Our xBrisk Miami Song Expertise Evaluation begins off with an important thanks from the guts to the laborious working women (Melissa & Kesley) over at MMKPR & the main man of the trip DJ IRIE. This a detailed recap of the our experience as Chicago creative entrepreneurs visiting the ever lovely city of Miami Beach for the first time.
Scene One: Saturday The Situation
Our story begins with me freaking out at 2:25 am in the morning when I wake up abruptly to hear the announcer state 31 people were left in St. Louis after being an hour and fifteen minutes out he is turning around. We often travel to St Louis for photo booths services at formals for Washington University’s sorority’s and tonight was such a night. The problem here is I poorly scheduled my times for arrival back in Chicago & pick up for the chauffeur services xBrisk was providing to the airport. I was supposed to arrive at 6:45 to be picked up at 7:45 for a 9:05 flight so I’m in the back of my once cozy empty mega bus seat furious. Every time I’m in St Louis something happens, literally which is why we always go straight in & straight out. In a frantic I’m blowing up MMKPR phones/emails trying to make sure we don’t miss the flight as we put so much work into this trip via the website. Mother Diablo is at home awake, I’m on the bus awake typing a serious email to mega bus since I had nothing better to do and it was my first mega bus ride (I was refunded). The mega bus picks up the new driver the announcement is now arriving in Chicago at 8:30 am so we are going to miss our flight due to this last minute snag. While feeling angry beyond belief and exhausted from shooting the formal for 5 hours I had to stay up because missing Miami was not an option! We mistook Kelsey of MMKPR to be in New York for some reason so she painstakingly woke up and helped us get our new flight planned though she was in Los Angeles making it about 5/6am her time. This takes dedication to which we are most grateful. Mother Diablo calls to let me know the chauffeur is outside to pick us up and I’m 81 miles outside of Chicago, shit! We debated splitting up with her going in advance a while I follow but we often think alike, it was so many variables to be considered if we split up. This leads us to decide to just miss the flights together while sending the chauffeur on his way from Carey Chicago who provided great service while being quick responding and as equally accommodating. The driver of mega bus is flying as the sun is rising I felt like the only person with eyes open on the bus waiting to get into Chicago. I thought this was taking forever as I was over anxious to meet up with the other half to fly out. The mega bus hits union station, I’m hoping none of my lighting equipment broke in the back of the bus but even if it did so what xBrisk is flying us to Miami. I run with my suitcase waiting to be scooped into Union station because it was freezing. As my welcome back of course I set my bags down exhausted next to Mrs. American Idol who wants to sing all loud in my ear Chicago knows what I’m talking about. So I with great pain while volume fully turned up had to listen to bad vocals till I received the text, I’m here. At this point the flight is postponed until 3 putting us in Miami at 7:05pm. This gave me time to unpack my equipment then pack the fits for the trip.
Scene Two: Saturday the Journey
We rush home start packing again as we now have half a day less which we planned to use for sightseeing so less outfits needed. Mother Diablo wanted to make sure we didn’t get charged for extra bags if the carry on didn’t fit so we lightened the loads. According to Refinery 29 we are the underdog/underground website people look to so we had to represent this while in Miami Beach with xBrisk right? I laid out my fits graciously donated by Fouth is King & Born & Hated two Chicago brands making serious moves under a lot of people’s radars. I laid out my outfits like this which can be seen on our instagram which after the shots we hurriedly packed away to not forget anything. We both were exhausted packed pretty fast only giving us a mere 2 hours to kind of rest before back off to the airport chauffeur this time so we hop on the Foster 92 to the Jefferson Park station to get to the blue line so we can get to Ohare on time. It was a chilling brisk day for sure but at least the sun was out as we laughed our way to the airport hoping nothing else would go wrong. All is well. It’s always frustrating going to the airports due to the strip down that are supposed to be for our safety but is really to sell more products after they take half of your liquids etc from you, slow eye roll. We get help from a very welcoming lady at American Airlines as we didn’t have hard copies yet who ushers us where to go. Our smiles getting bigger we are almost to our gate H10 lets do this! We do the norms and go through the lines; they ask me to step over. I’m thinking it was the liquid in my Uniwide marker but it then hit me. In my mind I’m saying sh*t, f*ck, damn and kicking the air because I knew what happened. The photo above with the brass knuckles well I didn’t take them out I just tossed the whole outfit in my suitcase…son of, here we go.
