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Gentleman Jack Art, Beats + Lyrics was founded by Jabari Graham and Dubelyoo in Atlanta in 2004 with their vision to showcase art and culture beyond its traditional boundaries. It is a phenomenal exhibit of multimedia art and music exhibition that highlights urban art forms and the original elements of hip-hop as well as other music genres. This year’s event at The Compound was hands down one of the greatest exhibitions by Art, Beats + Lyrics. The art on display was amazing!
Featured were works such as photography, paintings, and abstract art. Carolyn Grady & Evelyn Quinones exhibited concert photos of hip-hop artists and b-boys that showcased the elements of Hip Hop and made guests feel as if they were enjoying the performances in person. They were also on hand at the event to greet guests and to talk about their pieces giving fans their perspective from behind the lens.
Daniel Flores of Art Life exhibited a mural that featured art from his native culture as well as visual art from his upcoming Kickstarter campaign aptly titled Art Life: The Game. Mendez & Shawn J of madclout and Steel Wheels respectively, showcased their eclectic art entitled Steel Heels that featured ladies high heels complete with spikes and graffiti. The shoes were showcased on a display that resembled a shoe store wall. Show sponsor Gentleman Jack was on hand providing the libation for the evening as event goers received two complimentary drink tickets. Chef Rob’s Caribbean Café & Lounge catered AB +L and their food was amazing. Event goers dined Caribbean seafood pasta and jerk chicken wings.
Of course it wouldn’t have been a great show without great music. D.R.E.S. ThaBeatnik was the show host for the evening, and as usual his hosting duties were on point as he kept the crowd hype. Legendary super producer and founder of the New Jack Swing era Teddy Riley was first on deck to perform at Art, Beats + Lyrics. Teddy hit the stage going into his hit New Jack Swing, and we knew the evening was going to be epic. What was great about Teddy Riley’s show was the fact that he performed and played with a full band a host of the hit records that he produced for himself and other artists. Some of the hits performed was Bobby Brown’s My Prerogative, Michael Jackson’s Remember the Time, Johnny Kemp’s Just Got Paid, Keith Sweat’s I Want Her, and his verse on Wreckz-N-Effects Rump Shaker. Teddy Riley closed out his set with a revamped Blackstreet complete with new members, and they performed their hit record No Diggity. Before leaving the stage Teddy Riley promised the fans a new Blackstreet album and a possible reality show.
DJ Quik was the show’s headliner for the evening, and he too is known for his music as well as being a legendary producer. DJ Quik was also backed by a full band with himself playing guitar on certain tracks. DJ Quik opened with the single he produced for Tony! Toni! Tone!, Let’s Get Down. It was great to see DJ Quik’s diversity…he played the guitar and spit verses. Sometimes fans don’t get to see the creative talents of hip-hop artists. His performance of the Isaac Hayes sampled Born and Raised in Compton was extra dope because it was played by his band. Hip-hop backed by a live band enables the funk and instrumentation to be taken to another level, and music lovers develop more appreciation. During his set DJ Quik paid homage to the late Roger Troutman of Zapp. He spoke about his influence in hip-hop, and also told the story of Roger Troutman in the studio with Dr. Dre and Tupac for the production of California Love and how it was so easy for him to produce and lay down his vocals. After speaking on it for a few, his band played tribute by playing I Can Make You Dance by Roger & Zapp with talkbox in tow. DJ Quik closed the evening with everyone’s favorite joint,
We hope to continue enjoying the Gentleman Jack Art, Beats + Lyrics experience in years to come. It is truly a wonderful celebration of Hip Hop culture!
Re-Cap & Video – Kedric Barrett
Photography – Carolyn Grady