The saying: “Good things come in 3’s” was proven to be accurate on Friday night as the privileged DMV crowd was able to experience the Femme It Forward tour stop live at the MGM National Harbor Theater. This tour brought together a few of everyone’s favorite girl groups of the 90’s: 702, SWV and Xscap3.
With most of the audience representing a thriving presence of modern femininity, it was immediately realized that marketing and promotion worked well in bringing out the perfect demographic to this tour stop. As I looked around at everyone in the venue, many of the fans were dressed in all black as an active salute to the fabulous stylish ensembles these Divas in concert usually slay, including myself! Darlings, we all came ready to receive the magnitude of grace, sassiness, class and longevity of God given talent we couldn’t wait to experience.
702 started off the show with high energy as they hit their jam “Steelo” equipped with some choreography. They would go on to perform: “Get It Together”, “This Lil’ Game We Play”, “Beep Me 911″ and more. Then as their set came to an end, they left the audience hyped as they performed one of my favorite songs of theirs: “Where My Girls At”. It was refreshing to see these women back together doing what they love and looking like they haven’t aged. Werrkkk Divas. I know I got some of my best dance moves and sass intact by recording their videos on a VHS tape and rewinding it constantly to get them dance steps and the facial expressions as I’d sing my heart out in front of a mirror, as if I’d experienced all the love and heartbreak they sang about. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t working it….and I could tell a lot of audience members were reminiscing too, as they jammed to 702’s set.
One thing for sure, all three of these groups have shown over the years that passion fuels perseverance in one’s craft because even when life can test you and your situation, your passion will always prevail and conquer all distracting and defeating elements working hard to detour you from your destiny.
Every single one of these queens from each group has that reliable strength within and it inspired and empowered all the women in that venue on that night! Just to share the same space with such royalty was enriching to the mind and therapeutic to the soul.
Next up was the SISTERS WITH VOICES that had us weak in the knees! SWV came out in their signature black and the crowd went wild. I looked around and begin to think, everyone wants to be a part of this group, not just me! Lol! When everyone in the building knows every single word and adlib to every song you sing, YOU ARE THE $#!T!!!! OKKRRRRRRR!!!!! Saannggin hits such as: “Use Your Heart”, “I’m So Into You”, and ending with the song every singer has used to showcase vocal skill and knowledge of REAL music, “Weak”. SWV has a way of pulling that inner Diva up out of you just by the effortless notes, tone quality and harmonies they smoothly execute every time!!!! It was amazing to see the audience’s energy so zen, open and vulnerable to the musical charge we were receiving from the iconic and BEAUTIFUL women we will hold dear to us for life. Round of Applause to SWV and may they bless us all with a new album that we can wear the heck out of on replay! Let the fans say Ament!!!!
By this point, the audience was feeling good as they were taking advantage of the bar while embracing the internal fulfillment of being in the mix of this concert in real time. As I was waiting for the final legendary group to hit the stage, I pulled the flyer up on my phone for this event. As I starred at the title: “FEMME IT FORWARD”, my worth and value rushed to the forefront of my mind as I began to think of and channel all the phenomenal women who’ve had a pivotal role in mentoring me.
This made me reflect on the strength of a women’s femininity in today’s society’s chaotic approach to basic common decency, the constant proving yourself worth to invaluable people just to get deserved opportunities allotted to you. Finding yourself in situations where your resume/portfolio/credentials are not enough to earn you a prestigious spot because you strut in positivity and rebuke negatively based provoking power seekers, etc. The pondering thought then forms: “How do you consistently apply this progressive femininity that leads you forward positively?
When Rising above becomes your main choice you become in tune with a higher sense of self which is a direct self-esteem boost, replacing the need to thrive off of other’s opinions so drastically. You mentally unplug from the stereotypical lure and conditioning of the more popular roles that are grown in gossip, ratchetry and drama and instead, choose to firmly stand outside of the box with the few who really have an omniscient grasp on Leadership.
An ambitious feminine woman does not downgrade herself just to receive a deserved accolade and invite to the party. Moving forward in femininity is like a badge of honor, a custom made head to toe invisible armor designed to protect your reactions, control a deserved curse out to someone in need of a good ole fashioned check to correct that which is their sole strength of distracting distribution of their everyday struggle on to you to interfere with the Devine direction you’re headed in life. When you are highly goal oriented and determined, the attack can be stronger…but to FEMME IT FORWARD to me means, to calmly walk through the storm with style and grace, kicking ass mentally, emotionally while still nurturing those whom look up to you so they can watch you never put down your crown while remaining fearless in your pursuit to happiness!
We’ve come a long way from the times Femininity meant being dependent, passive, tender, shy and sensitive. It’s crazy to know that back in the 1300’s, women were only referred to as maidens, wives and widows. Boy have we come a long long way. So, to stand in this crowd as a proud young woman ready to approach a new decade with an unapologetic love of self, following the wise words of the incomparable Maya Angelou, specifically her poems: “STILL I RISE” and “Phenomenonal Woman”, I salute each member of each group because they have been role models to the masses and have kept it classy with a balanced amount of sassy through all of their challenges and victories. I hope I speak for the majority when I sincerely say we Thank you all for never changing who you are and showing us what it looks like to win! This concert hit me deeply as I was enlightened in many ways and so thankful in other ways. I believe women today have sooo much to offer. …..But I digress. Chile this show experience has me wanting to put together a panel discussion. I am moved! Can you tell!?! Lol!
As I stepped out of deep thought, I tune back in just as the lights dimmed back down and the moment I’d waited for years to finally experience was here. It was time for us to take on one more awesome, all female, vocal based R&B group: XSCAP3. This would be my first time ever experiencing them live! This is the group that had me demanding “Understanding” while I was figuring out Who I Could Run Too”, while I sang my heart out to “Tonight” hoping I could “Just Kick it” with that fine crush who ended up being no good in the long run. Lol.
Dazzled, sparkling from head to toe, dressed to slay, laced out with sequence accents, Xscap3 appeared and they were ready to dominate the stage. The stage went dark and they appeared with three male dancers holding three jeweled umbrellas over them. Leading in dopeness must have been there theme as every bit of movement was strategic. They started sannging “Tonight and the crowd was screaming “Sanggggg yall”. They demanded our undivided attention as they would go on to perform: “Who Can I Run Too”, “Memory Lane”, “Do You Want Too”, Just Kick It”, and ended with “Understanding”. There was so much goodness exuding from that stage, the audience was mesmerized. These divas included major dance routines and even a Skilled DJ in their set to further aid in hyping the crowd for a mind-blowing experience! They stunned and looked fabulous doing it. Xscap3 stood firmly in their deserved light and shined bright like diamonds, figuratively and literally. I had to give them a shouting YaaaaaaaAAAAASSSSSS! Because they did that! Simply fantastic!
There is no question that the 90’s was an amazing time to thrive as an artist! These ladies caused milestones in the music industry and hugely increased the respectful treatment of women over the years. The game changed and the gain has been priceless ever since.
Make sure you catch them performing in a city near you because you do not want to miss them live!