Express event  in partnership with Shaquille O’Neal.  It was cool to see the converted bank safe that stored a few of the Lakers prized possessions including and autographed Shaq’s jersey, a replica of the championship trophy and the king’s chair with the crown made perfect photo ops. Not to forget the infamous slam dunk gif that I had way too much fun with.

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Of course, there were events like the rookie game, the dunk contest and celebrity basketball match-ups.  I was able to catch the celebrity game at the convention center which was cool to see people with other talents showcasing their basketball skills or lack thereof lol.  Overall still something cool to catch to be a part of the festivities.  In addition to that, I was also able to stop by an event sponsored by Spalding that showcased customized basketballs and featured Demar Derozan and my favorite, Damian Lillard aka Dame Dolla, in a 2K match.

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As if the sporting events weren’t enough, there were also a ton of exclusive releases happening as well.  From the Dame 4 Bapes that dropped at the Adidas 747 St Warehouse, to Russell Westbrook’s pop-up featuring his new fashion collection ‘Inner City’, to the Kobe Protos made available at Nike’s own ‘Makers of the Game’ and even a pop-up from the NYC-flagship store, Kith; soon to have a home in LA as well.  If you’re a fan of the NBA, all-star is definitely something you would want to experience at least just once.  Checkout some of the shots I was able to capture during this LA All-Star weekend.

 

 

The DAMN Tour

I have been a fan of Kendrick Lamar for quite some time now.  To see how much he’s grown as an artist is just simply amazing. The first time I saw him live was back in 2009 or 2010 at 1OAK in Las Vegas. The next time was at an intimate art gallery space in Brooklyn.  I’ll save the story behind how I finessed my way in but it was definitely worth it seeing that it was right after the release of Good Kid Maad city.  The time after that, I saw him again in  Brooklyn, Williamsburg to be exact, and he did a show for like $10 or $15.  This was around the time the Meek Mill beef was introduced  and quickly ended once Kendrick made it clear he was not a force to be reckoned with.  The next time I saw him live in concert was right after my birthday celebration in Vegas in 2015.  I literally hopped off my flight and went to Terminal 5 in New York to catch Kunta’s Groove Sessions.  Something about him and his performances that I never want to miss.  So here we are now to speak about the DAMN Tour.

When the album first released I couldn’t wait to hear it.  There was so much anticipation for it.  I wanted to know the theme he would have for this one, the overall tone of the album, if any artists would be addressed, etc.  After hearing the complete project,  to say I was elated would be an understatement.  I listened to both Element and Lust over and over again, loved the vocals from both he and Rihanna on Loyalty, reminisced about my own childhood with Fear and smiled uncontrollably on my train ride to work when I heard ‘God’.  At the time when the news about the DAMN Tour was released,  I stayed in New York and decided that I wanted to experience the show in Los Angeles.  Fast forward a few months and I not only relocated to California but kept my wish and saw Kendrick live at the 2nd show in Staples Center.  To be able to attend the show in LA meant everything to me.

Before the show, Kendrick tweeted about a pop-up being hosted at Blends in Downtown Los Angeles.  Of course I stopped by and was able to snag a tee.  The wall was plastered with the iconic picture from the DAMN album and filled with merch including DAMN tees, coach jackets stamped with ‘Pray for Me’ on the front and tour dates on the back, hats and hoodies.  The pop-up setup was very simple but effective.  Okay now I can re-focus on the tour highlights.

The tour opened with the high energy of DRAM and Travis Scott.  Both did a phenomenal job live but the performance from Travis Scott on the eagle throughout his set was pretty epic.  The Butterfly Effect and Goosebumps would have to be my favorites of the night from him.  Now it was time for Corn Row Kenny himself to make an appearance.  The moment was finally here.  A brief news clipping aired while smoked filled the stage and then Kendrick appeared with a yellow tailored fit for his DNA opening performance.  The crowd went wild!  As the night continued, Kendrick stayed true to the Kung Fu Kenny theme with interactive film scenes and live fighting scenes to add to the theatrics of the show.  Although this was a tour for DAMN, I loved how he gave the audience hits from prior albums.  He comforted us with  “Alright” and let us knew that no matter what even when being tested in this thing we call life, we will be alright.  The momentum of the crowd continued to heighten with each song from Good Kidd Maad City including ‘Money Trees’ and ‘Swimming Pools’ and we even got to his infamous untitled album with his performance of  ‘Levitate’.  Everyone sang every word and we even got to show our true talent with our acapella version of ‘Humble’.   I watched all of the performances of each song in pure amazement and awe.  I know I actually experienced this show to the highest potential because I didn’t get a lot of video.  I wanted to be in the moment and actually enjoy the show.  The final song the Compton born legend performed was very fitting; the song entitled ‘GOD’.  I will continue to follow him throughout his musical journey and I’m so glad he shares his life and experiences with us through his lyricism.  You may not grasp the full message the first go round or second or third.  But once you really listen and consume his music the way he intended, there are meaningful and powerful messages throughout each album.  Kendrick Lamar I thank you!  Enjoy my instastory below and a few snapshots of the pop-up.

