Event Recap | The Art of Cool Festival 2018 – 5th Yr Anniversary @aocfest #AOCFEST | by SobeSavvy.com

The Art of Cool Festival 2018 has come to a close, but we here at SobeSavvy.com was fortunate to attend and share with you some of the magical moments from #AOCFEST. There has been so much growth since we attended the Art of Cool Fest in 2015, and I am so glad to be apart of highlighting this amazing festival. This past weekend, we celebrated the 5th Anniversary of this great music festival that brings jazz-inspired music, artists and all the Cooligans together in Downtown Durham, NC. Trust me, you don’t want to miss next year!

This year the AOCFEST experience was expanded to include Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop and Soul performances by renowned artists from around the world! 20+ artists, 6 venues, 1 price to enjoy: Live Music Concerts, shop from local vendors at the Urban Street Market, dance, mingle and network at the various Day Parties, savor Durham cuisine from the featured Food Trucks and quench your thirst at the Beergarden. The AOCFEST 2018 truly had something for everyone. It’s an amazing sensory experience you must see, taste, hear, and feel!

DAY 1- SEPT 28

The fun began on Friday with the arrival of music lovers to Downtown Durham. Festival goers could shop for some official merch at Wristband City, grab a cocktail, and listen to live music at various pop ups and attend free Innovate Your Cool seminars / workshops focused on Innovation, Music and Culture. I caught at DJ set on the rooftop at Unscripted Hotel where The Lux Blog held a meet-up mixer to welcome everyone including bloggers/social media influencers to the Art of Cool festival. It was a vibe!

Downtown Durham is a walkable city and the perfect place to host the AOCFEST because all the venues are conveniently within walking distance to each other. Just a couple of blocks over from Unscripted, I was able to catch MeShell N’degeocello at the Carolina Theater. She is a talented singer and musician who reminded us in the audience that although the lighting was not ideal, MUSIC. IS. SOMETHING. YOU. FEEL. She took us down memory lane by singing her funky smooth renditions of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam “I Wonder If I Take You Home”, Al B. Sure “Night & Day” and TLC ‘s “Waterfalls” along with her classic song “Grace” from her album Bitter.

Maxwell headlined at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, which is new on this list as an official AOCFEST stage. Everyone who was either seated in the stadium watching his concert from the jumbo screen or on the field could see his moves and feel his groove! There were so many favorite songs by the incomparable male singer that turned into a sing-a-long, such as “Pretty Wings”, “Bad Habits” and “Fortunate”.

Watch Video Highlights of Photo Recap from Day 1 As Seen on the Scene by SobeSavvy.com! ⤵️

Day 2 – SEPT 29

Downtown Durham was the place to be for the second and last day of music and festivities. Even if you were not going to the concerts, there were so many ways to support the community and enjoy the amazingly cool city of Durham. A 90’s style vintage pop up party hosted by The Key to Style was my first stop before heading to the heart of the Bull City. CCB Plaza, near the iconic bull statue, is where emerging artists performed cyphers and Hip Hop radio station K97.5 held a block party showcasing local talent.

From there, I took a short walk to Pinhook, an iconic live music venue in Durham perfectly sized for intimate performances. Durham’s own Zoo Cru were up first. This quartet of musicians jammed out to their own unique sounds that is really beyond description. Not electronica and not R&B but a subtle blend of both. I love to support local, so I enjoyed my first listen from this popular band.

Next up at Pinhook was renowned trumpeter Keyon Harrold. He has done music and horns for A listers such as Beyonce and JayZ over the years. In addition, Mr. Harrold did the music for the hollywood movie “Miles”, so his resume is unmatched. Wynton Marsalis has called him “The Future of the Trumpet”. He did not dissapoint. His breath control and range were simply amazing. He was paired with a female vocalist which added a different angle to his horn. Unique and dynamic music is just one of the many things you will always experience at AOCFEST.

What’s a festival without the opportunity to shop from a variety of vendors? The Urban Market, set up on Blackwell Street, was the answer for those of us who like to shop local. Vendors were on hand selling quality products such as clothing, artwork, accessories and natural body care products, like my favorite Nailah Shea. Enthusiastic and stylish crowds took advantage of the warm, sunny afternoon in the Bull City. It was fun for the whole family!

My AOCFEST experience ended with seeing the one and only Erykah Badu, who is the first female to headline the Art of Cool Festival. Nas had just rocked the mic and said goodnight as i was entering the stadium. Before Ms.Badu came to the stage at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the crowd heard from the new President and VP of The Art of Cool Festival, Sulaiman and Lesleigh Mausi, Founders of The DOME Group, LLC. They thanked the sponsors and all the fans for a fabulous Art of Cool Festival weekend.

Ms. Badu came to the stage with her big hat, her big hair to match her big voice and asked..”Brothers, how y’all feel? Sistahs, y’all alrite” ? She really needed no introduction because her energy fills up any atmosphere. Erykah Badu almost single handidly created the genre called “Neo Soul”. Her music, style and delivery of colorful lyrics has made her one of the most unique talents of our time! Fans filled up Durham Bulls Athletic Park and joined together to celebrate her greatness which like her song, goes “On and On”.

