Sammi's Scoop: The Pharcyde and J Dilla at 9:30 Club

DC does indeed seem to really, really love Dilla, and Tuesday night’s tribute concert at the 930 Club proved that. The evening started off with a moment of silence in memory of the hip hop producer, who died in 2006 after a battle with lupus. It might be hard to conjure up a mental picture of a totally silent 930 club, but I promise you, it happened. Fans as young as 15 and as old as… I don’t know, maybe 60? all stood silent for a minute in honor of James Yancey.

Then the music started, and it did not stop for the next three hours. James Layne and his “Players” provided nonstop background music. There was no pre-recording, and no auto-tune to be heard. Host and emcee Grap Luva kept the audience pumped up between performances, and he did his job well. The energy in the room was palpable, even to a slightly overwhelmed novice blogger from the suburbs.  Performers took the stage with complete confidence, and gave performances that had a spirit and tenacity that many of their more famous contemporaries are sometimes missing during live shows.

By the time The Pharcyde wrapped up the show, the audience had been treated to a night of incredible showmanship from local talent like Flex Matthews, whose almost aggressive delivery had the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment he set foot onstage. Or Baltimore’s enigmatic Labtekwon. You couldn’t even see his face (due to a rather unfortunate combination of a fedora + A LOT of braids), but you didn’t really need to. With lyrics that clever and delivery that emphatic, everything else becomes kind of superfluous. Plus it made him look mysterious, and who doesn’t love a man of mystery?

I’m going to have to be honest and say that I am by no means an expert on DC’s underground hip hop scene, or hip hop music in general, but after watching this benefit concert, I am definitely a bigger fan.  It always seems to me that a lot of the more main stream rap and hip hop artists that we hear on the radio are all about their own image, but “DC loves Dilla” was a night dedicated to hip hop as an art, and self expression, and the memory of a beloved friend and fellow artist.


Your tax hollers at work: A study of gay men's penises

Awesome! I was wondering about this topic very specifically.

From Daily Caller:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) subsidized a study attempting to find out if a gay man’s penis size has any correlation with his sexual health.

The research, titled “The Association between Penis Size and Sexual Health among Men Who Have Sex with Men,” began in 2006 and surveyed 1,065 gay men. Among its key findings: Those gay men who felt they had small or inadequate penis sizes were more likely to become “bottoms,” or anal receptive, while gay men with larger penises were more likely to identify themselves as “tops,” or anal insertive.

Common sense would not have told me this, since penis size is never a point of pride for men, so I’m glad we had a federally sponsored study about this.

Levi Johnston's sister to appear in Playboy

Can someone please make this family go away?


The younger sister of Bristol Palin’s ex-boyfriend and baby daddy, Levi Johnston, has decided to bare it all.

Mercede Johnston,19, will be featured in a “4-page nude pictorial” in Playboy’s September issue, the magazine confirmed. The photo spread will be accompanied by an article and interview by George Gurley. The issue hits newsstands Aug. 12.

LivingSocial Best of Washington Party

For over 30 years, The Washingtonian has invited readers to vote for the best people, places, and services in the area. Readers rate everything from pizza parlors, sliders, and cocktails to Congress members. Washingtonian editors weigh in too with our picks of the best Washington has to offer.

At the LivingSocial Best of Washington party, we invite the winners to set up booths and serve up their best. Last year, more than 1,500 guests, celebrities, restauranteurs, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society supporters filled the National Building Museum to sample, sip, and socialize.

The sold-out event has featured more than 60 of The Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants and celebrated chefs, including Michel Richard of Citronelle and Central, Robert Wiedmaier of Marcels and Brasserie Beck, Tony Conte of the Oval Room, Scott Drewno of the Source by Wolfgang Puck, and Bryan Voltaggio of Volt Restaurant… and Top Chef fame.

This year all funds from the silent auction and a portion of ticket proceeds will once again go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The LivingSocial Best of Washington party will be the highlight of the summer season. It’s a winner for sponsors, suppliers, guests, and beneficiaries.

For sponsorship information please contact:
Erin Keating > Director of Marketing & Special Events

HedRush Music in Partnership with the Hip Hop Theater Festival and Heineken Celebrate the 6th Annual J Dilla Tribute Concert and Fundraiser

WASHINGTON, DC (July 12, 2011) – The Pharcyde, backed by Jon Laine  & The Players, are set to electrify the legendary 9:30 Club (815 V ST. N.W.) in celebration of the life and music of Grammy Award winning producer James Dewitt Yancey, or J Dilla, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 32 after long suffering with Lupus.  Hosted by Grap Luva, the 6th Annual J Dilla Tribute Concert and Fundraiser benefits the J Dilla Foundation and Lupus Foundation of Greater Washington.

For the sixth year, HedRush Music joins forces with Musical Director, Jon Laine, to produce the Tribute Concert.  The unique and high energy production features an ensemble of sought after musicians and vocalists (Jon Laine & The Players) reproducing hits and rare gems from J Dilla’s musical arsenal.  The celebration, affectionately dubbed ‘DC Luvs Dilla, has hosted the likes of Talib Kweli, Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest), Dwele, Slum Village, Pete Rock, Illa J and of course Ma Dukes, J Dilla’s mom and Executive Director of the J Dilla Foundation.

J Dilla inspired millions with his a music; Common, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, De La Soul, Madlib, Janet Jackson, even Blue Note Records got blessed with beats from the iconic producer and lover of hip hop music.  This year, Grammy award winning hip hop artist and actor Common, donated his time to take part in two video tributes which will be featured online, and live on stage at the 9:30 Club.  “The hip hop community steps up each and every year in support of Dilla, says Brent ‘Munch’ Joseph for HedRush Music.  “This rare and special performance by The Pharcyde at the 9:30 Club is by far our proudest moment.  We appreciate the support of Dilla’s music colleagues, investing their time and talents to ensure a memorable production for the thousands of fans who luv J Dilla.”

The 6th Annual J Dilla Tribute Concert and Fundraiser is the official Tuesday nightlife event for the 10th Anniversary DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival, July 10 – 16, and produced in part through generous donations from sponsors – HeinekenHip-Hop Theater FestivalBen’s Chili BowlALiveLookWords, Beats & LifeWe Act Radio and others.

This year’s fundraising goal is $15,000, all donations are tax deductible, and will be invested to support the mission and vision of the J Dilla and Lupus Foundations.  For ticketing information, please visit 9:30 Club. To make a donation, please contact Ritza Yana


HedRush Music is a creative concept, lifestyle marketing and production company based in Washington, DC.  Locally and nationally, HedRush has designed concepts and produced events for PUMA, Red Bull and Scion to name a few. In addition to corporate clients, HedRush has lent its services to public organizations, such as The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and SEIU (Service Employees International Union). The company prides itself on culturally enriching experiences that touch niche markets in unique ways.

The J Dilla Foundation was established after the untimely passing of highly respected Hip-Hop Producer James Dewitt Yancey, by his mother Maureen Yancey. The Fund serves as a living commemoration to the man behind the music.  The mission of The J Dilla Foundation is to help fund inner-city music programs, and provide scholarships to students attending schools that have progressive music curricula.

The Lupus Foundation of Greater Washington, Inc. (LFA) is the foremost national nonprofit health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus and providing support, services and hope to all people affected by lupus.