Name: The Fab Empire
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August Alsina is out with new music and he met up with his Las Vegas fans this weekend. The R&B singer performed at Drai’s Nightclub inside The Cromwell in Las Vegas.
The New Orleans native performed his new singles “Wait,” “Lonely” along with older hits, such as “I Luv This Shit.”
Photos: Courtesy of Woody Hugh/Tony Tran Photography
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In honor of Black History Month, AT&T invited more than 500 people to its “Humanity of Connection” event, honoring political strategist Judy Smith, inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture (1400 Constitution Avenue NW).
Before the program, which was hosted by actor Hill Harper and MC Lyte, D.C.’s politicos and socialities mixed and mingled at a cocktail reception. It featured Isiah Thomas’ Cheurlin champagne, a macaroni and cheese bar and a doughnut station.
Along with honoring JudySmith, who was the inspiration behind Scandal’s Olivia Pope, the event honored NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas. Al Sharpton and poet Cleo Wade were among those to give remarks to the audience, who were also treated to a short film from Keith Clinkscales.
The Fab Empire spotted many of our favorites at the event, including Andre Wells, Jawn Murray, Nicole Veneble, Jamishia Smith, and Desiree Barnes. Also spotted were Jesse Jackson, Rep. Joe Kennedy and Lynda Johnson Robb.
Photo credit: Tony Powell
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If you’re still looking for the perfect Valetine’s Day gift, look no further! The Fab Empire is giving away two tickets to see Lauryn Hill when she stops into D.C. at the Warner Theatre on Feb. 16.
Enter to win a chance to see the singer (let’s pray she’s on time!) right now:
- You must follow @thefabempire and @dcfab on Twitter.
- Tweet us saying: “I want to win @DCFab‘s tickets to see Lauryn Hill! @TheFabEmpire Hook me up!”
We’ll pick the winner from our mentions on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. Good luck!
And if you don’t want to do all of that, click here to buy your tickets now!
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Ava DuVernay found the perfect weekend — Martin Luther King Jr. weekend — to film her powerful Netflix documentary, “13th.”
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos and retired U.S. Ambassador Nicole Avant hosted a reception and special conversation at their home in Los Angeles.
The conversation was moderated by none other than Oprah Winfrey, who collaborated with DuVernay on her other TV series, “Queen Sugar,” and featured DuVernay herself with CNN political commentator Van Jones. The three not only discussed the criminal justice system, but also race relations in America post election.
The Fab Empire spotted many guests, including many Netflix stars such as Lorraine Toussaint, Samira Wiley and Chelsea Handler. We also spotted Quincy Jones, Laura Dern, Courtney B. Vance and Compton mayor Aja Brown.
Photo Credit: Netflix/Eric Charbonneau
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Celebrity hairstylist and “LA Hair” star Gocha Hawkins celebrated the launch of her new book Gocha’s Blueprint to Business 101 at her midtown eponymous salon.
Many came out to support Hawkins’ launch, including fellow author and reality star Toya Wright, among others.
While enjoying Hawkins’ new book, guests also sipped on specialty cocktails and listened to a panel discussion centered on the hair salon business.
Photo Credit: Kayla MaDonna
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The Peace Ball is returning to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 19, bringing with it a safe space for activists to truly celebrate the United States of America.
And thankfully, Andy Shallal‘s ball will include performances by the likes of Solange, an open bar, and the opportunity to rub shoulders and exchange high fives with Angela Davis, Danny Glover, Alice Walker, Van Jones, Esperanza Spalding, Ben Jealous, and Melissa Harris-Perry.
Shallal, a good friend of The Fab Empire, told us earlier this week that he started planning this year’s ball last August for those who “don’t get a chance to celebrate around this time of year” because “they’re always on the outside.”
And to top it all off, the ball will be held inside the new holy grail of blackness in the not so chocolate city — the National Museum of African American History and Culture (1400 Constitution Avenue NW).
“That location has become a symbol” for those who were born “with a lot of pain, but out of that pain came lots of resilience and hope and…celebration,” Shallal explained, “and it really speaks to who [we] are; to be able to go through hell and come out on the other end stronger, better, more resilient and more able to fight injustice.”
“It’s not an anti event at all. It’s really about a celebration of accomplishment over the years.”
“It’s not an anti event at all,” he continued. “It’s really about a celebration of accomplishments over the year.”
Shallal added that this year, activists can celebrate on issues such as marriage equality, voting reform, reproductive rights, climate change issues, labor issues, and healthcare issues.
The owner of Busboys and Poets (which is the location for The Fab Empire creator Joi-Marie McKenzie‘s D.C. launch party for her memoir, The Engagement Game, on March 28 ::shameless self-promotion::) said that although politics has “taken strange twists and turns,” and “we’re still at war all over the world,” the Peace Ball is being held to “celebrate progress. It’s not all drudgery and heartache.”
Shallal said he’s inviting “anyone who believes that there’s a better world out there. It’s not about a republican or a democrat — we don’t do party politics — it’s really about movements that have shaped us throughout the world.”
Furthermore, Shallal said this ball is for the people not the powers that be.
“Politicians are followers. They’re not leaders.”
“So I think it’s important for us a to recognize that we cannot wait for a single politician to lead us into the promise land,” he added. “We have to lead ourselves there.
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Looking to celebrate in your own way during Inauguration weekend?
Then The Fab Empire recommends The People’s Inaugural Ball, being held at Vieux Carre (1413 K Street NW) on Friday, Jan. 20 from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
“The People’s Inaugural Ball is an alternative inaugural ball for millennials of color,” their website reads. “This semiformal gathering will celebrate #blackjoy as we prepare to resist any threats to liberty and justice for all.”