Watch Video Highlights of Photo Recap from Day 2 As Seen on the Scene by SobeSavvy.com! ⤵️

Electric ending to another exciting and informative Art Of Cool Festival. The AOCFEST is one of the best music festivals that gets better every year. Be sure to check out aocfestival.com • #AOCFEST and make plans to visit Durham, NC to experience the Art of Cool Festival next year! Congratulations again to Art of Cool Festival for 5 years strong!

@Jeezy ‘s Trap or Die 3 Tour was 🔥Recap @RitzRaleigh #TD3 #SnowSeason #TD3Tour #Raleigh ⛄

Ever been to a show that was cold and lit “at the same damn time”?! Well that’s how it was here in Raleigh, NC  at the Trap or Die 3 Tour when Jeezy AKA The Snowman came to perform at The Ritz ! The sold out concert was filled with fans who came to see a living legend in the rap game. Young Jeezy is one of the pioneers who created and popularized the Hip Hop subgenre called “trap music”. He hails from Atlanta and took time to rep for the “404” during his extended set. The crowd came to bounce, scream and have a good time. The venue was packed wall to wall.
Opening up for Jeezy was Raleigh’s own Ace Henderson, followed by Lil Durk who did a great job in getting the crowd hype for the Snowman. If you hurry, you can check out more of the concert on RitzRaleigh’s Snapchat.

If you are thinking about seeing Jeezy in concert, let me assure you it was a pretty good show. In fact, it was Trap or Die! Everyone had a good time rapping along to his extensive song list.Hits like: That Trap or Die 3! Going Crazy, Bout That, Old joints! That 103. Young Jeezy bought all of Raleigh & Durham’s Atlanta hip-hop  fans out ! Standing room only! As my friend Sam the Man would say “It was flavor for real”! 

Don’t miss the chance to experience your favorite Jeezy “Trap” tracks performed at a venue near you!

TRAP OR DIE 3 TOUR DATES

Mar. 1 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
Mar. 3 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
Mar. 4 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
Mar. 7 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Mar. 8 – Wallingford, CT – The Dome
Mar. 9 – Philadelphia, PA – The Filmore Philadelphia
Mar. 11 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Mar. 12 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
Mar. 16 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz🔥🔥
Mar. 17 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
Mar. 18 – Greensboro, NC – Cone Denim Ent Center
Mar. 22 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
Mar. 26 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Mar. 27 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Mar. 28 – San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theater
Apr. 4 – Riverside, CA – RMA
Apr. 5 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
Apr. 6 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

Old School Hip Hop & RnB lives! Thanks to “Back 2 the 80s’ Tour ~#Raleigh Recap @decRaleigh

Yo Baby, Yo Baby, Yo!!!! Old School ruled and packed the house last night, Saturday February 4, 2017 at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium for the Back 2 the 80’s Tour ! 

Fans came out ‘funky fresh dressed to impress ready to party’ to see this show featuring Doug E Fresh, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane, Whodini, Al B Sure, Cherrelle, Hi Five and Chubb Rock! 

The music was great, the vibe was nothing but a Generation X party y’all and I would definitely recommend seeing this show if you love old school REAL Hip Hop and RnB.

Cherrelle opened the show. She became legendary with a myriad of solo hots and also with Alexander O’Neal. Father time has done nothing to slow her beauty or vocal chords.

Followed by Chub RockChubb had great interaction w/the audience as he hosted an old school hit after hit review !

Hi-Five sang a melody of their greatest hits including “The Kissing Game”, They also paid homage to New Edition, with “Can You Stand The Rain” .

Here is a short clip of Al.B.Sure working his way thru a crowd of lady fans singing RnB classic “Secret Garden”. It was an uplifting experience for one lucky fan!


Whodini
: The trio of Jalil Hutchins, John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, and Drew “Grandmaster Dee” Carter filled the early ’80s with memorable jams such as “Magic Wand” and “The Freaks Come Out at Night,” which they performed while escaping from straitjackets underwater.  They were in all their glory onstage with their infamous wide brimmed hats and all.

Big Daddy Kane: The Grammy-winning rapper and former member of the Juice Crew’s mix of rapid-fire rhymes and swagger inspired generations of MCs, including former hype man Jay-Z.Big Daddy has not lost once ounce of his iconic swag. He is still the ultimate “smooth operator”. He took the crowd through a playlist of his biggest hits culminating with his number one smash “Ain’t no Half Steppin”

Slick Rick: Allmusic dubbed the Grammy-nominated rapper “hip-hop’s greatest storyteller” for reasons that become obvious when listening to hits such as “La Di Da Di” and “Children’s Story”. This UK import has a unique way of weaving a tale while keeping a rhythm all of his own. It took me back to middle school and just had me smiling from ear to ear.

Doug E. Fresh was as always was the MC extraordinaire. He kept the crowd grooving with his unique blend of rap, beat box.He is literally a walking encyclopedia of hip hop. One of the originators of the genre. His icon status was on full display as the crowd went wild during his set !!

Look out for the Back 2 the 80s Tour coming to a city near you ! Check your local listings and Ticketmaster to buy tickets here !