Rick Ross, Teddy Riley and extra to headline 2019 Baltimore AFRAM Competition – Baltimore Solar


Friday’s announcement of the 2019 African American pageant’s headliners takes place because the mayor’s workplace, certainly one of its principal organizers, undergoes large change. Bernard C. “Jack” Younger is barely per week into the mayorship that Catherine Pugh vacated after the rising scandal across the “Wholesome Holly” books pushed her out of workplace. This transition caps off a yr of battle over the AFRAM’s funds, period, attendance woes and relocation to Druid Hill Park in 2017.

Tonya Miller-Corridor, the mayor’s workplace’s senior director of public affairs, stated the scandal surrounding former Mayor Pugh shouldn’t threaten this yr’s pageant, which takes place August 10 and 11.

“The pageant is a big deal to the town, it’s 20-plus years previous and possibly one of many largest African-American festivals on the East Coast,” she stated. “The town expects a implausible expertise. It’s a family-oriented, multi-generational pageant. It was an enormous precedence for Mayor Pugh, and is an equally enormous precedence for Mayor Younger.”

Miller-Corridor added that this pageant, which entails the town’s Division of Recreation & Parks and Baltimore Workplace of Promotion & The Arts, counters the unfavorable consideration typically surrounding this predominantly Black metropolis.

“Baltimore will get a lot dangerous press,” she stated. “It’s a possibility for folks to see Baltimore another way, and showcasing our parks and metropolis is absolutely very important, particularly at the moment. It’s going to be essential this yr that the town does the pageant properly and tries to do it even larger and higher than final yr, as a result of the group actually wants one thing to be ok with.”

This yr’s star-studded performers embody the next A-listers and rising abilities:

Rick Ross

The Miami-bred artist survived seizures, authorized points, rap beefs, defamation claims by drug vendor “Freeway” Rick Ross, being outed as an ex-corrections officer and extra on his solution to rap superstardom. Now, the Maybach Music Group founder makes his solution to Baltimore to hopefully tease the reported follow-up to his 2006 debut, “Port of Miami,” throughout his headlining set Saturday.

Green Gucci Suit

Sevyn Streeter

From nabbing first place on “Showtime on the Apollo” as a ten-year-old to childhood excursions within the woman teams TG4 and RichGirl, this Florida native has spent a lot of her life on the planet of R&B. The singer, who’s penned singles for Ariana Grande and Maryland’s personal Tamar Braxton, stepped additional out on her personal along with her 2017 debut album, “Woman Disrupted.” Based mostly on what she’s launched from that album and past, together with final yr’s “Yernin,” Streeter’s cool and assured songwriting and vocals will certainly discover a dwelling at Druid Hill.

Sevyn Streeter - Yernin (Official Lyric Visual)

Sevyn Streeter releases the extremely anticipated lyric visible for her single Yernin.

Sevyn Streeter releases the extremely anticipated lyric visible for her single Yernin.


Teddy Riley and pals

If Saturday’s acts play extra in direction of millennial Baltimore residents and youthful, then Sunday’s roster caters extra to the “40-plus age group,” Miller-Corridor stated. Few surviving R&B stars imply as a lot to that era of followers as Teddy Riley. The pioneer of New Jack Swing, which fused hip hop and dance instrumentation with R&B vocals, wrote definitive hits for contemporaries like Bobby Brown, Michael Jackson and Mary J. Blige. Extra lately, he’s toured the nation and carried out revue-style exhibits with a few of his most well-known pals and collaborators. He celebrates in full pressure at AFRAM, with two of his most well-known teams in tow: Man, the late-’80s/early-’90s vocal trio with songwriting associate Aaron Corridor and his brother, Damian Corridor; and Wreckx-N-Impact, who dominated the 90s with the Riley-produced “Rump Shaker.”

Guy - 'Round And 'Round (Merry Go ' Round Of Love)

Wreckx-N-Effect - Rump Shaker

Dru Hill

These hometown heroes, who carried out at AFRAM final yr, return to the park with which they virtually share a reputation (to the extent that Miller-Corridor by chance stated “Dru Hill Park” not less than as soon as) for an additional set of sultry gradual jams and heart-on-sleeve vocal magic.

“I stated to mayor Pugh final yr, when the pageant was over, that Dru Hill ought to all the time be invited to do [AFRAM],” she stated. Take heed to the 90s traditional, “In My Mattress,” and attempt to show in any other case.

Dru Hill - In My Bed


Festivals like AFRAM additionally give artists from different components of the African diaspora the chance to unfold their message to an excellent larger viewers. Miller-Corridor stated that this yr’s pageant will characteristic a number of such acts, with many but to be confirmed, together with Afro-Cuban artist Cimafunk.

“We did a survey after AFRAM final yr to see what extra folks wished to see, and one factor that bubbled out of that was [incorporating] the African diaspora,” Miller-Corridor stated. Her analysis led her to the South by Southwest pageant, the place NPR highlighted Cimafunk, along with his irresistible mix of funk and conventional Afro-Cuban and Caribbean music kinds, as an act to observe. Right here’s a style of what to anticipate.

CIMAFUNK - Paciente [Live @La Tropical]

Along with these and different to-be-announced musicians, AFRAM will characteristic a number of native meals distributors and different retailers.

“Baltimore has a thriving foodie group, so we’re actually making an attempt to curate that and convey native, high quality meals, as an alternative of your typical [music festival] fare,” she says.



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