Black Friday Was Lit at Queens College

By Jason Gonzalez 

Without question, the musical genre of rhythm and blues was represented well last week.

A star studded lineup consisting of Ginuwine, 112, and the Grammy award winning duo of K-Ci and JoJo (formerly of Jodeci), brought a mixture of style, grace, and flair to the borough in which the current president was born in. As is said in the street vernacular, the Kupferberg Center for the Arts on the campus of Queens College was “lit” on Black Friday.

The Adam Torres Concert Series presented the R & B Holiday Bash, which was led off by Ginuwine. The now 47-year-old, native of Washington D.C. performed a 25 minute set, that saw him sing his hit singles of “So anxious”, “Same Ol’ G”, “None of Ur Friends Business”, “Owe Me” (Minus Nas), ultimately closing it out with, none other than then the classic “Pony”. While vocalizing the lyrics to the Magic Mike theme song, “The Bachelor,” Ginuine distributed roses to his most ardent followers and admirers. Ginuwine’s vocals were intact; he can still harmonize, and can dance relatively well, considering that he is almost 50. There was no evidence to suggest why he received all of the negative press in the past.

The Atlanta-based quartet of 112 preceded the opening act. Slim, Q, Daron, and Mike carried out a 40 minute set that was comprised of a myriad of things such as singing, dancing, and adlibs. The choreographed dancing, the theatrics, and the encouraged crowd participation by the foursome were reminiscent of New Edition in their heyday. Their influence on the group is quite evident. 112 performed a mixture of old and new material. “Only You”, “Cupid”, “Love You Like I Did”, “It’s Over Now”, and “Peaches & Cream” covered the “Ol’ Skool”. Songs such as “Strawberry” and “Dangerous Games” represented the fresher substance. There were instances in which it appeared that Slim was lip synching, however it was tough to gauge. There may not be anything overly spectacular about 112, but there is no denying their ability to get the job done. They found their niche, and they do what works for them. Collectively the platinum plaques speak for themselves. The chemistry amongst the members of 112 indicates that success can only be achieved together and not individually.

Prior to K-Ci and JoJo touching the stage, rapper and star of Love and Hip Hop New York, Peter Gunz was brought out as a surprise/special guest. Gunz performed his verse from “Uptown Baby”. Gunz was received well by the crowd, but still a bizarre appetizer nonetheless.

Now in preparation for the grand finale, the live orchestra turned up by playing Wiz Khalifa’s “We Dem Boys” as K-Ci’s and JoJo’s entrance music. From the time that the pair came out till after their encore performance, the crowd failed to realize that there were chairs behind them. Nor did they recall having their phones on them to pull out randomly. The tandem had everyone in attendance captivated, literally hanging on every high note that the biological brothers hit.

Both K-Ci and JoJo took center stage for over an hour. By simply emphasizing the tracks that were performed you would just merely sound redundant. If you’re a Jodeci fan, then obviously you know what songs were sung. 

The highlight of the evening came when K-Ci took the spotlight, not for being selfish, but for the opposite. K-Ci called out Ginuwine and 112 to come join them on stage to help them perform their songs from his Jodeci days. The second came when K-Ci jumped into the crowd and literally walked around the entire 2,100 seat venue. K-Ci shook hands, gave hi- fives, walked through aisles, and posed for selfies with people all while singing. This was truly a remarkable sight to witness. Not to say that show was boring, but it came to life on the strength of the common people now being a part of the bill. 

Lastly, K-Ci brought out his homie from East Orange, New Jersey, Treach from Naughty By Nature. Treach performed his verses from “Hip Hop Hooray” and “OPP”.
Overall, it was a fun night, one that exceeded expectations. entertainment crew gives the R & B Holiday Bash a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.   

Print Friendly, PDF & Email