Recap On QBC’s Visions PRIDE Benefit 2008

Tyran Gem, myself, Nhojj, and ButtaFly Soul

Yeah, I know you were home watching the Boston Celtics stick their foot in the Los Angeles Lakers’ ass for the last time to win the championship, but you could’ve watched the game AND witness Nhojj, Tyran Gem, and myself, awe the crowd all at once! It only would’ve added more excitement to your day (if you were rooting for Boston, that is…GO BOSTON!).

What I’m saying is…it was more than a great night; it was a phenomonal night!!

The small, intimate space that is Billie’s Black could not contain the soulful voices that reverberated from it. Everyone that came through in support of Queer Black Cinema left with smiles on their faces…well…the food helped, also. Def Poetry Jam artist ButtaFly Soul, who acted as host for the evening, kicked it off with some good ol’ spoken word, then the multi-talented artist serenaded the audience with a song you may be familiar with; it goes something like, “Summertime, and the livin’s easy…” Fill in the blanks, I ain’t writin’ the rest.

Tyran Gem, singer/songwriterNext up was Tyran Gem, who wooed everyone with his smooth, church-bred vocals. Although he only performed two songs, they were both songs that could easily hang in your mind for a while. My personal favorite was the last song, Not Ready”, which is a conversation between he and his love, and how the latter is not ready to be in a realtionship. Hot song…truly!

I was next up to rock the mic, and according the crowd response, rock it, I did. I opened with “Fairy Tales (The R.I.T.S. Remix)” which features Substantial, but since he wasn’t able to be there I had to spit his verse on his behalf; I think Stan would be proud.

If you haven’t heard the song, or Substan’s vicious verse, click here.

Next, I did a song called “Paradise (Take Me Away)”, which is one of my more concious songs. I wrote it around the time of Johnnie Cochran’s death, and one of my first thoughts was, “Wow, we’re losing so many of our pioneers. Is this generation going to carry the torch onward?” It’s up to all of us to make this world a better place, and pushing any kind of hatred, whether it be racial, gender-related, sexual orientation-related, etc., is morally indecent, and is a ultimate disservice to humanity. But, that’s what the song touches on. Be sure to look for it on my upcoming EP, Fulfillment, coming soon in 2008!

Finally, I performed the crowd favorite, and my own personal favorite, “Lovestruck”. What’s great about this song (and I’ve told this story a million and one times) is that I started writing and composing it at age 11; it was the second song I ever wrote. It’s simply written, but the melody and emotion contained is all its own; what it possesses is extremely difficult to come by. Again, if you want to hear it, go to my MySpace profile.

In all, it was a nice performance. I definitely gained some new friends/fans that night. 🙂

Last, but certainly not least was the headliner, Nhojj. I’d never seen him perform live, and I had never met him formally-we’d regularly shoot each other comments on MySpace. But, man…what an introduction. The man certainly held his own. If you’ve ever seen Nhojj perform, you know it’s an event. His breath control is out of this world, and his voice is fluffy, soothing, and amazingly angelic. He performed five songs for the QBC audience, and they ate them up…including me. I was hooked.

Here’s a taste of what Nhojj did at the QBC Benefit:

I hope this clip makes you feel bad…you missed it, chump!


On top of the top-notch peformances, the food was delicious! We also viewed previews of upcoming shows and short films, including the sitcom, The DL Chronicles; I, personally, would like to see that show.

In the end, founder and CEO Angel Brown put a great fundraiser together. I met some great folks, and I hope to see them again soon. Thank you, Queer Black Cinema, for once again, inviting me to your benefit…and thank you for the champagne (I haven’t opened yet; I’m going to save it for an appropriate occasion)! Thanks to everyone who came out and supported that evening, not only with your donations, but with your presence as well.

And thanks, once again, to the Boston Celtics for shutting cry baby Kobe and his cronies up for good! We finished in just enough time to see the second half of the game. Hee hee!


Wanna see more photos? Go to my Photos page.


More on these artists:


Tyran Gem

ButtaFly Soul

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