Music, music, music. No matter how many times I run down the list of acts, I’ll forget one. Anita Baker, the O’Jays, the Chuck Brown Tribute Band, EPMD, SWV, EnVogue, Eric Roberson, Kings of Crunk, The Isley Brothers, Common, Tamar Braxton, CeeLo, Dwele, Raheem DeVaughn, Tony Terry, Micheal Cooper, The Jones Girls, 112, The Manhattans.…and more.
And here were the surprises – there were jazz and funk bands like Natural Change, Ernest Walker, and Toni Redd that you’ve never heard of that that were phenomenal as well. With the night’s last concerts STARTING at 2 a.m. (and they were full, too) the ship was rockin’ with music into the wee, wee hours.
There were nights when there were multiple parties going on at the same time as multiple concerts. And let’s not forget the comedy. Almost every single night, there was a comedy event with comedians Chris Paul, Huggy Lowdown, Steven Brown, Guy Torry, Huggy Lowdown, Myra J., Rodney Perry, Marvin Dixon, breakout star Ms. Pretty Ricki etc. etc., etc. Basically, if a meteor hit the ship, Black comedy would have to start over.
Did I mention daily cooking demos? And Denny’s Pancake Eating contest? Or the Art Gallery, with an appearance by the legendary artist Charles Bibbs and newcomer Lobyn Hamilton, who creates unique pieces with vinyl records?
Oh and let’s not forget the auditions for a Tyler Perry production and an appearance by Perry himself as part of Sybil’s book club with his book Higher Is Waiting. And he was there to announce the winner of the audition contest – which turned out to be eleven winners, as Perry decided to choose all the top finalists for possible future roles.
Oh and Ms. Jenifer Lewis, who basically did a one-woman show preview with to support her book The Mother Of Black Hollywood. And then got in costume as one General Okoye from Black Panther. More on that below. And most of the celebs on the ship came out to several organized Autograph Signings, where if you didn’t catch them anywhere else, you could catch them there for a photo op and autograph.