Hosted by my Pisces sista, Erykah Badu, the 2015 Soul Train Awards did not disappoint. The show was hot. It was dope. It was everything. There was real singing. I understood what everyone was saying/singing. I stood up and danced. I threw an object at the TV. I got my life! Let’s run it back.
- Erykah opened the show rolling onstage on a hoverboard, singing “Danger.” (I felt like I was at the cool kid’s party at the skating rink, and now I want a damn hoverboard.) She ditched the board and gave us a bit of “On & On” laced with a freestyle, and then went into “Love of My Life.” And then…in classic Ms. Badu fashion, she asked us, “Sistas, how y’all feel? Brothas, y’all alright?” YAAAAAAASSSSSS!!!
- She told us she was banning all rap from the show. Not that she doesn’t love hip-hop, cuz…
But that’s not the point. It was strictly about soul for the night.
- Among the rules: only three tattoos per arm, no red cups, no gold teeth, no pants sagging, and NOTHING on fleek. (I CRIED.)
- She shaded thee HELL out of Iggy Azalea in a mock phone call where Iggy was asking if she was banned from the show. Because: no rappers. Erykah said she could come because what she was doing definitely wasn’t rap.
- Jidenna won the first award.
- Tyrese crooned about how ‘shamed he is.
- The bald beauty from Empire (V, I think) sang her face off in the snippet they let us hear.
- Jazmine Sullivan sang “Let It Burn” and killed it! She even brought out After 7, and they sang part of “Ready or Not,” the song she sampled in “Let It Burn.” Melvin wasn’t there, though…unless his face changed drastically over the years. Oh! And they let the cousin sing! Yay!
- Erykah gave us an interlude to jam to: “I Can Make You Put Your Phone Down.” Oh, but then she went into “Tyrone” And I was all… So was the audience.
- Tyrone came out in the middle of her performance and asked her to keep his name out of her mouth. He was tired. He’d been picking dudes up and hauling them and their shit to their mamas’ houses for eighteen years. He felt a new song was in order: “Don’t Call Tyrone.” (Hilarious.)
- Jilly Scott won the Lady of Soul Award. Her adorable son escorted her to the stage (shortly after being stunned by Regina Hall calling his mommy “sexy.”) Jill thanked everyone in her mesmerizing tone. It’s amazing that even her speaking voice is like butter. And then she paid tribute to her damn self. You hear me? She sang a medley of her songs. NOBODY was gon’ get up on that stage and mess up her moment, baby! LOL! I was ever present for her performance, too. Come thru, Jilly from Philly!! Be great! And she was.
- Soul Cypher (Think of the cypher in the Hip-Hop awards, but with singers.)
- Chrisette Michelle killed it with her silky tone and scatting. Lalah Hathaway killed it with her husky voice and impressive range. Eddie Levert asked us if he made us go “Oooh.” (I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I didn’t answer.) K-Ci? Well. Um. Somebody must’ve taken Uncle K-Ci off the prayer list because he’s kinda sober now, but no worries. I put him back on…in permanent marker. He has become our Eddie Cain, and it makes me sad.
- I need to see this again next year!!! If I had my choice, I’d like to see Jazmine Sullivan, Tyrese, Anita Baker, and Ronald Isley.
- A Selection: Erica Campbell still needs a lil’ mo’ Jesus. Don’t we all? She sang that for us instead of “I Luh God.”
- B Selection: Tasha Cobbs came out and blessed our souls. She put a praise on it and had the place on fire.
- Babyface Tribute
- Pebbles was among the interviewees who spoke of his talents. I get that she was around in the early years and sang with him, but all I could think was: Who did she threaten to sue in order to make sure she got on camera? Her fight to prove her relevance is just painful to watch. (Sorry. I’m a die-hard TLC fan, and that shit she pulled after their movie did me in.) I digress.
- L.A. presented him with the award, and I had some questions about some things. I won’t elaborate. Just look at his left hand when he says, “And you still got that baby face.” (Wait. Was that an elaboration?) It was amazing to hear L.A. say he stopped producing and took a desk job once he was no longer working with Babyface. That’s a huge compliment.
- Tevin Campbell brushed off the cobwebs and sang, “Can We Talk?” (I was impressed that he still had his range as a grown man, but he seemed to forget at times that he was at the Soul Train Awards and not on Broadway or at an uppity banquet.)
- Brandy busted out with “Sittin’ Up in My Room” from the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. Her braids were ca-ute!
- Fantasia surprised us with Whitney’s “Exhale (Shoop)” and if you know ‘Tasia, she shooped for the gawds BUT still kept it
classy. My heart was unprepared. Ohhhhhh, but I had to gather myself because THEN, she broke out with “Superwoman” by Karyn White. Damn. It. I already love the song, but that ‘Tasia put her stank on it and made me want to throw my plate at the TV. Even Babyface jumped up from the piano and got his life.
- Bobbaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!! Bobby Brown came out and sang “Roni.” He’s not the Bobby he was then, but when I closed my eyes and sang along, it felt the same.
- Boyz II Men sang “End of the Road” & “I’ll Make Love to You.”
- Then Babyface gave us that “Whip Appeal.”
- I’m pretty sure that’s the best tribute I’ve seen on the Soul Train Awards thus far.
- Cameo gave a lackluster performance, but it was excusable because “Word Up” jams.
- The Arruh (R. Kelly) just won’t sit at home and be cool. (Because we haven’t forgotten.) He’s gon’ MAKE us love him… or at least remember how much we used to love him and how much we still (accidentally) love his music. I couldn’t stop my body from rolling. It was like an involuntary response to the beats. Sigh… He performed his newest song – the one about a backyard party or cookout or sum’n – and had folks in the audience with plates and such like it was really a barbecue. He even broke the red cup rule, but Erykah said it was cool.
The show was amazing. I love how they’ve taken the production to the next level. I WILL be there next year.
If you missed it, try to catch a rerun on BET or Centric.