Tickets range from $30 to $50, which includes light appetizers and an open bar (with limited selection) for two hours.
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So long, Obamas!
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted their final party inside the White House and it was filled with celebrities.
From Andy Cohen to John Legend, from Stevie Wonder to Angela Bassett, everyone seemed to want to rub shoulders with the first black president of the United States.
We also spotted D.C. native Wale, Usher, La La Anthony with best friend Kelly Rowland at the soiree.
A photo posted by kellyrowland (@kellyrowland) on
Also, Chance the Rapper along with Jordin Sparks were spotted inside.
A photo posted by reesey money (@reeseynem) on
Last night before we walked into the White House and the folks took our phones I had to snap a pic with @realgranthill and @therealchrisspencer bytheway, you can't imagine what a great time you will have when you check your phones at the door whenever you go out. You guys should try it sometime!! #carpediem #goodtimes #whitehouse
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I was absolutely thrilled to be home for the holidays for a few days. Not only was it a time to spend with my family — especially my parents, my siblings and my bright beautiful niece — but also friends.
A few of us loaded up in our Lexus truck (was that just an obnoxious, completely useless brand mention? Well, I’m painting a picture here. Stick with me!), and trekked out to the hottest new hotel in the DMV.
MGM National Harbor (7100 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, Maryland) is painstakingly beautiful. Not only does its massive heavenly presence hover over you as you ride down 495 toward it, looking like the Wizard of Oz, but it’s also new. And there’s something special about new.
Still, with anything brand new, its bound to have its kinks. And MGM National Harbor isn’t an exception to this made-up rule. Here are four things that the MGM needs to improve immediately if it wants to keep hometown people driving down there, and tourists swarming.
Get a SnapChat geotag.
Sadly, in this generation, if you didn’t share it, it didn’t happen. And the hot new social media network is Snapchat that allows people to share images and video instantaneously. The other cool thing about Snap, as it’s affectionately known, is that it allows companies and establishments to purchase geotags, identifying to the user and consumer where they are in a creative manner. The photos, and videos, are then allowed to be downloaded for all eternity. It seems to me that MGM National Harbor is keeping tons of free social media branding right there on the table. It’s low hanging fruit, babes. Pick it.
Cocktails in the Casino
It’s true. The only thing more fun about gambling, is drinking while gambling. And the casino bar inside the MGM makes that very hard to do. Now, I’m not talking about the “lounges” inside — Blossom and Felt, whose cocktails were great. Still, the main bar’s cocktails SUCKED. I ordered a very simple drink that any bartender could make — a Vodka gimlet — and it tasted terrible. I get that the main bar is supposed to focus on efficiency, but it should also focus on essence.
The Shops’ Customer Service
As a lifelong Sex and the City fan and a writer, imagine my excitement when I walked into SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker. I saw brightly covered shoes everywhere; my heart filled with glee. But then minutes rolled by and no one had greeted me in that gritty/preppy voice that I imagine all SJP-affiliated folks would have. No one said, “Welcome! Are you looking for anything in particular? What brings you in today?” I know all of the go-to “greeting” questions that shop attendant’s ask because I used to be one (I worked at The Limited! Heyyy!). And there was no customer service at all — I entered and left the store without interacting with staff at all. Not to mention, the uniforms that the attendants wore made it seem like they were security not salespeople.
Lines in the Food Court
I get it. It’s opening month, so perhaps tons of folks are headed to MGM to check it out. But there’s really no reason the lines in the food court should mimic the lines in an amusement park. I’m not an expert in fast food service, so I’m not even going to pretend to know how to improve this pain point. But for efficiency’s sake, let’s get those service times down.
Now, I couldn’t just talk about what’s wrong without mentioning what MGM got right:
Offerings are Massive
Whatever your fancy, you’ll find it in MGM. They have a sports bar, high-end steakhouse, a lounge for the ladies, one that has more masculine decor, tons and tons of tables and tons and tons of slots. Then there’s a food court, a couple miscellaneous bars and you’ve got yourself the Disney World of fun. You will NOT get bored here. And it’s totally possible to spend 24 hours here. (Hello! It also has a theatre and hotel rooms.)
The Food Court Food Is Good
When my brother-in-love suggested we eat at the food court, admittedly I was a little bummed. I wanted to fine dine! But the food court did not disappoint. I saw crab cakes and sushi and Shake Shack and amazing tacos.
Parking Is Easy
We were worried that with such a massive building, we’d lose each other and our car. Neither happened. The parking lot wasn’t overwhelming at all, and even after a couple drinks we could find our car at the end of the night.
You Really, Truly, Can’t Get Lost
The MGM Casino is practically a circle. You can go round and round, and really not lose your place…or perhaps that friend who won’t get up from the slots.
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Boyz II Men helped the Theater at MGM National Harbor (101 MGM National Ave, Oxon Hill, Maryland) open its door earlier this week by kicking off performances in the 3,000-seat venue.
After the R&B crooners, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman, cut the red ribbon and enjoyed a celebratory mocktail, created specially for the occasion, the group performed to a sold-out crowd.
The three performed their classics, “Motownphilly,” “I’ll Make Love To You,” “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” and “End of the Road.” Not to mention they treated guests to new music from their latest album, Collide.
If you missed, Boyz II Men, don’t fret. The Theater is bringing other amazing talent such as Bruno Mars, Ricky Martin and Lionel Richie to the DMV.
Photo credit: Courtesy of MGM National Harbor
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