Each time I attend it becomes easier and easier to explain the phenomenon known as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Art, Beats & Lyrics(AB+L). Think, if you will, as to what would happen if you took a family reunion, an art museum field trip and a music festival placed them in a piping hot pot, seasoned them with soul, swag and sass, sprinkled in a few flakes of “the culture”, saturated it in speaker-thumping sounds from all the genres of music that really matter, added a big dollop of dope art and interactive exhibits, tossed in a swig of Jack, then let it simmer for hours in an urban, artistic roux. That, my loves, perfectly conveys what AB+L Birmingham 2018 served up. We got served!
Regions Field was the perfect playground for a standing room only crowd of Birmingham’s best to experience the best art and music creatives from around the country have to offer. Along with the wall-to-wall art and free-flowing Jack Daniel’s elixir DJ Wally Spark, DJ Rahdu, Gina T and WERC Crew set the night’s musical mood and made it just right for hip hop musical guest BAS. Since it’s humble beginnings in Atlanta in 2004, AB+L has been the vehicle moving culture forward in all its urban glory. “The motivation behind the start of AB+L was to give a platform for urban artists and musicians that weren’t getting accepted into many of the galleries and outlets at that time,” said AB+L Curator Dwayne “Dubelyoo” Wright. With no plans of slowing down, Curator Dwayne “Dubelyoo” Wright says AB+L will continue to be next level. “We have been striving to keep the wow factor at our events. We incorporate new technologies and non-traditional ways of showcasing art to keep the audience excited year after year,” he said.
Art, Beats & Lyrics Birmingham was electric! The people, art, music and Jack Daniels (for the drinkers) were too. I can hardly wait for next year to savor the dopeness also known as AB+L.
Acclaimed rapper, actor and businessman TI was in Birmingham last month for the 76th Magic City Classic. At the request of sponsor and Magic City Classic supporter, Coors Light, the Atlanta rapper spread his southern hospitality in the Magic City with a concert performance.
The partnership with TI and Coors Light is one proving to be beneficial as a presentation of two checks of $10000 each from Coors Light were presented to Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University.
Photo Credit: MillerCoors
Becoming a staple at the McDonald’s Magic City Classic, the Coors Light Tailgate Experience was also one for the record books as game-goers and tailgaters braved the muddy conditions to enjoy the festivities which included live music, vendors, interactive games and more.
Photo Credit: MillerCoors
A good time was had by all, especially from my household!
Saturday, March 11th was all about hair, health, beauty and business for the thousands who attended Birmingham, Alabama’s annual Vision Beauty Distributors’ Natural Hair and Health Expo. To add a burst of flavor in the form of financial and economic empowerment, title sponsor The Coca-Cola Company discussed strategies from its 5by20 initiative to an audience of women wanting to hear more about their efforts to empower.
The 5by20 initiative was developed in 2010 recognizing that women around the world were already pillars in the business system. “The 5by20 initiative is our company’s global commitment to enable economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by the year 2020, said Eyvon Austin, programs director of supplier diversity for Coca-Cola North America. The online sign up program is simple and free, and addresses the most common barriers women face while trying to succeed in the marketplace, while also offering access to trainings, financial services and connections with peers or mentors. Bringing that message home to her Alabama audience, Austin offered practical tips and tools to inspire the women in attendance. With a message to “Transform Your Leadership”, Austin rallied the captivated guests to…INgage the heart, INspire a compelling vision, INvent your winning team and INstill collaboration. She also shared best practices on expressing vision and passion, balancing work and life, and partnering with civic organizations to help support business.
Proving they are beverages and much more, The Coca-Cola Company’s commitment to 5by20 resonated loudly and clearly with the ladies in attendance at the Natural Hair and Health Expo as they freely shared questions, business strategies and desires toward ownership in a moderated Q&A session with Eyvon Austin.
All-in-all it was a truly refreshing time thanks to The Coca-Cola Company’s investment in empowering women.
The 75th Magic City Classic was just that, MAGIC! If you’re not familiar with the magic which is “The Classic”, it’s a large, and long-standing college rivalry pitting Alabama State University and Alabama A&M University in a battle of the best of football and half-time spectaculars, which also includes a week of epic tailgating, fashion, parties, comedy shows, concerts and more. Think of 75,000+ people converging in one place for one purpose….a GOOD time. And that would be the #mcc.