We step over “Sir Do you have any dangerous items” me, what’s considered dangerous? “Any sharp items sir” me, yes a first pencils for sketching.
The TSA gent is looking for the brass knuckles and then he pulls them out like he was pulling Excalibur from the stone in the medieval times. My expression was like really dude? He then goes on to ask what this is, I said a belt buckle as a lot of punks in the 70’s wore brass knuckles as buckles it was all I could think of. Sir I’m going to need you to step over here, we are going to run some checks and wait for the police. At this point with a mental eye roll I smile and said sure no problem. Mother Diablo at this point is giving me a slight death stare while hoping we don’t miss our flight again. The cop comes over with a slight limp in his mid-60’s asking why I had a weapon in my bag. I told him it was part of a promotion which included a buckle. He does his duties gives me a warning keeps the brassies and we proceed to gate H10. I tweeted it on our page and @Macklemore Favorited it on twitter, so off to a good start.
We are very relieved we made it through the gates we stopped to take a few pictures because the light was awesome at O’Hare that day. We alert Kelsey that we are arriving at 7ish and she tells us to come straight to the event, I reply we are in winter wear she says it’s okay. I jokingly say to Mother Diablo now let’s hope the plane doesn’t crash, we both laugh as we wait for takeoff.
Scene Three: Saturday Meet & Greet
We are in the air; I’m exhausted running on fumes from the night before plus the earlier nonsense. My phone died so I missed a ton of amazing sunset from the plane window shots but I know Mother Diablo got some good ones before I passed out. Mother Diablo gave me window as she sat next to a business type guy who kept elbowing her apparently but I was “knocked the ____ out”. I wake up to a “plane is descending” message from the captain wanting to go back to sleep but its game time. I’m feeling cozy as hell like a baby in a blanket in my new Born & Hated hoodie which once we unboarded I quickly had to take off because it was humid, very humid. We see a guy looking rushed standing there with “Chicago Hustles Magazine” on the dry erase so we walk quickly behind him as he stated “I almost left you” we are thinking dude we are early lol. The whole ride he said nothing to us but drove like the dude from the transporter as we felt like a VIP package to be delivered somehow.
This is starting off great! We get to the hotel where all the bloggers were already assembled (last ones in last ones out seems to be out motto). The front desk of the Soho House was very accommodating as we arrived with luggage still in hand which after we changed real fast they kept safe for us up front. Us being the artsy types we do not like to fake the funk so we wondered how smoozy this event was about to be. To unleash a bit of stress we start shooting in the halls only to be told it was a very special location and photography was not permitted in the halls but on the floor of our destination.
The employee was so nice we couldn’t be mad at her but it had us wondering what was in store on the top floor in the penthouse suite. We walked into some seriously trill base thumping music but we didn’t sound hound anything as we wanted to take in the view first. We entered with that Chicago caution going into anywhere you’ve never been face scouring the place to be greeted by a warm hello from Melissa & Kelsey the main contacts for the xBrisk Campaign. I immediately say to Kelsey “We are so sorry for the headache I’ll be apologizing all weekend”. She smiled then stated all was well but we still felt bad for the complications. The view was amazing; the food was great with the cook tentatively explaining to us what each item was as we put items on our plat6e. The humidity was tough at first with the client change but the breeze up that high felt soothing once we relaxed a bit.
