F.U.B.U: Broccoli City Festival Celebrates Your Blackness & Mine

Solange, Smino, Nao, and more celebrate blackness at DC's Broccoli City Festival. 

The 2017 Broccoli City Festival kicked off as it has for the past three years -- with rain showers pouring over Washington D.C. and brisk winds blowing through the Southeast venue. Nevertheless, concert goers trekked through the sinking mud in translucent ponchos and iridescent raincoats to see their favorite artists perform.

Since its conception in 2013, BC Fest has boasted impressive acts, including SZA at its inaugural show, to Future, Erykah Badu, and Jhene Aiko. But this isn't just another show to add to festival season's extensive roster. The event, which is the brainchild of  Brandon McEachern, is apart of a larger initiative to bring "solutions" to the Washington area in regards to health, hunger, and environmental issues. BC was created as a platform for millennials to learn about Earth Day and adopting a clean lifestyle, but in recent years, its underlying goal to celebrate blackness, has come to the forefront. Especially with the current political climate as well as pop stars such as Miley Cyrus reducing hip hop culture to misogynistic lyrics, the need for more movements and events honoring black musicians, artists, and businesses has multiplied.

This year's lineup was a superb group of rap and R&B acts, who not only celebrate their own blackness, but all the different forms of their audience's identity as well. From Solange to Smino and more, here are all of the artists who payed tribute to the culture.

Sir The Baptist Takes Us To Church

Born a pastor's kid, it seemed only natural for Sir the Baptist to incorporate spiritual practices into his act. As one of the very first performances of the day, the Chicago rapper decided to invite his audience to an early church service of sing alongs and rap gospels. The artist's rhymes over soulful beats most definitely left fans feening for more, but it was his powerful vocals and charisma that drew many into the sermon. You didn't have to grow up in a Baptist church to find comfort in his call and response tactics either.

Nick Grant Takes Pride In His Blackness 

South Carolina artist, Nick Grant hit the Broccoli City main stage around mid-afternoon with an enthusiastic set. While he got the crowd riled up with uptempo and choppy beats, he managed to sneak in a number of important messages. One in particular came during his performance of "The Fire," a smooth, R&B-infused track from his 2016 mixtape, '88. "Like living in sadness we are young and we black / Adapting to equipment so no tactics so stop calling me n***a / Cause I take pride in my blackness this is the fire," he rapped while pacing back and forth on the stage.

Smino Celebrates A Black Woman's Worth 

Smino loves black women. That idea was made clear following the release of his debut album, Blkswn, which listens sort of like an ode. As an extended tribute, Smino took the stage -- crutches (he injured his foot during a previous concert), du-rag, and all -- to deliver jazzy tracks from his latest project. With a strong sense of humor and an even stronger accent, the St. Louis native honored the strength, grace, and sexiness of a black woman during his performances of standout tracks like "Anita," "Amphetamine," and "Netflix & Dusse."

Nao Dances To Her Own Beat 

Nao's soothing pitch will hypnotize you, but her dance moves will awaken you and compel you to sway along with her. The British songstress vibrated on a high frequency that her energetic fans just couldn't deny. In a vibrantly patterned pants set, Nao twirled, popped, and bounced on the City Stage to the tunes of her electro-soul and funk tracks like "Girlfriend," "Firefly," and "Bad Blood." Her carefree spirit most definitely embodied the #BlackGirlMagic movement.

Solange Invites You To Have A Seat At The Table 

There's nothing that Solange doesn't think of when it comes to live performances. From her crew's synchronized dance moves to the alluring color scheme, the singer-songwriter delivered a carefully planned set that also left viewers with a sense of confidence and joy. Solange whipped her curly locks to "Don't Touch My Hair," high kicked and shimmied to "Mad," and initiated a sing along to "F.U.B.U." Singing songs primarily from her No. 1 album, A Seat at the Table, Solange left a mark of empowerment on her sea of fans.

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21 Savage And Doja Cat Close Out The Summer At Genius' IQ/BBQ Concert

With summer slowly closing its curtains, Genius held its third annual Genius IQ/BBQ and live concert on (Sept. 7) in Brooklyn, NY. After the end-of-summer event opened its doors and hit capacity, music lovers who made it were in for an interactive, day-long experience.

Presented by Boost Mobile, the free event offered a sky deck view and lounge for V.I.P. guests as well as a warehouse full of both indoor and outdoor experiences. From vendors to ice-cold White Claw beverages to a one-of-a-kind multiplayer trivia game, attendees' attentions were absorbed in activities and an all-around good time. In between sets and as the indoor stage radiated hues of purple, DJ S.WHiT! spun hits from your 1st or 2nd generation iPod.

RCA recording artist Destiny Rodgers took the stage to command the room with her hip-hop, pop, and R&B infused set as she performed her singles, "North$ide," "Apologies," "Lockdown," and "Tomboy."

Hailing from South Haven, Indiana, self-taught guitarist Omar Apollo brought the funk, psychedelic rock, and rhythm and blues while performing "Kickback," "You Got Me," "Unbothered," and "Brakelights."

Yung Baby Tate sported a dark purple laced bustier, black skirt, and thigh-high boots while she sang her hits "Pretty Girl," "That Girl," and "Beckham." The Atlanta producer, rapper, and singer also performed her unreleased track "All Dat" and paid homage to Nicki Minaj while she rapped her "Babytron/Megatron" rendition.