I had the privilege to again spend time in the VIP tailgate “Chill Zone” hosted by Coors Light. For a second year in a row, this experience did not disappoint! The adult beverage bosses served up a festive atmosphere right in the heart of the magical madness and had something to offer for all, even those non-drinkers like me. The floating crowd of alumni and supporters were welcomed into the zone to a feel which was like an uber-upscale family reunion with your favorite old and soon-to-be new friends. Per usual, there was delicious food. I mean the food was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!! (And I love food so I know food.) The picnic theme with burgers, hot dogs, pork sliders, pasta salad, garden salad, uber-SWEET corn on the cob, baked beans and plentiful liquid refreshments, of course including Coors Light, was the ideal back drop for the 88 degree October weather game-goers were surprised by. The food was hot, fresh and replenished often by a doting team who was always watching and making sure all was better than well. Little extras like that make a foodie like me really, really happy. Former Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta star and radio personality Traci Steele http://tracisteele.com/ was on the scene in a fabulous jumpsuit, might I add, along with legendary (and still cute) hip-hop DJ, DJ D-Nice, both bringing a party vibe to the hot “Chill Zone” which made one want to wobble right smack dab in the middle of the sun-drenched crowd. Joining them was life-style specialist Kenny Burns, and the return of none other than rapper and reality star Yung Joc, who, was one of my favorite entertainers at the tailgate last year too. Even in the midst of sizzling sun and scorching, hot temps, the Coors Light VIP Chill Zone was a breath of fresh air.
As if the celebratory atmosphere wasn’t enough, Coors Light extended their hospitality and HBCU support to the half-time show by presenting a $20,000 scholarship donation which was equally divided among the schools for students 21 or older. It just doesn’t get any more magical than that. Cheers, Coors Light! Here’s to more Classic magic.
Art, Beats and Lyricsmade its final stop in Birmingham after visiting Charlotte, Miami, Houston, St. Louis and New Orleans for its 2016 tour. In its 11th year, Art, Beats and Lyrics’ February 5th Birmingham, Alabama visit was an electrifying, cultured experience gathering the best of Birmingham’s urban, professional, and eclectic community, and featuring a hodge-podge of music, arts, food and refreshing social engagement under the beautiful backdrop of Birmingham’s Regions Field. The at-capacity event presented by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Gentleman Jack spanned multiple rooms and oozed of contagious, creativity as it featured works of art from the likes of Dubelyoo, Aniekan Udofia and Kazilla, and included a live performance from hip-hop legend, Twista.
Twista performed some of his top hits for a packed house at the 2016 Art, Beats and Lyrics tour finale in Birmingham. Presented by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Gentleman Jack, Art Beats and Lyrics showcases some of today’s best upcoming artists, along with seasoned veterans in art and music under one roof. (Photo by Kat Goduco)
While the ABL Tour is officially a wrap for this year. If I were you, I wouldn’t hesitate to hop on board next year to enjoy the thrilling ride where art is the masterful conductor and music is the undeniable conduit to bring people together for one night which can only be described as epic.
Today’s #bloglikecrazy post is supposed to feature a “hole in the wall favorite”. Leave it to me to schedule my own blogging schedule during a time recently where I’ve not been eating out as much and was scrambling to remember the last time I’d been somewhere remotely like a hole in the wall. Well, leave it to me also to be a picture taker of all things tasty and run across two shots from a neighborhood gem in Alabaster, that might not be a hole in the wall in the sense of what some might think, but is certainly a little place packing a lot of good food and in a great, authentic atmosphere.
I’ll admit, I’ve passed this place for years without thought of going in. An impromptu trip to a parade, growling bellies and in need of a quick school night meal landed us at this restaurant. Upon entry, what first struck me was is the feel of family. There was something so inviting as we swung open the door and it just wasn’t the waft of the food which hit us at the same time. It felt good to be there. The next thing I noticed as my sister and I clearly didn’t understand the difference in the two menu offerings of Authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex or Los Angeles style (I can’t remember. It was all tasty to me) was the patience of the staff as we sorted through the menu with intervals of “Oohhhhhh, girl that sounds good” or “You get this. I’ll get that”, or my favorite phrase of the night, “You know y’alls prices are cheap, right?” Anywho, we decided. I chose tacos. She chose an authentic LA burrito.
The presentations were simple. The complexity of the flavors, abundance of portion and freshness were anything but. Los Angeles Burrito in Alabaster, just off of Kent Dairy Road is a trip to the other side (of the country) without leaving the 35007 or 35114. I’ve never been to California or Mexico, but I feel like my taste buds have.
And if things couldn’t get any better, they have all kinds of combo specials. They have flavored, ethnic beverages and they also serve breakfast. #Yum
The 74th Annual Magic City Classic has come and gone and already I’m looking forward to the BIG 75th gathering pitting Alabama State University against Alabama A&M University in Birmingham, Alabama for the largest HBCU football game in the United States. For those unfamiliar, the Classic, as it’s called, is more than football. It’s about food, concerts, syndicated morning shows, late night nights, high fashion, school colors, charity, half-time shows, long lines, even longer hugs, parades, vendors, tailgating spanning days, rivalries and reunions all in one. Both of my parents and several of my relatives are Alabama State University alums and have celebrated Classic for more than four decades. It’s a part of my DNA. It’s etched in my life’s story. It’s the Classic…an experience like none other.
Here’s a photographic snapshot of my Magic City Classic experience which started with the Rickey Smiley Morning Show dark and early on Friday morning and ended with the post-Classic family dinner on Sunday where my mother cooked enough food to feed a small British battalion. I hope you enjoy my instant trip down a not-too-distant memory lane.