Let’s check the time, it’s barely 8:00pm. After getting our Per Diem (allowance) envelope we had a few drinks with a shot of tequila then it was time to go. Wait already?, however in this short time we met @MMKpublicity, @StephtacularS & @RandyTDC but to the hotel bus we go! We load into a 12 seated Sprinter van on our way to the ever so nice luxurious Loews Miami Beach Hotel we our evening is set to begin.
Scene Four: Saturday Let’s Explore
We Check into Loews Miami Beach Hotel walk into the room while quickly rushing to the window pulling back the curtains to check out the view. We were trying to figure out from @mongosladenyc at the Soho House were the underground hip hop was so instead of waiting to see we hit the internet to see what’s popping off in Miami Beach around the hotel that has some creativity. The reviews for Kill Your Idol stuck out to us so we decided to head to this bar to see what the hype was about. Upon entering a dim lit bar with street light shining through the windows we arrived just in time to hear The Vogans an Indie/Alternative Rock from South Florida playing their hearts out. If you haven’t noticed we have a severe love for photography, street art and strong inspiring visuals which we often incorporate into our magazine. This place had a dive bar feel with a rockabilly attitude covered in graffiti; yes please this is awesome.
After the Vogans played feeling antsy we decided to take a mini stroll around the hotel to do some shooting of the nightlife, ending up at “I Love Liquors“. We didn’t trust or know the bar prices of the hotel so we decided to keep it Chicago and just bring our own where ever we went, if possible. We want to send a special shout out to the guy just posted up on top of a ladder in the back corner of the liquor store just chillin like that’s the thing to do; apparently he IS about that life. After scoring enough lixs for the weekend we headed over to Pizza Bar which was right next to our hotel. In one of those starving yet super tired moods we ordered three massive slices while silently observing @MikeyFresh1 wrapping up a conversation before we headed back to the hotel. As we took photos with our phones exhausted yet glad we made it, this day was coming to an end but worth every hassle we had thus far encountered.
As Mother Diablo fell asleep feeling adventurous I walked through the lobby out to the courtyard to the pool to be greeted by a friendly guy saying “Get In!”. In my mind I‘m like na homie I’m good, but I smiled asking if he could direct me to the beach exit? He said go that way while shouting the pool is open 24 hours! Say Word? So walking around the moonlight glistening on the pool with only one guy in it having the time of his life I go out to the beach that’s completely dark, like pitch black dark. I could smell the scent of the ocean caressing the shore but the moon was no where in sight. I felt very calm after a long day of nonsense mixed with fun not knowing by any means the day to come.
Scene One: Sunday The Jump Off
The first question as we awoke to each other in our slightly already whirlwind of a hotel room was “what’s the weather like”? Again like little kids we rush to Loews Miami Beach Hotel window to bask in the view. The sun was coming up over the water, people were already at the pool, the Palm trees were swaying as if dancing with the wind and it seemed so peaceful.
We strolled outside taking courtyard pictures to be greeted by “Frank”. Frank was asking us if we stayed in the hotel in regards to pool access while telling us about his family up north where it was freezing. It was great talking with him for about 8 minutes he then confirmed the pool was open 24hours. We thought party later with some of the other bloggers maybe?
We walked to the beach took off our shoes as we stepped in the water, feels nice. It’s something soothing about water just running over your feet while in the sand that’s not freezing like Lake Michigan lol. We do this in Chicago at Foster beach any time possible just for a still moment from the hustle of the city. The funny thing is little did we know this would be our only time at the beach lol, Drats!
We realized the time then headed back to our room to shower then change to make it quickly down to the lobby to meet up with everyone.
As we prepared for a Brunch at the Rusty Pelican we decided to take photos of the Brisk products in our room, our amazingly comfy Fourth Is King tees and the view from the window.
The day is still young we thought as we sat in front of the lobby hotel aquarium waiting for the party bus. Yes we rode for our first time ever (we are simple people) on a party bus provided by xBrisk to the Rusty Pelican. The party bus with good reason was dry but we did enjoy the ride, the view, talking with all of the bloggers while listening to the music provided at the moment. The smoke machine on the party bus was too much for that early because it felt like we were in a soap opera dream, cues fuzzy corners with sober faces.
