This week I’ve watched new up and coming London act Ruby Goe at her live gig at Camden’s infamous Barfly venue, accompanied superstar Jay Sean and his missus to a private intimate soiree thrown by the Asian Music Awards (more on that next week!) and old skool Radio1Xtra DJ Seani B’s old skool themed birthday party in Acton. As I rolled up I could immediately see what kind of party this would be. At midnight the club was empty with no queue outside. By 12,30am there were 300 people all trying to get in dressed in garms that were so outrageous and authentic I did wonder whether it was costume or their everyday garms? (Yep- I’m going straight to hell for that judgement LOL!). The party was popping from the get go. It was pure hood. Really old skool hood outfits, pure dance offs, shoes off gyrating and a different music set and DJ every 30 minutes so we heard swing beat, R&B, hip-hop, jungle, drum & bass, raga, dancehall, bashment and more. DJ’s included legends from Rampage sound system- Mike Anthony and psycho. Every time someone announced another birthday girl in the house the sparklers, goodie bags and Krispy kreme doughnut boxes appeared! Seani appeared in his Will Smith looking house party outfit of bright orange cap and shorts with a royal blue preppy blazer and announced that ‘’the future is bright the future is orange-via Primark’’! He then proceeded to work the party into a frenzy until 6am whilst knocking back copious amounts of pink champagne and Hennessey before making what he called ‘’ a documentary’’ which saw him yelling a variety of hilarious quotes to everyone’s mobile phones which were gleefully recording him to play back to him when sober!. I called it from the start. Hood! LOL. Happy birthday Seani!
JASMINE AT THE ISIS BAFTA SCREENING WITH FORMER YOUNG OFFENDER SHANE, ISIS PRISON GUVNOR GRAHAME HAWKINGS AND HACKNEY HEROINE PAULINE PEARCE.
Next I attended a film screening and post film panel debate at BAFTA in Piccadilly to view the short film that young offenders in ISIS prison in South London had scripted and help make called ‘’Getting Clean’’. It was a short comedy about a prisoner’s experience of society upon release and was very well written and entertaining. It made me wonder whether the public would ever be open to a prisoner’s film festival? In attendance were tastemakers, journalists, and prison staff, bloggers and young writers. The debate was lively, passionate and engaging. The panel also included Shane Boothe, Entrepreneur and ex-young offender , Niall Bryant, Head of Education, ISIS Young Offenders Institute , Pauline Pearce, Getting Clean actor and ‘Hackney Heroine’ of the 2012 riots , Steve Lennon, Film Producer and Project Tutor , Jason Warr, Programme Manager and Research Coordinator at User Voice.
The teams that had helped the film come together came from LIVITY (an organisation that helps engage young people), the big lottery and of course prison senior heads. Whilst the experience is invaluable for prisoners as it helps engage them, give them a positive focus, build their confidence, faith in their futures and team work, I did ponder about its ultimate potential…. whether with many employers thinking that ex criminals aren’t really employable and trustworthy, now that every company is doing CRB checks regardless of whether the staff member is working with young/ vulnerable people, how are the ex offenders ever going to find work and get that break? I wanted to ask panel host David Calhoun (from Time Out magazines film department) whether he would put his money where his mouth is and employ an ex offender within his film department but alas didn’t get a chance to.
Next I attended rehearsals for a new TV all women’s talk show called LADIES TALK. Headed up by writer, director and comedienne Angie Le Mar, the cast see’s a panel of ladies including American-British playwright, novelist and critic-Bonnie Greer, TV presenter / producer Jacqui Joseph , Jackie Michael and myself on a regular weekly talk slot on SKY TV where we will be discussing everything under the sun, topical events, saucy anecdotes, tell all stories and more with our weekly celeb guests! Its going to ruffle feathers let me tell you! If the rehearsals area anything to go by you will want to watch and be glued to your TV’s! We will be the better anecdote to loose women and the British even more entertaining version of Americas THE VIEW!
JASMINE WITH GODS SON-NAS!
I ended the week wonderfully when Paola (ADIDAS head honcho-in case you didn’t already know!), sent me some tickets to see my old sparring partner Nasir Jones. We have had many an interview in my MTV days where we would debate long and hard about music, the industry, his issues and life. Nas’ live London show at under the bridge was exactly as he always is-amazing! The venue was absolutely rammed like a New York club used to be back in the days of THE TUNNEL or like the Eminem movie 8 mile for you younger generation that cant relate to the real days of hip hop due to your birth year. It was so crowded in the club that each one of us barely had a 1 square foot of space to stand in such was the excitement to see this rap legend.
Unlike many of his peers who might rely heavily on stage sets, lights and pyrotechnics this was Nas at his usual raw best with a simple juxtaposition of DJ (Green Lantern), decks and his ever-famous ‘One mic’. Luckily for old and new fans he took it all the way back to first album-Illmatic and kept the big hits coming.
When he performed his single about his ex wife-singer Kelis, called ‘’Bye baby’’-(a song so deep and heartfelt where he wears his heart on his sleeve with much vulnerability) …he started talking about Kelis. He shared with us a story about how he had text her suggesting they have sex one last time before splitting. ‘‘Last night I text her saying can we make love just 1 more time but she didn’t answer LOL!’’
However, showing his pain he confessed to the audience ‘‘Ladies-when you got a good man-take care of him, don’t bug out if you messed up-some of you’ll need too much attention’’.
Disappointingly for the crowd, he didn’t perform his diss record to old nemesis Jay Z ‘(’ether’’) even though the crowd were chanting for it. He explained ‘’I’m glad you’re chanting for it, the fact that you’re doing that means I know that hip hop is in your heart, but that was then, this is now’’. We got a real sense of nas having grown up and put childish beefs behind him. Especially as he and jay are business partners and associates now.
Further showing his growth he added ‘’ I’ve come from ‘’life’s a bitch’’ to ‘’life is good’’ so see how my mind-set has changed in 20 years and my journey’’. We nodded. We understood. We chanted alongside him ‘’ Life’s a bitch and then you die, that’s why we get high ‘Cause you never know when you’re gonna go’’.
He kept his love for his family apparent when he performed his song ‘’daughters’’ from new album which talks about how he has to parent his child and includes the lyrics ‘’ They say the coolest playas and foulest heart breakers in the world, God gets us back, he makes us have precious little girls.
nas explained that his daughter Destiny, put a picture of condoms online on her instagram page and Nas was tweeted by fans to ‘’ ‘take care of his business’ understandably Nas was shook and berated his daughter in a song which she hated. Nas laughed as he described how he gave her a public global ass whooping in front of the world in this song that will live forever online and beyond.
He finished by saying he genuinely had a lot of gratitude that he was still playing live shows 2 decades down the line. This really was a once in a lifetime classic Nas show with a mix of both fans from every era as well as songs from each era of his career, clearly demonstrated when he did ‘’You can hate me now’’ and ‘’Made you look’’. People everywhere were slam dancing and I didn’t even have to move as I was being thrown around by the crowds’ momentum!
As my friend the female old skool rapper Cookie (Cookie Crew) told me ‘’that’s was hot! Straight outta the oven hot!’’