It was Saturday the 14th. I woke up with one event scheduled on my calendar and I was still 3 hours late to Red Eye Media Group‘s open mic (smh. my bad, yo!). While one might consider it a lack of consideration, it was the exact opposite. The way I saw it was, I had the whole day to prep. JWWWD Magazine needed a bit of a refresher & when you work one job full time, you have to work 20 hours a day on the weekends to help your dreams catch up.  You see, my grind is outside of the normal time frame. So even though I didn’t get in the shower until 7pm exactly, I figured it was for the best. I’m a firm believer in that shit happens exactly the way it supposed to if you react calmly. With that said, it took me a miraculous 1 hour flat to blow dry my hair & I was just about ready to go. (Still, Mary sidetracks me so everything was taking longer than it could have, of course.) I will say though, even though I was only able to see the last three performers of the night, they were exactly what I needed to hear when I got to Mirrors.  (The videos are posted below if you don’t believe me.)
Everything was perfect, even the the minor details –The competition, for example…

       I tried to pull the door open (mind you, it was cold as fuck) but the chick standing in front of the door looked back at me. Paused. And then resumed to groove through the music. It’s a good 20 degrees out this muthafucka (I can’t really guess temperates like that, but that’s what the fuck it felt like) & because I’m a fool, I laughed. Doubled over, even. The fact that she would even do that needs to be assessed, but that’s a whole other post for a whole other day. Eventually, I was let in by the right people & it was all love from there. & that right there is the point. That’s how it always is with Red Eye Group events (not the chick at the door)– it’s always love & respect – both of which are hard to find & increasly harder to give. I mildly interrupted singer, Mr. RnB (himself!) as I came in but he was in the middle of singing everyone’s life so hard, no one cared.  I  had to watch the drool on the floor as I made my way in.  I’m gonna take a wild guess & say that’s really why she didn’t open the for me. Smh. Boys make us so silly, don’t they? lol.

    Mr. RnB had a Guitar & all, yall. You know what? I understand, boo. I, too, love me a man who knows how to use his instruments. 😉  Comedian, Marcus Banks entertained us for the night as he usually does. He’s the pretty perfect host (check his YouTube) & it goes without saying that DJ Kraff (twitter | website) always knows what to play. The pair need few compliments & little exaggeration of their work. They do what they do very well. I sat down next to the competition (DailyHustleBK.com)  and gave myself time to realize that they actually… weren’t. They were a sweet pair from… Oklahoma(?) just doing what they do & well 🙂 I’ve recently let go of the idea of “competition” because no one is better at being me than I am. Just like no one is better at being you. The beautiful thing about Red Eye Group’s Open Mic, (again) is the love. It’s an atmosphere that not even the most obnoxious drunk can ruin. You can feel it in there: The support. The encouragement. The admiration. It’s an event I’m not only happy to attend, but an honored to be invited to. There’s a genuine respect for craft in the with the Red Eye Group crowd. 

         As I left the event –beside cursing the cold –I only had space left in my mind to admire the Red Eye’d Women. They’re so focused you’d think they have infrared on their dreams. Tahyira & Arii are two women who are on their job so hard, you forget they’re women –I mean that in the best way. It’s just that, to be honest, I meet more business-minded men than I do women. It’s refreshing. The reason I attend Red Eye Media Group event’s isn’t necessarily for the drinks (although if there’s Bailey’s behind the bar, you can count me in) nor for the entertainment (although it is quite exceptional), rather for the residual motivation left behind in the room as the people being to filter out. People stop being CEOs, CFOs and founders of this & that and go back to being normal people. Still, a boss is a boss in all situations — I’m sure even Rubi would recognize. As the final round of people began putting on their coats, Arii stacked the empty plastic cups they left behind. Unconsciously, she replicated the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the palm of her hand while chatting about her next day’s work schedule. Game day, they said. $$$, she meant. Beautiful, I thought. Everything was beautiful. I was sitting next to three beautiful woman in the most fab spot in some corner of Brooklyn I’m almost able to get to without getting lost (it’s actually easy to get to, I just  always get lost.) and the conversation was hinting on my favorite topic in the world: Money.  I don’t know what it is… call it a fetish, but I love when women talk business. It does it for me.  Everything I saw & heard in there was exactly what it needed to be. Even the hardcore hip-hop hit the mark. 
             




