Photo: Ysabella Lopez @respectivecollective / @y.s.a
  /  09.25.2023

This particular weekend was definitely a time to remember. It was beautiful to see a place where people could come together from all over the country because they believe in supporting Black communities, businesses, passions, and ideas. Day three of REVOLT WORLD did not disappoint with even more celebrity appearances, healthy competitions, and cultural discussions. This entire experience was one for the books — and we’re already anticipating next year!

Check out the best final moments of the event and how it ended with a bang!

1. Walmart Makers Studio

As REVOLT WORLD was presented by Walmart, attendees were able to see and experience how the retail giant gives back to Black communities and highlights Black creators. For the weekend’s festivities, they brought forth an activation titled Walmart Makers Studio, which is actually an integral part of their Black & Unlimited platform. That initiative seeks to create lasting equity by amplifying the voices of these incredible individuals in the cultural landscape.

Those who participated immersed themselves via two different stations. In one section, there were two photoshoot areas where people had their pics taken by professional Black photographers for potential headshots or media content. The second section was where people could dive into creating their own logo and making it come to life. With the help of a few designers, you were able to construct a symbol or slogan that felt representative of your brand. From there, people could choose between a T-shirt or bag to place the logo and showcase it to the world.

Since the Black & Unlimited platform is about spreading awareness for Black creators within the culture, said studio displayed various artists and their respective businesses. A couple of those talents were Paper Frank, a self-taught artist, tattooist, and now full-time painter, and Tiera Gray, who is the founder of the Bet On My Brand Creative Studio.

2. “Thick Threads Podcast” Live

When it comes to what is trending, this is the podcast worth listening to. Hosted by Persephanii and Patrick Cloud, “Thick Threads” brings authentic conversations, laughs, and a safe space to be imperfect. On this live episode, the hosts touched on individual thread topics, read examples from people’s responses to that particular thread, and let the audience get involved by having them provide their own stances on the matter.

Persephanii began the show with her thread topic, “What is the pettiest reason you stopped talking to a guy?” One response read, “His homeboy sent a drink to our table for only him and he lives in Atlanta,” while another one stated, “He went to too many funerals in a short amount of time.” Next was Cloud, who gave an equally interesting topic as the crowd listened on. “What was the craziest thing you’ve done while dating?” the podcaster read, along with the first comment, “Took a charge for her little brother.” Another response was much lengthier yet no less hilarious. “I was hitting this 45-year-old when I was 27. She had me so gone that one day she had to go to work for an emergency and asked me to take her husband lunch. I bought this n**ga a meal and took it to him. Told him I was her nephew,” the message revealed.

Cloud also shared his own past moment in the dating world. “Her father was an ex-marine. She was rich and lived in Orange County. Her mom was snoring too much, so the dad came to the guest room where we were,” he explained. “I hid in this closet and was thinking, ‘Oh, she was going to kick him out and then I would get right back out [the closet]. I was in there for six hours. He just went to sleep and she did not wake him up. When he finally left, it was morning and I had no idea how much time had passed. She opened the closet and I felt like a rescue puppy. I didn’t talk to her. I got my shoes, jumped out the window, and I left.” The episode concluded with the attendees being honest with wild dating stories of their own.

3. The Future of Gaming and Hip Hop

In addition to playing classics like Tetris, Mario Kart, or Mortal Kombat, there are many who have dreamt of engaging within the video gaming industry as a career. One of those ways is through hip hop, as was revealed during this panel, which also showed how Black gamers are growing each year. It is reassuring that there is more representation and that there are more resources than one may realize. Moderated by DJ Hed, the conversation’s panelists were Lupe Fiasco, Young M.A, Tee Grizzley, and Ms. Basketball.

Ysabella Lopez @respectivecollective / @y.s.a

Hed kicked things off by touching on the importance of creating a business within gaming, incorporating hip hop songs to game playlists, and the panelists’ own movements within the industry. Ms. Basketball made it clear that if a young person wanted to pursue a gaming career, it is very possible for them. “I am an eSports professor at Morris Brown College here in Atlanta. We have been building an entire eSports degree,” she said. “Kids that were playing games at age 6 or 7 can now get in this space and be great, whether they want to play professionally or be behind the scenes. We just need to have more awareness.”

In regard to the correlation between hip hop music and video games, Lupe said, “Nicki [Minaj] had a whole song called ‘Chun-Li.'” To the Chicago emcee’s surprise, a lot of people did not know the reference. Did you?

The panel concluded by offering their perspectives on the future of hip hop in gaming and its expansion. M.A opined that hip hop will find its place everywhere and will have its own elevation.

4. Aux Cord Wars: Live Musical Game Show

Who loves karaoke? At REVOLT WORLD, the audience was able to participate in a jam session with a special twist. Aux Cord Wars is known for their annual HBCU tours across the country and is hosted by entertainers Jay Dukes, Trizzy, DJ 7Tre, and DJ Smeezo. The goal of the game is for participants to perform songs within a genre and win a cash prize of $100 based on voting from the rest of the crowd.