Kendrick Lamar- The DAMN Tour, Staples Center from Lifeofacitygal

Nobody Safe Tour

If anyone knows me well, you would be sure to know I’m a huge fan of Future.  The first date for the Nobody Safe Tour in Atlanta, the best city ever 🙂 , was on May 5th.  Without a question when my best friend asked me to attend, I was there!  First flight out of NYC to my hometown to share this moment. Okay, so normally Cinco de Mayo consumes this day without a doubt but this May 5th would definitely be different.  Of course, we indulged in the festivities and had margaritas for a little pre-game but the hype for the evening was this concert.  Unfortunately, it had to be the coldest day Atlanta had so far in 2017 and it was rainy.  Never mind these circumstances, the show must go on and my excitement for it remained at its highest.

After standing in the “mist” and cold for about 15 min, we made our way to our seats and waited for the show openers.  To my surprise, Young Thug graced the staged first.  He sung a few songs, repped his hometown of course, and wrapped up in about 20 min or so I would say.  Ok no biggie.  Enough time to grab snacks and wait for the next appearances.  Moments later, the man of the hour appeared.  Singing hit after hit and really giving the fans a show to remember.  Unfortunately, the Migos did not make our show or any other guests for that matter.  Since this is Future’s hometown and he’s one of the most popular rappers in the industry, I just knew he would bring out a slew of artists as surprise guests.  To our surprise the only guest was Trouble, an up and coming rapper in Atlanta.  Being the huge fan that I am, I could care less but I did travel many miles to share this moment.  Come on Hendrix lol.

As the night continued, I remembered thinking to myself and then telling my best friend “Future has arrived”.  To see the sold-out crowd and to be in Atlanta for this was monumental for me.  I often gazed the crowd to see them just as hyped as I was to hear the Atlanta classic “Itchin”, seeing them sing word for word to “March Madness” and the reaction to ‘Mask Off” was unreal.  Future has definitely created a lane of his own lane and continues to deliver, especially from his latest project Hndrxx.  I loved the production and melodic tunes from this one.  Just might be deemed my favorite thus far.  Nonetheless, I can honestly say I genuinely enjoyed this show.  Didn’t get a ton of photos or videos this time around, just lived in the moment for once. I did capture a few good moments 🙂 .

XIX Tour

imagePromptly at 8pm the lights dimmed in the Highline Ballroom and the first opening act appeared.  After a few songs, the artist revealed his name.  Major Myjah.  Major definitely wowed the crowd with his melodic tunes and kept the energy high with a few upbeat songs as well.  I absolutely loved his energy and the vibe from his song with the hook “California Living” was perfect for this crowd.  Shortly thereafter, the second act, Candace Boyd, also held down her own with very relatable tracks.  Some about being in love, others about the break up and indifference you feel afterwards with her track titled”What’s her name”.  The ability for both of these artists to capture the crowd and keep the energy flowing throughout was very admirable for two up and coming music artists.  Hats off to them!