Scene Two: Sunday Rusty Pelican
We get to the Rusty Pelican which had an amazing view right next to the water. We just want to take a back step to say when together as a Cancer & Taurus two things we love jointly is water & sunshine so this was perfect. We spoke with @DallasSocials towards the end of our ride so we wanted to sit next to her as she understood our web jargon immediately, which is rare. The rumor was we had bottomless mimosas, sweet. Oh this is going to get fun really quick as I came with an agenda which was to talk to every single blogger in attendance. As the sun shined outside everyone grouped off for seating while we waited to meet the man of the hour & reason for attendance, DJ IRIE.
Dj Irie the man in Miami Beach kept his intro short & sweet as he gave floor to @StephtacularS head of the @Briskbodega team who explained what would be happening for the day. Afterwards the conversations varied from SEO for blogging to Chance the Rapper & Vic Mensa, to website rebuilding after a hack and a lot of other great topics. The food menu came around to give us some amazing choices we almost forgot it was a Sunday until we saw a few church goers while eating our Crab Cakes Benedict (Poached Egg, Brioche Toast, Potato Hash, and Chipotle Hollandaise). You can guess by this point sleep is still on the back burner right? The conversations with mimosa’s help were great but not forced as often with strangers. It was really great building in particular with @DallasSocials, @thekidLEGEND, @MikeyFresh1 & @RandyTDC during brunch.
We just went outside to enjoy the breeze plus the view with @thekidLEGEND & @MikeyFresh1 it was mad calming just to be there with such passionate people talking music. We all make it to the party bus which is now stocked with the goods as the music begins. We heard a lot of Drake, Cassie Veggies, Bodega Bamz, ASAP Ferg, Young Ratchet music which is cool but we don’t bump that at all so we hardly knew who was playing on that level.
We had a few drinks took more photos while keeping as many conversations going as possible with the little bit of time we had on the bus. At this point Miami Beach is mad impressive, the new fam is mostly impressive and MMKPR is snapping in every way possible. We get to our hotel at about 4ish pm with 2 hours to freshen up before the VIP Suite Macklemore Show. We wanted to sleep, too excited so no dice.
Scene Three: Sunday Macklemore Concert
The party bus rolls in, pretty sure everyone is still crunk/turnt/faded but the party continues with more conversations smiles plus (gulp) trill music. It’s more so the lack of variety in the music selection that got us both as we get bored very quickly hearing the same type lyrics and beat patterns but hey that’s just us. The smoke machine was worse than the music but we enjoyed the show, yes the show as it was a dance pole in the middle of the tour bus. On our way to the Macklemore show it was a lot of hypeness as everyone was in their freshest ready to represent their city via social handle. It was raining a bit but we all made it to the VIP SUITE BOX at American Airlines Arena without getting soaked into the massive VIP SUITE BOX overlooking the show. We asked who was opening which is weird no one knew but it was Talib Qweli making this our 8 or 9th time seeing him live in 6 years.
The fact he was opening for Macklemore was odd as he’s the vet but they were filming something live so we chalked up the decision based on that or he was on his #hustle.
It was a ton of great nibbles to choose from so tiring with every teriyaki wing the itis struck me so I ended up passed out with wings in my lap mid Macklemore who had a dope dope set as far as I recall, I know I know treated life. My man @Sysko212 caught me slipping in my slumber which also made me miss @KarenCivil & @AllThingsMitch birthday cake plus photos, my bad! Not even sure at what point Mother Diablo woke me up or if I woke up on my own but it was time to go. After hitting the bar on the party bus it was time for Club LIV with DJ Irie. I was now fully awake now while Mother Diablo was laughing at my photo on instagram snoozing lol.
