Last Night: Memphis Blac and Smokahontas Jones Show Us What They're Made of at the Vagabond

Photo by Jose Flores
Memphis Blac with Smokahontas Jones
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The Vagabond, Miami

Better Than: A typical night at an 8th Street Motel

The Review:

Dallas's Memphis Blac and Smokahontas Jones make no bones about who they are. Memphis used to be a sex worker and has a lot to say about it. These are two strong and dangerous ladies. Not to be fucked with. Last night at Shake at the Vagabond, they demanded respect and attention from the crowd. We don't know if they demanded payment upfront. Even if they didn't, they treated their customers to a night they would never forget.

The worlds of hip-hop and pop music are full of people who turn themselves into some sort of marketable product. For every hundred kids under the care and direction of marketing teams, there's one or two who are for real. These two ladies really have something to say, and have a natural gift at saying it.

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Wearing matching white leather thigh-high high heels and shirts bedazzled with "Got Dat Work," they took to the stage.They thanked Miami for all the love and support, and Memphis was glowing with delight. But when the beat kicked in on their opener "Come On Wit It," her smile turned into a fierce scowl. Repeat: Not to be fucked with.

She spit some serious boasts, with lyrics like "You're fucking with a soldier, boy. Here I am, come and get me ... I keep my nine in my britches." Her flow had the attitude and magnetism of Old Dirty Bastard, without any of the sloppiness. Her southern accent kicked up the charm a notch and made everything she said sound like something we need to hear.

Smokahontas was filling in the gaps between lines, and hyping up the crowd. During "Got Dat Work," the audience was singing along to practically every chorus. Girls came on stage to dance with them, and the party got real loose real fast as gold condoms rained down like confetti.

Memphis kept punching through the lyrics on automatic rapid-fire. Smokahontas's verses got everyone shouting and answering back. The crowd was huge. All the rooms inside the Vagabond had cleared out, and everyone was out back shaking their ass to the ladies.

Memphis looked a little tired when the song was done, but there was no stopping her. She said, "A lot of girls gonna sell some pussy tonight, a lotta girls gonna give some pussy away ... shit, some guys may sell their dick tonight!" The crowd loudly agreed.

There were some touching moments, too. They really looked like they were overwhelmed with gratitude. The crowd was showing so much love watching these ladies, who by their own account have been to hell and back. Memphis said, "When you're on top everybody wants to be your friend -- when you're at the bottom, last place, no one wants you, but your mama." They were definitely on top last night. They've been at the bottom, but they will keep climbing their way to the top.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I've already seen their YouTube video for "Got Dat Work" at least 20 times.

The Crowd: A melting pot of B-Boys, B-Girls, indie rock, and punk rocker types, people from the hood and random folks that look like they rented a party bus from West Kendall.

Random Detail: Lots of guys (and a few girls) in the crowd had non-ironic, non-trashy, sort of fancy well-groomed mullets. I've never seen this.

Overheard in the crowd: "In one word, it was somewhere between raunchy and delicious."

Set List:
Come On Wit It
Got Dat Work
Nobody Knows You
Hoe Money
Happy Birthday Memphis Blac

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