Inside D.C. entertainment

Monica, Faith Evans, and Donell Jones at For Sisters Only

November 8, 2010 - 01:45 PM
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Monica performing at Saturday's day-long For Sisters Only event at the Washington Convention Center. (Photo: TBD Staff)

The WPGC-sponsored For Sisters Only fair took place at the Washington Convention Center on Saturday. The enormous festival featured all sorts of vendors and speakers, and live music accompanied the shopping, eating, drinking, tattooing, and hair styling that took place.

Atlanta-based  '90s R&B singer Monica and Chuck Brown headlined; Faith Evans, Marsha Ambrosius (of Floetry fame), all-female go-go group Be'la Dona, plus Cali Swag District, and Lil' Mo all performed. A few highlights from the day:

The award for the best keyboard playing and stiletto-wearing while pregnant goes to... Cherie Mitchell, keyboardist for both Be'la Dona and Chuck Brown. She pulled double-duty during the event—and tore it up during both sets.

Although singer Lil Mo isn't the first WPGC radio personality to have a recording career (See DJ Flexxx and rapper Nonchalant), she may be the only personality at the station who can sing her own drops. In between hits such as "4Ever," plugged her 2-6 p.m. slot at the station, entirely in song.

Number of backup singers on stage with Lil' Mo: Six. Now that's how you support local talent.

Donell Jones's solid set showed that he is one of the most underrated R&B crooners working today. He has been putting out solid albums since 1996, and each one produces at least one catchy radio hit. Why so little love?

The crowd had fun when Cali Swag District performed "Teach Me How to Dougie," but they had a better time when the DJ threw on the Waka Flocka/Wale burner "No Hands." 

Marsha Ambrosius has a beautiful voice and I really like her as a solo artist, but I loved her as half of Floetry.

Faith Evans said that whenever she's in D.C., whether she's playing a big venue or a tiny club, she always gets love. Awww.

Evans song that got the best reaction from the crowd: "Can't Believe," her Carl Thomas duet. The people handled Thomas's part.

Then, she gave an obligatory shout-out to D.C. producer Chucky Thompson, the man behind the Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die and other major works. He also worked on her most recent album, Something About Faith.

Evans, the former Mrs. Biggie Smalls, says she has a reality series in the works with: Misa Hylton, who is the former Mrs. Puff Daddy. She also says she will play Florence Ballard in an upcoming biopic on the Supremes singer's life.

When the DJ threw on a Biggie track as Faith left the stage, I wondered if she gets tired of always being linked to Biggie. Then I remembered there's a remake of "Everyday Struggle" on her new disc.

At some point, a DJ plays a go-go mix of Trey Songz's "Can't Be Friends," which
may be one of the best things I've heard in months.

Monica may be the only musician whose reality show made her more likable, meaning that she has succeeded where Keyshia Cole, Trey Songz, Fantasia, Bret Michaels, Flava Flav, Snoop, Brandy, Ozzy Osbourne, Jessica Simpson, and Diddy have all failed.

Monica's latest album is called Still Standing, and her reality show was called still Standing, so naturally, she shouted "Still Standing!" throughout her set.

After Monica asks if she can "take it back to 1995," she  sings "Angel," and then "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)."

No matter how big the R&B and hop-hop headliners who come to D.C. are, it's still a good move to close out the show with a go-go act. The Godfather played everyone out.

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