Ann Marie slowed the BBQ down with her R&B sounds rocking a late '90s/2000s-inspired black leather fit. The Interscope Records songstress melodically delivered "Handle It," "Unlove You," "Ride For Me," "Throw It Back," and "My Body," while her backup dancers kept up with their hard-hitting moves.

Rising rapper and Bronx-native Lil Tjay helped to warm up the crowd with his newly released single "F.N." that had the crowd putting their middle fingers up. The 18-year-old Columbia Records signee rapped through his reflective lyrics keeping the crowd hooked from start to finish.

The one and only Doja Cat fans warmed the artist up before she appeared on stage, chanting "Doja, Doja, Doja, Doja." Rocking a yellow, black, and white Fashion Nova pantsuit and jacket set, the 23-year-old engaged with her fans singing her hits "Roll With Us," "Go To Town," "So High," "Game," "Juicy," "Tia Tamara," and "Moo!."

Headliner 21 Savage took over the stage with a 30-minute set as shades of red with hints of green captured the emotion in the UK-native's performance. The Billboard chart-topping rapper took his fans back in time opening  with his 2016 single "Red Opps." 21 carried his set going into Savage Mode with "No Heart," and "X" and gave fans a few M's while rapping "Bank Account."

The Not All Heroes Wear Capes artist closed out the event with performances of "Don't Come Out The House" and "10 Freaky Girls" off of his 2018 album, making the third annual Genius IG/BBQ live concert an event to remember.

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21 Savage attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

21 Savage To Headline Genius IQ/BBQ Summer Concert

Brooklyn is about to get a little hotter. 21 Savage is set to headline the third annual Genius IQ summer concert event Saturday (Sept. 7) at Genius headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. Genius first made the announcement on Monday (Aug. 19).

The jam session will celebrate "music knowledge and the platform's global community of artists and superfans," as stated in an official press release. Presented by Boost Mobile, the deeply engaging experience will include Genius's signature music trivia in their trivia arcade. The Genius Test will challenge attendees allowing them to show off and brag on their music knowledge with the hopes that they can snag a prize or two.

"Our biggest priority is the atmosphere we create for intimacy and deep engagement between artists and fans, which also mirrors what Genius does on the internet every day," said Elizabeth Milch, director of content at Genius.

🔥 @21savage / @DojaCat / @liltjay / @yungbabytate / @omarapollo / @imdestinyrogers / @IAm__Annmarie 🔥 💡 IQ/BBQ IS BACK 💡 we’re hosting our third annual live concert series on Saturday, 9/7 more info 👉 presented by @boostmobile

— Genius (@Genius) August 20, 2019

The end-of-summer live celebration will also feature the likes of Doja Cat, Lil Tjay, Ann Marie, Yung Baby Tate, Destiny Rogers, Omar Apollo, and the sounds of DJ sets by JINX, S.WHIT, VRYWVY, and more.

Originally founded in 2009 as Rap Genius, the Brooklyn-based company is known for sitting artists down and annotating hip-hop lyrics. The platform has welcomed and introduced the sounds and styles of Cardi B, Frank Ocean, Lil Nas X, and more.

Tickets are free and are available at

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(L-R) Adam Selkowitz, Michael B. Jordan, Toni Braxton and Nick Cannon attend Michael B. Jordan's MBJAM19 at Dave & Buster's Hollywood on July 27, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Lupus LA

Toni Braxton, Nick Cannon And More Attend Lupus LA And Michael B. Jordan's MBJAM19

Over the weekend, Michael B. Jordan and Lupus LA celebrated their 3rd annual MBJAM in Los Angeles (July 27). The non-profit health organization united lupus patients with celebrities, athletes, advocates, and children of all ages at the Dave & Busters Hollywood.

During the star-studded event, the Creed actor shared how his family is connected to the autoimmune disease and how the MBJAM came to be.

"My mom [Donna] suffers from lupus. When we moved to LA as a family and needed resources to help her, Lupus LA was the first place we turned [to]. They've been awesome to us, so we wanted to give back in a meaningful way. That's when MBJAM was born," he said.


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@michaelbjordan shares his vision behind #MBJAM, and why families play such a critical role within a patient’s #lupus journey. A lupus diagnosis isn’t something you should face alone. 🧡

A post shared by Lupus LA (@lupusla) on Jul 27, 2019 at 9:40pm PDT

Partnering with American Airlines, Coach, GSK, and Warner Bros., all lupus patients and their families attended the charity event for free. Lupus LA raises funds under three core values, as stated in a press release, supporting medical research, providing patient services, and promoting awareness and advocacy. A total of $13M has been raised for the cause mainly through special events including MBJAM.

Nick Cannon (who's also been open about his life with lupus) led the event as the Master of Ceremonies and Jamie Foxx, Toni Braxton (who also narrates Lupus LA's PSA for their #YourStoryOurFight campaign), Kyrie Irving, Omari Hardwick, Storm Reid, and more made special appearances.

Lupus LA chairman Adam Selkowitz kicked off the program by welcoming over 250 lupus patients and families. "The more we can do to give a face to what is so often referred to as an 'invisible' disease, the greater shot we have at finding a cure," said Adam Selkowitz, Chairman of Lupus LA in a press release.

For more information visit See more pictures from the event down below.


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