      Next Up: Hollywood. Took me a while to find Hollywood on the internet -_- Probably because he grinds in part for his Familia –East Brook Family – I can certainly respect that. Not sure anyone in @EastBrookFamily is worried, but if you’re wondering, Hollywood held it down without really trying.  I think I was standing next to him when I interrupted the event but I was busy giving the crowd a once-over. Truthfully, I don’t even see n*ggas sometimes, lol. No disrespect. They’re just not really my audience. *shrugs* I speak to ladies for the most part 😉  Banks went into a joke about someone being late. “He’s talking about you…” Hollywood whispered. “You waited?!” my reflex responded before my mind remember Bailey’s was in the hiz-oouuuseee. (I love me some Bailey’s, but all the places I’ve been to lately haven’t had it on stock. #blown. Another reason I love Mirrors On Grand. The bar is perfect & the house Moscato is tasty too! Be sure to tip the bartenders better than I did. Gave the rest of my dollars to some boys on the train on the way there -_- lol I try to tip as often as I can.) I made my way to the back of the place in search of a place to sit and/or an open spot at the bar. Luckily a group was leaving as I came in –perfect timing 🙂 — So… here’s the phantom, Hollywood for you. Listen to him, he sounds like he could really do it if he wanted to. I make it a point to also pay attention to what is said, how it’s said, when it said… & whether you choose to skim over Hollywood’s lyrics or nit-pick,  he doesn’t let you down. He’s a little disrespectful, though. But humorous. Lighthearted. I consider it a youthful disregard that’s probably required from a man in his position & in this industry. His swag in the performance below reminds me of Jay-Z a la  “N*gga What, N*gga Who –  You know —She want us to end/ cuz I f*cked her friend/ She gave me one more chance/ &  I fucked her again./ I seen the tears as she busted in./ I said, “Shit, there’s a draft/ Shut the door, b*tch/ & come on in!” It’s so brazen it pisses you off, but he says it so fluidly –so G — you kinda wanna join a little bit, right? Maybe it’s just me *shrugs* lol. Besides, there seemed to be real humble demeanor under the Gucci/LV scarf (whatever it was in the dark, I couldn’t tell. But I know a  monogram when I see one.)  #Bravo, tho, Mr. Hollywood

       What I love about Red Eye Media Group’s events are that there’s no one there off their grind. & If they’re not grinding, they’ll at least to pretend to while they’re there. The atmosphere is that inviting. That invigorating. It is in that space that one admires the performers and their talents and try to guess who she/he will be 5-10 years from now. Similarly, you begin to question the same of your self. Mirrors On Grand, in my opinion, is a secretly a home for talent. It’s bred there. With nothing but love & resect – too often we are concerned with what feeds our stomachs rather than what satiates our souls. Too often we’re concerned with who else is in the room. Too concerned with thoughts that don’t belong to us. There comes a point when we can all let down our guard and let our true talent shine through. Perhaps, the no-holds-barred version of you. I can’t wait for the day I see some of the faces I saw hit Red Eye Media Group‘s stage at Mirrors on bigger stages in bigger places. I can’t wait to see them there, cuz I’ll be there 😉 I wondered if I’d enjoy this second trip to Mirrors. If it’d be the same faces. The same rhymes. If I’d be bored. But I can tell you that I certainly was not. I was impressed – & I’m rarely impressed, yo. At the end of the day, if you love what you do, and do it like you love it… competition is nadaaaaa. I mean it’s non-existent. No one can be you 😉 There’s only one, right? Capitalize on it.

Speaking of souls & who we are… 
I’d forgotten it was MLK Jr. Day weekend. 
& sometimes, I sit & wonder what exactly I should do on the “momentous” occasion.
 I wasn’t the only one thinking about it. 
Check it ooouuuttt!