It started out as a "rest and relaxation" type of weekend, atypical for New York dwellers. On Wednesday, Dec. 12, 10,000-plus people blessed the Barclays Center for the first reggae show in the venue's brief history.
Breaking in the stage for the "BioLife Sounds of Reggae" concert were Maxi Priest, Shaggy and Beres Hammond with Ali Campbell's UB40 as the headliners. In celebration of Jamaica's 50th year of independence, Consul General of Jamaica Herman Lamont was there to witnesses it live and in person. To make the concert all the more worthwhile was a charitable aspect, in that a portion of the concert's proceeds was donated to the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies to fund full and partial scholarships.
The very next night, Thursday, Dec. 13, Chris Tucker returned from what seems like an eternity back to his roots as a stand-up comedian for the first of two sold-out performances at the Apollo Theater. It was interesting to hear some of the commentary about the career of Chris Tucker. In a nutshell, there was a segment that appreciated his accomplishments as a scene-stealer in films. However, he doesn't really have a lengthy body of work. True, his character Smokey from the original "Friday" film is a cult hero, and his portrayal as James Carter in the "Rush Hour" franchise garnered him the distinction of being Hollywood's top paid actor for a time.
What else is there? He was once nominated for a Razzie Award in the Worst Actor category for two films in one year. Ouch! As for his stand-up material, a few stints on Def Comedy Jam can make anyone hilarious for a 10- to 15-minute stretch, but is he funny for real? Wow! The Apollo don't play!
Fortunately, the doubts were suppressed long enough to hear that Tucker can still deliver the goods. Life has dealt him a few newsworthy obstacles, namely the same hurdle every artist of significance has to battle: the IRS. But he has turned his challenges into fodder that we can relax, relate and release to. As the saying goes, "Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone."
For a night, the Harlem world got to laugh. Unfortunately, night No. 2 fell on the evening of one of the most diabolical events to occur in recent history. (Our hearts go out to our Sandy Point Elementary School family.)
No one cried alone--the nation cried together. Tucker issued the following about the chain of events through his Twitter: "Prayers go out to victims and families in Conn. May GOD be with you during these times. Apollo shows dedicated to them. Great show of support from NYC. Thank you Apollo family for an otherwise great weekend!"
Nuff said, I'm out. Holla next week. Till then, enjoy the nightlife.