Now it was time.  The fluorescent XIX sign was lit and Ro James appeared with a bright orange jumpsuit resembling that of a car mechanic, round gold rimmed frames, a striped hat with a patterned scarf underneath.  Oh so fitting for his Eldorado album.  The soulfulness and R&B was heard in every song that he sang with much passion and clarity so you could hear every word that he spoke.  I always immediately think of the perfect mix of Maxwell and Prince when I hear him sing.  James’ vocal abilities and variation in range shown on his tracks automatically captivate you.  I just sat and watched him lay it all out on the line while he sang “Everything” and knew it was very much heartfelt.  I appreciated the intimacy and personal stories that James shared as well.  From the naming of his album, as his first car was a 92′ Eldorado, the love he experienced with a Scorpio and his incomparable relationship with ‘Lisa’.  Or the relationship he shared that allowed him to make my favorite track ‘A.D.I.D.A.S.’ and the influence from his mother to write a song not just about love or relationships but other real life factors that we all face, hence the creation of ‘Holy Water’.  I’m sure I can pinpoint a couple favorites that are in fact your go to’s that you can relate to.  To hear Ro explain the meanings behind the songs and share the stories with fans put his music into a different perspective for me.

As the night progressed, James performed songs from his 3-part EP Coke, Jack and Cadillacs as well as Eldorado.  Some of the crowd favorites were ‘Already Knew That’, ‘Burn’ and A.D.I.D.A.S.  Toward the end of the show,  James did an acoustic opening of his hit ‘Permission’ and his band joined shortly after for the grand finale.  To say I enjoyed this concert is definitely an understatement.  I am definitely a fan of Ro James but left an even bigger one.  I  believe I recall James advising he had been doing music for about 10 years.  Well Ro, job well done.  Wishing him continued success.  More pictures below and check out the live video in the video section.

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Neyow’s Creole Cafe

imageNew Orleans is home to so many great things.  From the historic French Quarter, to the eccentric beauty of the street art and the musical influence shown by the harmonic tunes played through a saxophone by a local.  Oh how I love thee.  Another important aspect of this culture is the Creole background which is also reflection of the great cuisine you can find here.  Neyow’s embodies a lot of things which I’ve grown to appreciate and love about the city of New Orleans and its food.

I think one of the most popular items are the char-grilled oysters.  I visited once back in November for a friend’s birthday and went back this month for another birthday celebration.  Neyow’s and their oysters were a must for both visits.  I think I fell more in love with them the second go round.  Whatever is used in the sauce and seasoning is very addictive! I ordered a dozen and barely wanted to share two with other people within our party.  For starters, I’ve also tried the gumbo, crab claws and crawfish balls. All were amazing!  The stuffing used for the crawfish balls had the perfect mix of flavor for the crawfish.  Another order to go please?

For the entree, I also double backed and ordered the pasta on the bayou. The fresh gulf shrimp and crawfish tossed in a creamy sauce with penne pasta is to die for.  I remembered uttering “I’m stuffed” but refused to take home leftovers!  I also sampled my friend’s shrimp creole which was equally as amazing.  The spiciness of Neyow’s special sauce and the sauteed shrimp served with a bed of rice was a pure delight.  As if the food wasn’t enough, they are also known for a drink called the ‘Bow Wow’.  Not sure what’s in it but its definitely served with a kick.  Neyow’s has yet to disappoint. If in the Mid-city area and you want the best char-grilled oysters in New Orleans, stop by and tell them I sent you.

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Forever 100

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YG’s F*** Donald Trump Tour has made its way to NYC and he decided to have a pop-up hosted by Community 54.  I was able to make it conveniently after work to check it out thanks to my shared lyft ride for $4.75 :-). Upon entering, solid white hats embroidered with 4 Hunnid in red and solid red hats stamped with ‘Make America 400 Again’ lined the wall; the latter item was quite genius and goes great with the overall theme of the concert.  Kudos to YG and team for that one!  Tour shirts with a very fitting picture of YG and others, Kamaiyah being one, with all tour dates printed on the back, camo hoodies with 4 Hunnid printed in red and the solid white hoodie ‘Forever 100’ with the westside symbol were all available for purchase too.

Hoodies were $60, tees were $32 as well as the hats with the exception of the brown 4 Hunnid hat which was being sold for $38. Very reasonably priced merch if I do say so myself.  I decided to grab the camo hoodie.  I’m semi obsessed with camo for some strange reason and it just pairs nicely with a lot of things.  So many ways to rock it so be on the lookout for that later on the site.  I also grabbed the sticker pack which included 3 stickers for $5. Another good deal.  Hopefully this pop up will make it to other areas.  Take a look at pics I was able to capture below and please help make America 400 again.

