Home Music Industry News V103 Summer Block Party Epitomizes Summertime Chi in All its Glory (Updated...

V103 Summer Block Party Epitomizes Summertime Chi in All its Glory (Updated New PICS)

IMG_4456What do you know about the sun setting on Lake Michigan with the infamous skyline providing the ultimate backdrop? What do you know about linen pants, halter tops, retro Jordans, rompers, sundresses, loafers, form-fitting jeggings, timbs,  spaghetti strapped tops, and fitted caps? What do you know about the distinguishing smell and taste of barbecue sauce versus extra mild sauce on your chicken and fries? What do you know about the soulful blend of house music, 90’s r&B, and golden era hip-hop bangin’ out your speakers while inducing anyone in listening distance to move unconsciously as if they are possessed by the rhythm?

These aforementioned questions define the very essence of what is known to many or should I say the Chosen Few as “Summertime Chi.” Who better to capture this feeling than Chicago’s own V103 as they played host to one of the dopest parties of the summer. Between the hours of 6pm to approximately midnight, Chicago’s First Merit Bank Pavilion located on the beautiful peninsula of Northerly Island served as the perfect outdoor venue to host the talents of , , , , and the V-103 crew.

Although the temperature outside was a brisk 69 degrees, the heat index from the artists, hosts, and crowd was on full blaze. With V103 personalities Ramonski Luv, Joe Soto, Chris Michaels, and Bioncé Foxx serving as a masterful quartet of master of ceremonies, while Maurice “Ice” Culpepper and DJ Phantom held it down on the 1’s and 2’s, the party was already lit before the artists even had to step foot on the stage..

IMG_4392Speaking of the stage, it served as the ultimate playground for Jazmine Sullivan to provide that rare Philly soul for the Chitown crowd to vibe out to. With that voice it was quite obvious she isn’t scared of “Lions, Tigers, & Bears” and she might just “Bust Your Windows” out your  car.  By the end of her set, I will just say, “Call me crazy, but I think I found the love of life, that’s right,” as I’m sure many people were feeling warm on a cold cold night, as the lyrics suggest.  For the record, it wasn’t that cold as the beers flowed and the wine filled carafes only added to the great spirits that resonated throughout the crowd.

The soulful spirit of the evening continued as Guordon Banks didn’t disappoint as he laced the crowd with his hit single, “Keep You in Mind.” Dressed in a full tux, he looked like he was ready for an old school Chicago dusty stepper set and the ladies and gents in attendance moved in accordance as they did their best love slide impression.

IMG_4415As the sun began to set and the moon was just showing a tad bit of its glow, love was in the air as it should be because we all know, “Love Will be Right Here” when SWV is  part of the lineup. The Sisters With Voices, all proudly in their mid-40s, sang, danced, and performed in a way like they were still 19 years old although group member, Lelee was quick to point out that she was tired as she was days away from celebrating her 43rd birthday. Their harmonies blended like the beautiful array of people that stood in anticipation of singing along with them to their classic single, “Weak.”

IMG_4437SWV wasn’t the only act that had the crowd weak.  Tank left every woman there weak in the knees as he confidently took the show to another level using a combination of powerful vocals, charming wit, sexual energy, and of course by taking his shirt off.  Not to mention,he did a few freestyles behind the piano that showed off his impressive spur of the moment songwriting ability. After he left the stage, I’m sure “Sex, Love, & Pain” was on the minds and in the plans for many that were blessed enough to capture the brilliant performance.

Just when you thought the show couldn’t get any better, DJ Phantom had the crowd going up on Friday when he dropped some classic Chicago house music as we waited for the queen, Erykah Badu to hit the stage.  Phantom’s set made me once again refer to a few questions.  How does everyone in Chicago know to respond with an emphatic “Hell Yeah!” when Loose Joints ask the question, “Is it all over my face” in their classic house record?  Do you know the difference between the west side and the south side “Percolator?” Do you know anything about “Smoking the Peace Pipe?” Why does Linda Womack “Need a little more” in the classic “Baby I’m Scared of You” record? What do you know about wishing for and groovin’ to “Brighter Days” as the night sky falls upon you?  If you need answers to these questions, ask anyone that attended the V103 Summer Block Party or anyone that understands what summertime Chi is all about. DJ Phantom was doing his best Chosen Few Picnic rendition and we partied as such.

The party wasn’t over yet as Erykah’s band hit the stage and provided a ten minute interlude prior to her ascending the stage.  I say ascended because Ms. Badu is like a phoenix rising or a goddess with superior intellect, clever charisma, and a hood essence that makes her lovable and relatable. Like a moth to a flame burned by the fire, the crowd was drawn to Fat Belly Bella in way that transcended the normal artist to fan relationship.  She vibrates at a level that many of us are trying to catch up to as she is unapologetically Erykah. From her joke about Alicia Keys stealing her sh*t as she showed off her drum machine skills, to her flexin’ her rhyme skills as she dropped NWA’s classic, “Gangsta Gangsta,’ to her fight the power moment when she reminded us all that “They can’t make us hate.” She said, “They can make us mad than a muthaf*cka, but they can’t make us hate.”  From “On and On,” “Clever,” to “Tyrone,”  we were looking for our phones to capture a moment that couldn’t be repeated.

Friday night, right off of Lake Michigan, on Chicago’s Northerly Island, “Summertime Chi” was flawlessly executed in its purest form by V103.  The same artists could perform as a  collective anywhere on the planet but what transpired that evening couldn’t be duplicated. From Maurice “Ice” Culpepper’s amazing Prince tribute to Ramonski Luv paying homage the late great Doug Banks and even his late partner in crime from the 90’s, Disco Dave, the night was one of remembrance.

We laughed, we danced, we ate, we drank, we shouted, we wave our hands in the air like we didn’t care, we sang, and most importantly, we connected. That my friends is the true definition of a Summer Block Party and what we call #SummertimeChi.

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