Written by T. Mason on Mon Mar, 2020
Remember Krush Groove? The first time I saw it, I remember thinking, “Wow, this is Hip Hop?”. Granted, it was 1985 and I was 6 years old, but I remember the feeling of seeing a long list of my favorite artists perform on one stage. Last weekend I spent some time in Carrboro, NC at Sauce Fest. I caught that same feeling all over again.The vibe was extremely high! That is until the police came and shut down the function.
Artists from Georgia, N. Carolina, S. Carolina and Virginia came out to a little spot called 401 Main to share their music with the people. 401 Main is a small bar and eatery nestled on the corner of 401 East Main St in Carrboro, NC. Even with it being small, it has adequate space for an outdoor stage and standing room for patrons to enjoy the show.
“I really believe music is medicine..”
The event dubbed “SauceFest”, was created by Kareem Ross. Originally from Paterson, NJ, Kareem had a love for music since he was a kid. When asked, he spoke affectionately about walking down the blocks of his neighborhood with a boom box. He reminisced of times with his cousin playing artist like playing Lil Wayne, Juvenile and Jadakiss. When asked what inspired him to do the event, his answer was not what I expected.
“SauceFest was inspired a lot by who I am. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs but when I lost my best friend in a tragic car accident, that was the main reason I wanted to get back into the music scene. In the beginnings, I wanted to be an A&R but I took a break for almost 4 years or more from doing any events. It got to a point where I found myself at an all time low. My depression was bad and I would be very anxious. To be honest, I wasn’t sure of who I was or what I wanted to do. Then one day I just started reaching out to some of my closest friends. Talking to them reminded me of some of my best memories. They all suggested I get back to doing events so here I am.”
There were 15 artists scheduled to perform and Kareem picked them carefully and for a good reason.
“In today’s world there is so much judgment, negativity, and racism that I wanted to create an event that brought people from all walks of life together to just enjoy some good music by some dope artist. I really believe music is medicine. It’s healing.”
The healing aspect was not just for the negative culture around him but also for himself.
“Saucefest allowed me to grow as a person and meet some great people. The great conversations and stories are inspiring and it created some great memories. “
“ARTIST TAKE THE STAGE …”
With all the artists that performed, there were definitely some that stood out above the rest. Nini Nicole set the stage on fire with her new single “AFRO BADDIE”. I know a lot of female MC’s get a bad rap because all we hear from a lot of them that are mainstream is something that relates to their sexual prowess, money, or a combination of the two. However, Nini Nicole offered none of that. A true lyricist, she delivered like a season vet with a magnetic energy that left you with no choice but to move.
Twane Picaso hit the stage with his careful balance of insightful lyrics of and butter smooth beats that had the crowd in a groove. Accompanied by G-Rocc Da Mic King, they performed their collaborative track “Secret Stash”. The chemistry between these two artists is undeniable and I’m sure more of that chemistry will shine bright as they are going to be working together on their individual projects coming later this year.
Fresh after dropping his debut album “Luvz Toxicity”, FLYNGZLPHNT was in rare form during his performance. His energy electrified the crowd. At one point, to his own surprise, when he cut his track, “Sympathy” short for time sake, the crowd continued with his final verse! He performed a few unreleased tracks and a few others that are on his album but the energy was the same throughout his entire set and everyone was more than willing to be a part of the experience.
M.A.C. Da Blacksheep step on stage to deliver a hard hitting acapella freestyles as well as Eli who delivered a soul stirring acapella version of her single “Paradise”…and then here came the boys in blue.
Overall it was an exceptional night of amazing artists that brought their A game to the stage. Maybe a bigger venue would have been better but it was still a hell of a night for these independent artists.