The first part of this game saw two contestants competing with one another by taking on R&B classics. The first round included Keyshia Cole’s “Love” and Lauryn Hill‘s “Ex-Factor,” while the second brought the vibes with Keith Sweat’s “Make It Last Forever” and Usher’s “Nice & Slow.” The final round raised the heat with Fantasia’s “When I See You” and Beyoncé’s “Dangerously in Love,” and the contestants sang their hearts out in valiant attempts to score the win. Subsequent matchups saw participants joining in as groups and incorporating dance moves for hits like Tamia’s “Can’t Get Enough,” the iconic “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” and Lil Uzi Vert’s recent smash, “Just Wanna Rock.” You know they had to finish off with Fast Life Yungstaz’s “Swag Surfin’,” a track that will always bring the crowd together at any function.

5. McDonalds “Shoot Your Shot” Finals

In honor of hip hop’s 50th anniversary, McDonald’s sponsored REVOLT WORLD’s “Shoot Your Shot” competition, which highlighted up-and-coming independent artists and musicians. The ones that thought they had what it takes were able to sign up throughout the weekend, hop in the booth, and put their artistry out there. Other attendees were able to vote on the hundreds of applicants, all of whom were eventually whittled down to nine semi-finalists. On day three, those that made the cut battled to score a spot in the final three, who were then judged by Curren$y, Chanelle Ray, LaRussell, and R. Wes Lawrence.

The top three finalists were Rey Sunshine, Juno Central, and Perception, the last of whom was the first to perform and receive constructive criticism from LaRussell. “The bars were great and you can rap. It is clear that you can rap. But you’re missing the part that pulls you in and sits,” the “GT Coupe” artist explained. “I didn’t get a chance to sit with nothing because you were rapping at me. You need to leave those spaces to really engage and so some of the bars can sit with me.”

Meanwhile, Ray provided sound advice to Rey Sunshine after her chance. “As the only lady on this stage, I have to say thank you for repping for the ladies. I love your outfit. As the PR and branding person, it’s all about the image for me. So I’m glad you came dressed and prepared because we will remember you. Kudos to you, mama,” she expressed. Juno Central was the last to perform, and he received a positive response from both the crowd and the judges. Ultimately, it was Rey who became the overall victor, scoring herself a $10,000 check from McDonald’s in the process.

Ysabella Lopez @respectivecollective / @y.s.a

6. Mavericks of Media

REVOLT CEO Detavio Samuels sat down for a short-but-needed discussion with ESSENCE CEO Caroline A. Wanga and Hollywood Unlocked’s Jason Lee. The three spoke about the differences between Black-owned media versus Black-targeted companies. Wanga also touched on her publication’s ESSENCE Festival of Culture and investing $4.4 billion into New Orleans, LA.

The conversation moved forward by addressing the importance of support and how it impacts Black media from a larger scale. “Let me tell you a story about what your dollar does. ESSENCE is currently owned by Richelieu Dennis and the Dennis family. They are the family that bought ESSENCE back from Time Warner, so it could go back into Black ownership,” Wanga explained. “Do you know how they were able to do that? Because your purchase of SheaMoisture products created a humongous body care company that was big enough to be sold to an even bigger general market company, Unilever, that created a return to a Black man to buy a Black media company back into Black ownership.”

Lee chimed in by talking about culture and the importance of getting behind media companies that support the Black community. “Once I understood the power of what we got up here like Black ownership, controlling your platform, owning your narrative, and pouring into your community, I understood the importance of showing up and showing everybody all of who I am,” expressed the social media maven and host of REVOLT’s “The Jason Lee Show.”

Before the session came to an end, Samuels left the audience with a remarkable quote. “Media is simply mirrors and windows. It is a mirror for those people who the story is about. It is a mirror that shows them who they are. It tells them what they are capable of. It tells them where they come from,” he stated. “And it tells them who they get to be. Imagine that you have been living in a world from the entire time since you were born where the mirrors are funky. That is what y’all have been getting. Because the people who have been feeding you content don’t care about your community, they aren’t pouring into your community, and don’t understand your community. On the other side, media are windows. Those people who sit outside of the community get to watch it. It tells them who you are. It tells them what you are capable of. The story and narrative of 100 years have told them that you are dangerous. So you have to support the people that are fixing the windows and the mirrors of this world for Black people across the globe.”

7. Everyday People

REVOLT WORLD had Everyday People in the building to celebrate the Black Diaspora and REVOLT’s 10th anniversary through good music and energy. For those who didn’t know, Everyday People is a live music and cultural experience that people from all over the country have been able to take part in. So, to have such a movement touch down in ATL was incredible! The event started off with Mr. Eazi’s ChopLife SoundSystem, which brought dance music to the forefront for all attendees. Others that gave the people more reasons to shake something included pioneering British artist Giggs, DJ Brian Henry, Caribbean rap artist Byron Messia, DJ SKYLA TYLAA, and Uncle Waffles herself.

