"Peaches Babble-On" Guest Rants
Saturday, December 1st was World AIDS Day and I was invited by Clay Cane to attend the I Stand With Magic: World AIDS Day Celebration of Life at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Clay brought me and six others; we truly had a ball at the concert. However, I'm not completely sure if the fun we had was simply because the show was so wonderful, or if it was just a matter of good company. Nonetheless, fun was had by all.
After several intros the show finally began with a moving speech by Magic Johnson who has been living with HIV for over sixteen years. Magic is nothing short of magical and the audience gave him a standing ovation.
The first performer was Ms. Yolanda Adams. Gospel's reigning glamazon (sorry Juanita Bynum!) took the stage in a red form-fitting gown that despite her modelesque figure, probably took a bit of lube and cocoa butter to squeeze into. Of course it was no coincidence that the band and background singers were dressed in all black. We all know how easy it is for a six foot tall black woman with three inch heels, ten pounds of reddish brown weave, a microphone and a voice bigger than life to fade into the background.
It's no secret that "Yo-Yo" sings her pretty little head off but is it me, or has she perfected the ability to sing a song so deeply into the ground and run it over with an SUV? You can bet that anytime Yolanda's behind a microphone home girl is going to wail the song, end the song, reprise the song, burp the song, douche the song and of course preach the song.
Yolanda gave somewhat of a moving testimony about her mother being healed from cancer. Yes, if God could do it for her mother, then he could heal you too! Maybe everyone who is suffering from a disease just isn’t praying hard enough or hasn’t bought a Yolanda Adams CD! I'm wondering if Abbott Pharmaceuticals (the sponsor of the event) ever considered changing their name to "Jesus Drugs". Kind of like Michael Jackson’s "Jesus Juice" but without the molestation.
Yolanda gave me another spiritual black eye when she congratulated Magic Johnson on being "called by God". Apparently (and I'm paraphrasing) God trusted Magic enough to give him HIV because he'd know what to do with it. So, everybody stop and praise God right now! If God had not trusted Magic with HIV, whose hands would HIV possibly in?
Next up was Angie Stone doing her best impersonation of a 2007 Hattie McDaniel with Hawaiian Silky #2 weave. The "Jesus is a Healer-Thon" continued with Angie Stone testifying to the crowd about her battle with congestive heart failure. Now, let me make sure I get this testimony right, because I would HATE to be like the rest of the press, who according to her, talk about her daily and get her stories wrong. Long story short, she went to the doctor to get antibiotics for bronchitis and they told her she had a bad heart. Now this makes me want to give her a pass for her embarrassing stint on Celebrity Fit Club. Well, with prayer, Jesus cured her disease. If Jesus can cure her congestive heart failure could the Lord Almighty have helped her lose a few pounds in front of millions on television, being the A-list superstar that she is?
Erykah Badu stole the show in the best way for me. She did an amazing set singing both classic and new Badu songs, opening with the ten-minute epic "Green Eyes" from the Mama's Gun album. She looked stunning in a muumuu/poncho contraption, an afro that would put Angela Davis to shame (that is if Angela Davis would be ashamed of growing her own), and effortlessly moved the crowd all while taking sips of something (hopefully tea) from a thermos that looked like a giant can of pink oil sheen.
What was most refreshing about Erykah's performance was her decision to actually reference the reason we were there, HIV/AIDS. Yo-Yo and Angie, I love you dearly, but I don't think you'd like it if I started singing and dancing about HIV/AIDS at the Cancer Foundation Fundraiser or the Congestive Heart Failure Spring Social!
Finally, the "headliners" of the evening…New Edition. There isn't much I can say. Take new Edition, circa 1985, cut your image of your favorite performance, paste it into 2007 and add about 20 years of wear and tear, a few wrinkles and some Rogaine, and you've pretty much got the whole performance. However, Miss Johnny Gill scared the living daylights out of me where in the vamp of "Can You Stand the Rain" he unexpectedly started screaming and growling at the audience, letting them know...Jesus would heal them, if they just believed! Believe, believe, believe...how long do you think people are still going to believe Miss Johnny is hetero?
Overall, Magic Johnson pulled off an excellent show providing a good mix of true talent and R&B laughs. Plus, he is still looking good for 48 year-old man. Last I heard Magic Johnson is “practically” cured (undetectable levels) from HIV/AIDS because it no longer shows up in his system, whatever that means. I can’t help but recall Kanye West in his song “Roses”: “The best medicine go to people that’s paid / If Magic Johnson got a cure for AIDS and all the broke motha f****s passed away / You tellin’ me if my grandma's in the NBA, right now she would be ok?”
Peaches Babble-On **muah******Speical thanks to "Peaches" for guest writing. Check out the clip of Erykah singing “Green Eyes” — simply incredible.