LA: Fairfax & Melrose

It's one of those cities that so good its bad. With all the weed, great weather and a whole bunch of other distractions, it's hard to get any work done in LA. The only good thing about those trying to stay focused...most of the clubs close at 2 but that might all change. 

Between meetings with suits, I checked in at The Dime - a dope Fairfax bar with solid DJ's - and hung out on Melrose capturing Karlous outside The Hollywood Improv. I even caught The Dodgers and a quick set from NBC's Last Comic Standing Champ, Clayton English in The Belly Room At The Comedy Store. 


NYC: Harlem, Time Square, and The MoMA

I just got back from New York and I'm glad to be back in Atlanta where it's a little easier to focus on one thing at a time. During my time in The Big Apple, I woke up (and went to sleep) to random shouting and an endless array of music coming from the streets. I did Shazaam a few bangers I heard coming from the bodega. In Atlanta, I wake up to chirping birds and the occasional lawn mower. Both cities have their charm. Coming from Atlanta, it's dope to explore another Black cultural hotbed in the country, 

I got to tape a few episodes of The 85 South Show in Leonard Ouzts Harlem apartment...His spot is very spacious and I appreciate the homie for looking out on such short notice. In Harlem,  we hit a the comedy spot to watch some amateurs with Karlous Miller, Jess Hilarious, B Simone and Leonard. 

A view from the apartment in New York City. 

A view from the apartment in New York City. 

The city though has a heart energy that just makes you want to get it. My team had a few meetings in Manhattan to solidify partnerships, so we decided to take the subway in. It was a great experience but we found out it can get kind of dangerous. So later, we headed to Amy Ruth's -an authentic Harlem soul food spot - in an Uber. 

I made sure to hit the Moma to check out the Unfinished Conversations exhibit at The MoMA. 

40 Acres Of Mules by Kara Walker on display at The MoMa

40 Acres Of Mules by Kara Walker on display at The MoMa

This striking drawing - taller than me - was stunning me. I was frozen for minutes when  I heard someone behind me whisper, "why is a drawing in the museum?" I used a lot of self-restraint in that moment.  Hear how the artist Kara Walker was inspired to create 40 Acres Of Mules

John Akomfrah. Still from“The Unfinished Conversation.” 2012. Three-channel video (color, sound), 45 min.

John Akomfrah. Still from“The Unfinished Conversation.” 2012. Three-channel video (color, sound), 45 min.

I've never seen a 3-channel video and I honestly think I may never one see again. John Akomosh exhibition was all encompassing but never over-whelming. Spanning an entire wall of the museum, I learned about Stuart Hall and his mission to communicate the power and creativity that Black kids from the London streets possessed in the late 80's.  

The exhibition considers the intertwining themes of social protest, the effect of history on the formation of identity, and how art juxtaposes fact and fiction. From Cairo to St. Petersburg, from The Hague to Recife, the artists in the exhibition observe and interpret acts of state violence and the resistance and activism they provoke. They reexamine historical moments, evoking images of the past and claiming their places within it. They take on contemporary struggles for power, intervening into debates about government surveillance and labor exploitation. Together, these artists look back to traditions both within and beyond the visual arts to imagine possibilities for an uncertain future.

The next day I got some work done at Wild N Out at Time Square inside The Playstation Theatre and tried my best to stay out of the tourist trap. We failed that mission...after the taping one of my friends paid for my $27 dollar pasta. #trapped

We headed back to roaming Malcom X Boulevard. Once again I was reminded that each city is's culture evolving, shifting and being reimagined. Landscapes and skylines are transforming so now more than ever the artist is necessary to tell the story of the time. The story of humans in this time. 

Keep expanding your horizon, decolonizing your mind and cross borders
— Yuri Kochiyama

Charlotte: Live Show

We hopped in a passenger van and drove to Charlotte for a live podcast at The Charlotte Comedy Zone - not knowing what to expect... This was our first ever live show outside of our home city of Atlanta and we had no idea how the show was going to go. I fired up the c300 and captured the energy before the show. Check out D.C. Young Fly, Chico Bean, Karlous Miller and Darren Brand roasting as the fans walk into the comedy club. 

Darren Brand opens opens up a hilarious podcast sponsored by the good folks at Backwoods. 

It's always extra cool when family shows up to support. My brother Paolo who works as a lawyer in Charlotte stopped by the show and got his laugh on too. 

LA: Hollywood to Inglewood with Karlous Miller

I headed out to the best coast to hit some legendary comedy spot with my dude Karlous Miller. He's definitely one of the funniest people in the world and a national treasure. He hails from Mississippi and lives in Atlanta so when he hits the comedy stages in LA, he brings a whole 'nother energy. From Hollywood to Inglewood, Karlous tears up the stages of LA. 

Karlous works Jay Anthony Brown's comedy club in Inglewood and The Comedy Store in Hollywood.  Lous bumps into comedy legends Tony Rock and Jay Anthony along the way. It all starts at comedian friend Billy Sorrells spot in South Central LA. 

Chicago: New Years with D.C.

When I heard Deray Davis, Michael Blackson, Lil Duval and D.C. Young Fly were doing a New Year's Eve show, I knew this was going to be one dope ass comedy show and I wanted to be there. So I set it up.

D.C. Young Fly performing stand-up in Chicago. 

D.C. Young Fly performing stand-up in Chicago. 

I booked the cheapest flight on Spirit. I found thrifty room in China Town. I headed to Chicago. Repping no official media organization, I needed someone to vouch for me once I got to the arena but I couldn't get a hold of anyone. So I did what anyone who was supposed to be there would do...act like I'm supposed to be there. I eventually caught up with D.C. backstage to capture some real moments with Lil Duval before an incredible night. 

Check out more photos on The 85 South Show tumblr page.