True story. For roughly three days a week, the routine was the same. The dude would arrive at the room, break out the bag containing the grub and eventually pull out the checker board—12 red pieces versus 12 black pieces, last man standing. Simple yet complex.
The games were intense, as each man was trying not to suffer an L at the hands of his adversary. As intense as the games were, the trash talk slung back and forth between the two, for hours on end, would become the highlights of the visit. If the younger dude got out of pocket, he got G checked, along with a promise that his son would come through and take care of it. He spoke highly of his son, Jr., who was away at Howard University.
A look on the younger dude’s face showed that the mood had changed. He entertained the threat, even fired back barbs such as “Your son can get it, too,” trying to mask the fact that he was shook. Truth was, the younger dude was the son. His pops liked him, but didn’t recognize him. That’s the power of deadly duo of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Attention to the devastation caused by the disease is currently underway as The NuSoul Revival Tour embarks on a nationwide tour. “I’m grateful to be able to use my platform to help bring attention to something that affects a lot of people,” said the tour’s headliner, Musiq Soulchild. “I love to be able to lend my creativity and energy to helping eradicate something that plagues our community.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people feeling the effects of this illness is staggering:
More than 5 million individuals are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2015, 15.9 million family and friends provided 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
In 2016, total payments for health care, long-term care and hospice are estimated to be $236 billion.
Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease.
Health, time and money all take a heavy toll on not just the informed individual. The fact that soul music is connected to such a cause is not lost on Soulchild. He shared, “I never considered myself an R&B singer because R&B usually focuses on notions and circumstances pertaining to romance, which is cool ‘cause as adults, we all want someone to share [our] life with, but there’s more to life than who you want to be with. But when you find that person, then what? I want to be able to have people conceptualize and visualize the other factors that contribute to your life’s experience. I think that is inherent of soul music.”
The trek comes at a perfect time for Soulchild as he celebrates his 12th Grammy nomination with “I Do” for Best R&B Performance from his underrated disc “Life on Earth.” And he has just released the first track off his forthcoming new project today on eOne Music/SoulStar Music Company, his new record label, called “Simple Things.”
Although nothing to sneeze at, especially as an independent artist, the Grammy nod doesn’t have the same feel. What does have him excited is the new material and tour. “This is the type of show that I as a music fan would pay to see,” he said. Using a few of the acts on the tour as an example, he explained. “Lyfe has a way to use his art to relay the challenges of a Black man finding his way through the world and uses that to inspire others. Kindred the Family Soul represents the highest form of a relationship, but working and loving successfully. Avery Sunshine doesn’t conform to anybody’s standards or expectations. She does what she wants, how she wants and makes mature, dope music in the process. We’re all like-minded, but our narratives are diverse.”
The NuSoul Revival Tour touches down Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Beacon Theater (2124 Broadway at 74th Street) featuring Lyfe Jennings, Kindred The Family Soul and Foreign Exchange. See you there?
Over and out. Holla next week. Til then enjoy the nightlife.