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Back to the Future

 

imageFuture has embarked on quite a journey in his music career. With the success of DS2, Evol and What a time to be alive, the sky seems to be the limit for him. After the collab with Drake, it only seemed fitting to have Future apart of the Summer Sixteen Tour. The two have undeniable chemistry on stage and it’s safe to say they both have significant followings that would pack out each and every venue.

I was excited to gain knowledge of the Futurehive pop-up store that occurred during the tour. Some of the merch was the same that was at the venue but, of course there were also other pieces that weren’t. Upon entering the store, you stepped right into all things Future. Pictures of Future lined the walls and all types of merch were available for purchase including dad hats, crafty ‘Wicked’ candles, pins, Freebandz stamped cups and even a limited edition 14k gold eagle pendant designed by GLD shop. Hopefully you were able to stop by or it came to a city near you. Take a look into the hive below.

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The Endless Summer Tour

The Endless Summer Tour headlined by G-Eazy and Logic was definitely a good summer concert to partake in. The tickets were very reasonably priced and the show included both Memphis’ own Yo Gotti and Mr. Bompton himself, better known as YG. I am definitely a fan of the latter 2 artists and figured the price was a steal so why not. I didn’t know what to expect at this concert so I went in to enjoy the experience. Unfortunately, I missed YG opening the concert but caught Yo Gotti. He performed a good line of music including the summer classic ‘Down in the DM’ and even gave a verse from a new song entitled ‘Wait for it’. Luckily, YG came back out to join G-Eazy to perform the remix for the ode to Donald Trump. We all know the title by now. Glad I was able to catch a performance by him.

Logic then came out to keep the crowd’s hype going. His new project, Bobby Tarintino, also had just dropped so he was able to perform both old and new tracks. I was astounded at the crowd’s response. Singing line for line, never missing a beat. After the response I saw Logic received, I couldn’t wait to see how it would go for G-Eazy. Man, it only got better. I heard a couple of songs from G-Eazy and was glad to hear them live including the popular songs like Me, Myself and I, Order More, and Drifting. G-Eazy also made sure to bring out special guests including Jadakiss, Ty Dolla Sign and Marc E. Bassy. All performers were great that night and I have a newfound respect for them, their craft and artistry. From seeing fans that had traveled several times to see both Logic and G-Eazy in concert and hear their stores, to Logic giving a special birthday shout out to the twins that were at the Barclays Center that night, to rocking the crowd the way they all did. Kudos to all of the performers. I love expanding my music catalog and experiencing a great concert. The Endless Summer Tour was a great way to keep the flow of summer music vibes in NYC. Enjoy some of the video footage I was able to capture and check out the new music from all of the artists mentioned.

Coachella Vibes

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Although I have never actually been to the widely known Coachella music festival, I absolutely love when H&M decided to release a Coachella collection.  The pieces easily become some of your favorites and I love the inspired festival looks.  They are very fashionable and summery.  Pictured here I have a nice patterned black and white cropped top paired with high waist black denim shorts.  The pieces they put out are definitely fitting for the festival of course but can also be worn anytime during the summer too.  This ensemble came together nicely with the black open toe booties I’m wearing as well.  Hopefully, I can make it to Indio, California to conquer the heat and experience Coachella very soon.  Until then, I hope H&M continues to release trendy collections each year with fun, fashionable pieces to add to my summer wardrobe.

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Feeling like Pablo

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Last weekend while doing some much unneeded shopping in the Soho, I decided to stop in the DASH store.  For those of you who may not know, the DASH store was founded by Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian.  They often have some cute pieces so I figured hey, why not.  It must have been my lucky day because I notice this bright royal blue tee with writing that looks oh so similar to that of the “I Feel Like Pablo” tee that circulated during the Season 3 fashion show hosted by Kanye West.  It is the Pablo tee!!  The associates eagerly said ” Grab something now if you want it.  We posted this to instagram about an hour ago and not many things are left”.  To go back just a bit for you guys, Kanye West held a pop up in the Soho about a month ago and the line was just way too long to even remotely think about getting merch unless you camped out the night before or just woke up and immediately went to stand in line around sunrise.  Without a question, I grabbed the only medium size left and left with an unexpected treat for the weekend.  Soho adventures never disappoint and I’m glad I decided to stop in.

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