A few days ago I went to the “Notorious" screening - the life & death story of Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious B.I.G. - presented by the new Sprite Green @ the ArcLight in Hollywood. First, the movie. It was a great treat to see Christopher J. Wallace, the son of the late B.I.G playing his father at a young age. I was personally taken on an emotional rollercoaster ride throughout the movie. Having cousins from Brooklyn that grew up on Greene & Grand (Bed Stuy Do or Die!) made it that much more special. There were scenes that took me back to my young adulthood that had me bopping my head. Although there were a lot of things left out of the movie and the casting wasn’t that great (Lil' Cease, Puffy, and 2Pac were a total miss), I really enjoyed the journey that the movie took me on and give it a thumbs up - maybe because I was at a lot of the places that were showcased in the film — summertime in BK, hanging out at the LG projects; the '95 Source awards; and the '97 Soul Train Awards.
Next, the actual event. After checking in, I found myself in a long line to enter the theater due to the metal detectors and pat-down to stop “tastemakers” from bringing in cell phones and cameras. The screening started an hour late while they tried to get everyone in a seat, and kick people out who were sitting in "Diddy's seats,” although he never showed up. Of note, Barron Davis (LA Clippers) Ray J (R&B artist and Kim Kardashian co-star) and Soulja Boy (rap artist) did make it.
ArcLight is one of a few high-end theaters in LA that are super clean and well organized. Every ticket comes with a seat number and every guest is seated by an usher. People are willing pay a few dollars extra for premium food and service. Except tonight. Why you would you pay to rent the ArcLight, and then not use what they bring to the table? Would you also bring in your own projector and chairs? These guys do it right, which is why you have a screening there. Let them do their jobs.
After the screening, Sprite Green set up a small afterparty in one of the upstairs bars at the ArcLight. The Notorious soundtrack was played and they showcased three special drinks while the Sprite Girls handed out drink tickets and served apps. It was great hanging out and seeing old friends Benny Boom (video director) Anthony Mandler (photographer & video director), and Nick Diamond (Diamond Supply Company). Overall, the movie was good and I got a chance to hang out with some cool folks that lived in the era when hip hop was great...
[For more info on Rebel's Jihaad Shaw, check out his bio.]