Last Thursday night at the Cine Magic Riverfront Studios, Samsung celebrated the launch of Milk Music’s new streaming music service and partnership with ADD52. Signing up for the event, I didn’t really know what to expect. All that I was told about it was that the event would feature a showcase of musical performances by up-and-coming artists through the ADD52 program and an exciting A-list headlining performance. One of my bosses informed me that Passion Pit was rumored to play but I had no way of knowing for sure. Either way, I was excited to check it out!
Getting to the event was a bit stressful because I left my apartment 20 minutes before the event was set to begin only to realize that it was being held in Brooklyn. On my way there I considered turning around and going home because as we crossed over the bridge into Brooklyn things began to look a little sketchy. I thought I was in the wrong place until we pulled up to a building with a slew of people outside and flashing blue, pink, green and yellow lights. I checked in with the press, was given a wrist band and walked on in. I was pretty nervous because I had no idea what to expect. To enter I walked under a light up circle entrance which then led me into a room that resembled a basketball court, with gratified walls and headphone stations. My first thought was, holy shit I am really in Brooklyn now. It was one of those ‘Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore’ moments.
As I continued farther down the room I eventually ended up in a huge warehouse-like space that housed a stage, two open bars, more headphone stations, and servers with champagne and appetizers. I watched three performances by Tayyib Ali, 3D Na’Tee, and Love Dollhouse and I promise I didn’t just make up those names, they are real believe it or not. They all are ADD52 artists who Russell Simmons has taken under his wing. His publicist described them to me as his “babies”. They were interesting performances to say the least. My favorite was 3D Na’Tee’s, though she was a little hardcore, but I mean after all she is a rapper. I got to meet Russell Simmons and take a picture of him for Guest of a Guest’s website. He was very friendly and animated. He reminded me of a nice, hip, not ready to be a grandpa, but still a grandpa, kind of guy. Russell Simmons
Out of no where a group of drummers came marching into the room singing and dancing and drumming up a storm. They opened up a side of the wall that turned into an enormous door and had everyone follow them outside. We were led down a winding path, lined with huge colorful balls of light, and then into another gigantic open studio room. Inside there was a big stage with bright lights flashing everywhere, a huge open bar with a beautiful view of the city all lit up, and a roped off VIP section.
Russell Simmons and Steve Rifkind made a short speech on stage before releasing the never before seen commercial for Milk Music’s ad-free radio service. Then Niykee Heaton kicked off the performances with her single “Bad Intentions“. I had no idea who she was or that she was known, but I quickly learned that every guy knew her and loved her, even the guy who I wanted to love me.
For her next song she brought a rapper on stage to sing with her. I knew he must have been famous because the crowd went crazy but I didn’t know who he was because I’m not good at identifying rappers by their faces, I only know their music. He went on to sing a few songs by himself, but because he was singing songs like “Mercy” and “I Don’t Like”, that I know Kanye West sing, I couldn’t figure out who he was and I wasn’t even sure if he was famous anymore.
Turns out, this mysterious rapper was indeed famous and he was actually Pusha T. When I discovered it later that night while lying in bed I felt really stupid. It makes sense though because he is featured in all those songs, just not the main rapper.
I had a similar experience when the next artist came on stage. The first song he sang was “Simple Things“, which I am currently obsessed with, but I thought that because he wasn’t introduced and I wasn’t told Miguel would be at the event, that it couldn’t really be Miguel. When he went on to play “Adorn” I freaked out and immediately pulled out my phone to Google search Miguel. When the images loaded I found myself looking at a picture of the man standing six feet in front of me. I’m a huge Miguel fan so the fact that I was watching a surprise performance by him seemed unreal.
It was very upsetting when Miguel left the stage, and my secret crush (that was standing next to me) left to go to the bar. Everything was made better though when Passion Pit entered the stage.
I had a front row view of Passion Pit’s performance. I had some how weaseled my way up to the front of the stage. They were great in concert but, at the time, my mind was elsewhere. I was scanning the room looking for the group of 6’foot tall guys who all looked like beautiful models.
I still can’t understand it but for some odd reason, at the time, I thought it would be a good idea to leave 20 minutes early. Turns out it wasn’t a good idea because all I did was leave to go home and get in bed which was way less exciting than listening to Passion Pit. Also, it turns out that my crush looked like a model because he is a model. Also missed out on that one. So, I have a few regrets from the night but I cannot complain because overall it an awesome night!