A select few were allowed to witness Bombay Sapphire host another exclusive event held at the prestigious River East Art Center. The venue was elegant while the crowd was among the sexiest and sophisticated elite within Chicago. The line up was diverse and intriguing boasting such names as Michelle Williams of Destinys Child, Twista, Margo, Rhymfest, and Da Brat. The crowd was excited and enjoyed every minute of the entertainment.
The purpose of the event was to give fellow Chicagoans the chance to mingle all in the name of love and inspiration. Bombay distributed booklets with their most popular drink recipes as well as gift bags full of music, literature, and sweets. Two of the co sponsors were Giant magazine and MGD owned by the phenomenal Mr. George Daniels.
Da Brat hosted the show and started things off with a performance showcasing classics such as “What Do You Like” and “Funkdafied.” When asked about the events purpose she states that, “Man I’m so glad to have been apart of this. I feel honored. Anything that brings the people together is a good thing. I think we need more positive joints like this all of the time. It was just a real cool vibe. I’m so feeling it.”
Margo blessed the stage second and proved why she’s been deemed Chicago’s secret weapon. The audience grooved to her original music as she sang with pure emotion and glee. Filled with excitement after exiting the stage she lets me know that “ I’m just being patient with my dreams. That’s the one thing you’ve gotta be in this industry. I’m blessed to even be here tonight and touch people. Bombay is really holding Chicago down tonight and I appreciate it, no we appreciate it!”
A few records played while people mingled and exchanged information. The atmosphere was open and inviting while the music was engulfing. The dj stopped everything only to start a colorful chant that got the crowd excited. Rhymfest appeared on the stage and released a performance like I’ve never seen before. “ I don’t want people to forget about my lyrics, I want people to have to stop and think. I’m not a performer but I try to give you a show. I’m not a rapper but I’m an artist that concentrates on his words.” Promoting his first album Blue Collar and sparking anticipation for his new release due out later this year he performs a song a cappella entitled “Have You Ever Been Close.” While on stage he professed that “ I had to make sure that people listened to the words because to many times artists have a phat beat and crazy hooks only and no content. They know that if you listen to the words you might not agree with what they’re saying let alone like it. I gotta give this to you raw because I’ve got something serious to say.” The Bombay executives stood entranced as well as the audience as this artist took the time to make his time on stage an educational experience that was needed and appreciated.
The evening had developed into an amazing night and the crowd eagerly awaited one of Chicagos finest as he prepared to show on-lookers why he has been certified one of the most original lyrical assassins within the hip hop genre and beyond. Twista was no disappointment as he maneuvered on stage like a seasoned vet letting the audience know “we all here to have a good time. Get some Bombay in you and let go.” Thriving off of the Speedknot Mobstaz, ,his on stage support system, together they performed the groups first single “Gangstas Don’t Dance” and gave those gathered a taste of what Chicago mixed with down south sounds like, the end result, nonstop dancing. Twista said with pure excitement that “the crowd was amazing and I was glad to be on stage. They really felt what we were doing and it just felt so damn real. I’d do this again any day.”
After all of the juking and footwork during a brief intermission Da Brat returned to the stage to announce the arrival of Ms. Michelle Williams. She walked in holding the hands of some of her close friends. “I love Chicago, this is my home and I’m glad that we are all here tonight. It just feels like family all around, ” Ms Williams said with an immeasurable smile. Her first song was a famous remake of the classic Let Stay Together. The crowd moved and some couples began to step in the middle of the floor.
“ I know that everyone that’s been up here had there own thing going and I’m proud to be apart of such a diverse line up but I have to sing one of my favorite songs that I’m sure you’re e familiar with, “I Heard A Word.”” The crowds swayed side to side watching Michelle conjure up every ounce of emotion and feeling she had within her tiny frame.
“ I cant help it Chicago, forgive me but I just got get this out,” she said as she continued to sing even after the track finished. “ I know its weird to see me at an event like this but you’ve gotta understand we’re here celebrating family, inspiration, and just that good old Chicago love.” Participants of the event took time to meet and greet the performers as they walked around freely. Thomas Jordan from the west side couldn’t stop expressing his disbelief “its crazy I’ve never seen so many stars around us common folk having a good time. Its like forget the fact that youre platinum selling artists, we just went up to the bar together and got a drink. I can’t believe this. It is amazing.” Michelle Williams continued to fan herself as she took a seat holding conversations with people that sewed seeds of inspiration. Bombay Sapphire isn’t satisfied with being one of the most popular liquor companies around, they want people to unite, build, and be encouraged, even if its all on them. “At the end of the day that’s what its all about said Diamond, a local volunteer.