DJ Uncle Waffles did not only bring the Amapiano and Afrobeats for the crowd to get down to, but she also came through with the fashion and good vibrations that translated through her performance and to the people. If you are a fan of hits like “Gangnam Style” by Mas Musiq or Playgal and Sam Deep’s “Kusezo Khanya,” you knew what time it was when Waffles touched the turntables. Overall, the international reach of songs was an amazing sight to witness among the audience and a perfect example of how we can collectively come together on a global scale.

8. “The Jason Lee Show” Live

After hearing Lee share some wisdom in the Mavericks of Media chat, the entertainer held a live taping of his hit REVOLT series. Upon viewing, it was clear that he never wants to be considered a monolith and prides himself in showing up as his authentic self in all ways.

On this episode, he brought on special guest Brittany Renner. Being real-life friends, the two reflected on when they last hung out and brought up details in Renner’s published book “Judge This Cover,” which takes a deep dive into the social media star’s life, including past relationships with celebrities. Lee brought up the meaning behind all the pseudonyms that she used for the men described in her book, with the first letter of each fictitious name spelling out the word “selfish.” “When I was coming up with these fake names, it was never to out anybody, right? I thought to myself, what was the one thing they all had in common? They were selfish,” Renner stated. “The beauty of growth is being able to look at where I was lacking and how I was vibrationally matched to those types of men. So I can’t really blame them without also pointing the finger at myself too. We all were selfish.”

Renner also spoke on her experience while filming the 11th season of “Basketball Wives” and how she did not fit in with the women. She then went into her relationship with P.J. Washington and co-parenting their son. “I don’t think anyone prepares to be a single mom. I didn’t carry a baby for nine motherf**king months, gain 50 pounds, and get a second-degree tear to be a single mom. I thought that was my guy,” she admitted. “Granted, I did things out of order. Marry before you carry, but I’ll choose better next time. I don’t know what you want me to tell you. I didn’t plan for this s**t. All I can say is his father is very much present and takes care of [our son]. We may not be together, but my son is in a multimillion-dollar house, he gets dropped off in a Lamborghini, he ain’t hurt for nothing.”

The episode ended on how Black women are constantly being disrespected in America compared to the Kardashian sisters. Lee and Renner also played “Smash or Pass” and “Tea or Tweet.”

Ysabella Lopez @respectivecollective / @y.s.a

9. “Black Girl Stuff” Live

What’s love? The main reason we have events and experiences like REVOLT WORLD for our community is because it is rooted in love. So what is a greater way to top off this epic weekend for the culture by bringing it back to that, which is what took place during a live taping of “Black Girl Stuff.”

On this episode, Brii Renee, Tori Brixx, Britt Hall, Akilah Ffriend, and Kennedy Rue were joined by male guests Joey BADA$$, Tyler Lepley, 19 Keys, and “Receipts” star Quincy Brown. The hosts brought up different topics within love and relationships, kickstarting an open dialogue amongst all participants. The purpose was to break down the barriers and communication within Black love. Since the men were able to weigh in, this discussion was definitely worth the watch.

The first topic was about gender roles in modern times and the controversial 50/50 rule. Ffriend brought up the misconceptions that people may have on the idea. “Let’s be real. I feel a lot of men and women really approach this 50/50 household not in a growth mindset. You start by saying you’re paying 50 percent of the bills. Then that is how it is going to be till the day we die. That is the problem,” she said. “I think people don’t really take into the fact that life be life-ing, and one day, you may not be on top to pay the bills fully. So you need to be matched with someone who is equally yoked.” 19 Keys responded, “As a man, I couldn’t respect myself if my woman was the provider. I think for the average woman and the average man, a woman is not respecting you if she has to be your mother. I believe in gender roles simply because we are supposed to protect our women. I don’t believe in 50/50, it has to be 100/100.”

The next topic focused on infidelity, beginning with the question, “What are the situations in which it is possible for a man to cheat?” Joey brought up his point of view first. “I just find it interesting that we are the only race having this conversation. I feel like I speak for a lot of people when I say this; I am so ready to move on from this lower vibration and get back to building and progressing our nation,” stated the Brooklyn rapper. “To Keys’ point earlier, less conversations about cheating and more conversations about healing. This is just perpetuating these toxic issues.”

The third topic was knowing the difference between sex versus intimacy, which led to the group speaking on situationships within Gen Z and the problem with ambiguity in relationships. The panel concluded with discussing labels, the fear of getting hurt, and how even though the perceptions of institutions in marriages are changing, having a partnership is still important and is necessary.

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