January 31 was supposed to be a big night for the local hip-hop community. That was when Final Friday, the monthly urban music showcase put together by The A-Teem Alumni (Brian "Viz" Walker and Jonathan "Fatz" Dangerfield), would debut at its new home, Gypsy Tea Room, after a three-year run at Liquid Lounge. This would be a step up, a new beginning.
That all changed early Monday morning. Eddie Adams, who performed as Saahir Allah with the group Epatomed, was killed, along with his wife, Quenshell Badger, when their disabled car was struck from behind by an 18-wheeler in Grand Prairie. According to police, Adams' vehicle was stopped in the left and center lanes on the southbound side of Highway 360 after suffering a tire blowout. Shortly after, at around 2:30 a.m., the 18-wheeler hit it, and Adams, 25, and Badger, 26, were thrown from the car, which burst into flames. They both died before emergency crews arrived.
Instead of a celebration on Friday, a wake will take its place. As far as we can tell, Final Friday will happen as scheduled, kicking off at 10:45 p.m. with a lineup of K-otix, The Burn Unit, The Strange Fruit Project, the Ill Relatives, Sivion of the Phat Katz and DJ Baby G spinning. But a memorial for Adams is also planned for that night at Liquid Lounge, where he performed often during the past few years. Bryan Mondy, known in local hip-hop circles as DJ BMX, says the vigil will begin around midnight.
"Saahir was an extremely deep, spiritual and intelligent person who was quiet and always seemed to be in thought," says Mondy, who has posted a small tribute to Saahir on his Web site, www.soulfulnoize.com. "Very personable and respectful. A true example of the underground hip-hop community here in Dallas. His lyrics taught as well as entertained. It was obvious to me that he was blessed with a gift."
Adams often said that he "was made for hip-hop," and he probably was. He pushed his rhymes in directions few were willing or able to take them, wrapping his words around social and sexual politics, letting his thoughts veer into the metaphysical. But he never drifted too far above his listeners' heads; the title of Epatomed's album describes it best--Liquid Bricks: Lessons in Simplistic Complexity. He was scheduled to perform with Epatomed on February 2 at the Palm Beach Club. Head down to Deep Ellum on Friday and honor the memories he left behind. He will be missed.
To leave you on a happier note, here's this: Jon "Corn Mo" Cunningham will host a screening of The Poseidon Adventure, the 1972 film that set the tone for all disaster films that followed, January 30 at 7 p.m. on AMC, as part of the network's My Favorite Movie series.
"I got the gig from a guy who saw me in Atlanta," Cunningham says. "He had hired me to do a job for the Cartoon Network and he moved up here and asked me to be in this My Favorite Movie thing."
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As for what his duties as host will entail, Cunningham isn't entirely sure. "During taping, I just talked about the movie and wrote a song about Shelly Winters' character, 'Mrs. Rosen.' I made a shitload of notes from watching the movie but had to go off book and just answer questions. I'm not good at having a quick wit, so they may have cut a lot of my rambles."
If we know Cunningham, and we like to think we do, his rambles should be just as entertaining as the flick. Come to think of it, prolly much more so. And speaking of entertaining and Cunningham, you can still pick up a copy of his latest and greatest disc, The Magic is You! Head to www.gunsablazin.com and they'll set you up...
Also, while we have some time, we thought we should mention that J&J's Ol' Dirty Basement, located in the heart of Denton's old town square, is hosting a big rock shindig on February 1. The show will last from 7 p.m. to midnight and will feature sets by Aaron White, XOX, Mosier Valley Boys, John Wesley Coleman, Doug Burr from The Lonelies, Stanton Meadowdale and The Theater Fire. Call 940-382-7769 if you need directions. It is free...
To continue the plugs, that same night, Red Animal War and Avec (you might have seen or heard them under their old name, Sand Which Is) will perform at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. Avec will continue its tour of the Golden Triangle the next afternoon, with a set at Good Records at 4 p.m. Check it out.