For 4 days Downtown Durham turned into a haven for jazz and soul music
enthusiasts, The Art Of Cool was happening and it was the buzz not just for the Triangle region, but this buzz reached far and wide across the US. Soul City Radio was there and DJ
FoundACEtion takes us into what happened on Day #1 of AOC.
We made it to the AOC festival, we got our press passes so now we wait
until 6 when it kicks off!
I was so ready to get out and explore what was going on in Bull City,
that I couldn't contain myself!! I kept telling myself, "I'm here....
At The Art Of Cool..." So day 1 was filled with greatness!!! Check out
We checked out the JD Allen Trio at the Durham Armory - Now I must
admit, I know who JD Allen is and I've heard his work but you got to
check him out live, it's an absolute must!!! He officially kicked off
AOC at the Armory with his show, and I must say that the ambiance was
great and the place was anticipating a great jazz show. The armory had
plenty of space so I enjoyed the way they set up their lineups. You
have to keep reminding yourself, this is a jazz festival with other
dope artists included. Just seeing the essence of pure jazz onstage
makes the music I listen to more appreciated. If you are a jazz fan,
you must check out the JD Allen trio, pure jazz is still alive with
this Detroit native.
Anderson Paak at the Armory - he had great energy his entire set, the
crowd took a while to get into him, but they finally did when Paak got
into his second song. His band, The Free Nationals is DOPE!!!
Something about a band performing with an artist makes the $ you spend
at a concert worth it. Again by the second song the crowd was reciting
his songs word for word. I know he's going to be a star soon and
people packed the Armory out just to see him. I'm sure if he comes
back next year, he'll be on a Saturday bill.
Jamla showcase at Pinhook - When the home team put on a show, people
will show up. Now when I first got there, NOBODY was there. Fast
forward to 1 hour, the place was packed to capacity! I know if Jamla
throws another showcase, they will have to get a bigger venue than
that. It was filled to capacity and you couldn't move around at all.
Khrysis is handling the 1's & 2's, and Heather Victoria did her
thing.... I'm just anticipating her turn to blow up next out of the
Jamla camp by the way, What I really enjoyed about the Jamla showcase
is the music Khrysis was playing. We went through all of the
underground hip hop classics and he set the tone the entire night. At
this point people, including myself, are anticipating Rapsody to come
out. When she did, the place went bananas! Backed by a live band, she
went through a few songs, "Godzilla", "Rock The Bells", her verse on
Kendrick Lamar's, "Complexion" he had the crowd attention all night.
What threw the crowd into a frenzy is when she went into the song she
did with Anderson. Paak called, "Without You" on his, "Malibu" album.
Mid-verse, Paak joins her on stage and the crowd goes absolutely goes
nuts! Hands down one of the best performances I've seen from an artist
Art of Turntables featuring, DJ Maseo, DJ Skillz, Rich Medina, & Pete
Rock at Motorco- When I saw the lineup, I literally got goosebumps.
You don't pass up an opportunity to catch a showcase like that and I
was not disappointed at all! Host Dres the Beatnik kept the crowd into
it. He did a great job hosting and getting the crowd to participate
even though some people were too, "cool" to do so. He also did a great
job changing his shirt every 20 minutes. He had some fly tees, and
I've gotten one that I've set my eyes on. When we got there Pete Rock
was doing his thing! It was good to see a legendary guy like Pete Rock
spin records. He went through his classics, Nas "World is yours",
"T.R.O.Y." & Das EFX's "Jussmen remix". Next up, DJ Skillz & he's
based out of Charlotte. Now I've been in The QC for almost 2 years and
I've NEVER heard DJ Skillz spin.... Well shame on me because,
YOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! He absolutely murked his set, playing classic
Prince and MJ, then switching it to 90's hip hop!!!! He absolutely did
his thing, respect to him that beast of a set he did. I was interested
in what Rich Medina was going to do with his set, he went strictly old
school so if you are familiar with samples, then you got a history
lesson that night. People who know me know I'm a huge James Brown fan,
I think he's the G.O.A.T. but that's another story, but when Rich went
into his JB set, I couldn't stop moving. I can't dance hence the
"couldn't stop moving" reference. I'm also a big De La Soul fan so
when DJ Maseo came out, I knew his set was going to be live! He goes
into a few De La tracks, then plays some Pete Rock remixes which got
the crowd hyped!!! Shout out to DJ Maseo for showing respect to fellow
legend Pete Rock! What made the night so cool was the people who were
there. Rasheed Wallace, yes that Rasheed Wallace was in the building.
I know he's a hip hop head to the heart. Mike Gee from the Jungle
Brothers was there and I had to give him a pound and tell him, "thank
you", I believe in giving respect to those who paved the way for our
hip hop culture. We had fun, took it all in, and got a little history
lesson during Art of Turntables, this shows you that one of our
precious elements of hip hop and turntablism is here to stay.
Now this is ONLY day number 1 of Art of Cool... A few things were
marked off my bucket list, for day #2, let's just say it was past
legendary status. I'll get into that one a little later.