The Annual @IROKART Pop Up Show – Brooklyn, NY

If there is one things I’m always reminder of at the @IROKART pop up show is that I have to dedicate my heart more than anything else. As patrons walk in, they have plenty to choose from – plenty artists, plenty products, plenty food and plenty drinks. At the door, you’re more than likely to be greeted by Kori’s family — I don’t know them personally, but I immediately feel like my whole family is in the building. Vendors of all types are stationed around the room ready to give you whatever you’re in the market for.

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Nothing but great moments captured by @picturethatkeemz . Don’t mind me just sitting here reminiscing about #irokpopupshop, it was a great night! I’m currently planning more events so stay tuned. Follow all these artist and businesses that participated below ⬇️ Performers @funny_mjb6 @jay_da_worldboss @tylreaverymusic @presidentella @andrewthesecond 🌻🌻🌻 Vendors @nourichedblends @nuzingaarts @jnewstudio @glxy_gal @agapecrochet @clg_art91 🌻🌻🌻 Featured Bartenders @munchieznpunchiez 🌻🌻🌻 Featured Caterer @tanikas__eats 🌻🌻🌻 Photographers and Videographer @nii.lee_productions @picturethatkeemz @divonisimonproductions • #irokart #artevent #brooklynart #supportblackownedbusinesss #henna #handmadejewlery #photography #blackgirlmagic #blackboyjoy #summerevent #williamsburgevent #june29th #liveentertainment #bartender #cateredevents #artoftheday #blackfashion #blackfamily #eventphotography #comedy #curatetheculture #liveband

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I knew to hold my appetite until I arrived so I could have a plate from @tanikas__eats (YASSS Crab mac & cheese 🤤) and a premium henna colada by @munchieznpunchiez. I also knew I’d have to put a coin or 2 aside for some henna (provided by @glxy_gal). There are just so many talented people in the room, that the you’ll feel like you need to connect with all of them.

But here’s how the show really went…

I went to the @IROKART pop up show in Brooklyn for 2 reasons: To get energy and give it. It was my second time performing and I was feeling like I hit the bottom – everything in my life was going wrong as if to test if I could really make it through… You know how God be 🙄 I really wanted to give up and fall into a light depression… but God [ and Kori] wasn’t hearing it.

The best feeling I get at any show is vibes — when the audience truly connects with you. When people ask me to perform at a show, I (unfortunately) always think of their ulterior motives. Too often, I’ve been asked to pay hundreds of dollars for “exposure”, leaving me to question what is worth investing in. Because of what this industry is made of, you can fall into the trap of working with people who pretend to care about you, but only care about your money. On the other hand, I can only image how abused people feel when they always out their “rapper friend” on, but that person doesn’t support them back. But sometimes… you really only have $60 in your bank account, although your spirit is full to the brim. What do you do then?

Kori is about her business; months in advance she had reached out to me to ask me to join the line up. The thing with booking shows in advance is… life changes. At the moment someone hits you to book a show, it’s the moment you decide how much your art & that event meant to you. As an independent artist, you’ve also got to take the time to count your coins and make sure all is good. After Kori asked me on the show, I got into a car accident and my dog had to get surgery for pyometra. $1600 for the car and $2500 for the dog later… I bought me some ramen noodles and decided to take a break from life. But the hardest thing for me to do (after asking for help) is breaking my word. I was embarrassed, y’all 🙇🏽‍♀️. I swallowed my pride and told Kori I couldn’t pay the fees so I wouldn’t be able to make it. But Kori told me to come through anyway.

I believe God gives me what I need, not what I ask for. I showed up at the @IROKART pop up and immediately gravitated towards the @nuzingaarts table where Dana was selling raw stones. She schooled me on a Rose Quartz and Amethyst pairing which I put right in my pocket. At $5 each, this was the most affordable source of pure positive energy I could have asked for! I walked over to @tanikas__eats’ table and there was just enough crab Mac & cheese left for me. My final purchase was 2 @IROKART buttons, because not only are they dope, but the only thing I could offer Kori was support… She’s an illustrator and makes some of the dopest shirts/bags/paintings/posters/everything, I’m sure. NOTE: If you have a friend who’s a business, buy whatever you can afford. If they feel $300 shirts and $2 stickers, buy a fcking sticker 😤

My performance was ~20 minutes long — and thank God for Kori for agreeing to it — I’ve learned to ask for what I need and really felt appreciated when it’s actually given. What I can’t ever ask for or expect, is how beautifully the audience interacted with me. Looking over the crowd, it really looked like “The New Brooklyn”; there were faces of all kinds and ages looking back and me and this is what I enjoy the most. I make art for me, not for a specific person, so if anyone likes my music, that’s a huge win for me. Truthfully, I get nervous around kids, so I try to sensor myself. They DID NOT work, so I had to tart over, with an apology to the parents. Standing up in front of strangers, singing phrases I think are witty or interesting… ain’t easy. But being able to rock a room with ages 2-50, was something I left there being proud of myself for and something I admire the @IROKART pop up for. This is truly a venue for artists and everyone in the room was receptive and respectful.

After my show, I swung back around to the @munchieznpunchiez table and picked up the Henny colada I asked them to put on hold (I can’t drink and perform 😢) and ate @tanikas__eats’ Mac & cheese at @glxy_gal’s table before she hooked me up with some henna while the final performers closed out the show (It wa a live band so you know I was in heaven). The best part of the night was when a young lady of about 10 came up to me — all I remember is that she was all smiles and purple hair. “I can’t get your performance out of my head,” she said. This little lady obviously had a mind of her own and I can’t explain how blessed I feel when kids like my music — children are the future and they actually tell the truth. We spoke briefly about what music she likes and she gave me some ideas for covers, I got a big hug from her… and since then… thoughts of that little girl make me smile.

The best part of the @IROKART pop up is not what you bring to the tale, but what you leave with. I tried to bring my energy and I hope they loved it… because what they gave me is so much more than I could ever thank them for.

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