Scene Four: Sunday The Hypeness
We party on the party bus as we had all day with more of the same music, more laughter a few random pole dances and lots of Vodka plus #Brisk Lemonade. It was a lot of yawns on the bus as everyone was tired as hell which showed but it was time to get it in officially at CLUB LIV with DJ Irie!
As we walked into Club Liv in front of a massive line of people like lost sheep the stares could not help but be noticed. We were in one of Miami Beach’s top clubs receiving rock star treatment upon entry. The word on the street is the VIP Booth we had was about around 5k and the tab was near $2500 end of the night before we all left.
The lasers in the club, the motions, the music’s energy everything was just about right that evening minus a misunderstanding or two. @Sysko212 was HYPE the whole time up top wildin out just getting it in non stop. The pictures show what we were drinking on which was basically a full shut down. As we passed around the bottles of Belvedere like rock stars we all partied like a family unit though we just had met 48 hours prior. We left on the last bus which escapes me in particular but waking up Monday was not easy let me tell you as I had to ask for a partial recap.
Scene One: Monday the Aftermath
After an exhausting week being out every night since weds before the trip it was starting to catch up to us. The mere thought of leaving, getting up or even showering seemed exhilarating Monday morning. We knew many of the bloggers were flying out early so we again thought we were last to land last to leave as usual. Our flight was closer to 5pm on Monday so we skipped the beach and decided to just street shoot some more as we waited for our chauffeur to the airport. While waiting in the lobby we see ever so chill @thekidLEGEND of www.freeonsmash.com who was waiting for his vehicle then after a short exchange of words we peace out. Then while we waiting for our vehicle see @JaneeTMB Senior Editor http://BOSSIP.com the star of the party bus on the low lol who greeted us both with a big hug goodbye. We then see @mongosladenyc & @AllThingsMitch of http://revolt.tv exchange our peace outs and continue waiting for our vehicle which was late or never came. Being curious we go around the hotel parkway curve to still see @mongosladenyc, @AllThingsMitch & @thekidLEGEND. We worried about missing another flight so we ask their driver if he can cancel our car & we roll with the new family. While in the car getting it in rehashing the night it was one for the books indeed as they know what I mean. We hit the airport unload, tip the driver get our tickets and each go our separate ways to our flights. We ended up with some time on our hands so we hit the airport TGIF to celebrate an amazing trip. While power eating with some drinks we see @mongosladenyc again who posted up at the bar on the laptop because he had a flight delay. It was time to roll out so we gave dapped the new homie then headed to our boarding gate in a rush.
Final Scene: The Return
We boarded the flight so tired, so happy, so sad yet so humbled we were chosen to be flown out to represent for Chicago amongst some of the countries TOP BLOGGERS. The truth is we needed a vacation even if for 46 hours because it made us feel wonderful while giving us ways we can advance our publication. It is also truly amazing many of the bloggers we spoke to haven’t been to Chicago yet, how is this possible? If anyone is reading this come through we can help you enjoy the city from over to underground because it’s how we view Chicago, with a balance. We woke up about 30 minutes before landing just to admire the lights of the GO before landing. Every Chicagoan knows the feeling of being away then returning as you adjust to it quickly but it’s great to get away every once in a while to refresh yourself. We had another driver pick us up, entertain us then drop us off at home in Andersonville. It felt good to be home but the perspective of Chicago Hustles has forever shifted for the better.
As far as Chicago talent outsiders still only know who makes headlines or what makes the aggregated news feeds, it’s time to change that for the better. The question is who’s coming with us as we need to grow the team? Before we both passed out on the plane I told Mother Diablo it felt like being the Warriors at the summit with Cyrus standing next to the top delegates of every city. The Warriors were not the most organized but they were the best at what THEY DID. That’s how we feel, we want to represent the underground but also touch the overground scene with your abilities. The balance is there your passion bridges the gap.
Stay Passionate, Go Hustle -Chicago Hustles Magazine
Please don’t use ANY of those photographs with out our permissions. Pictures by means of Mom Diablo & Durte Genius for Chicago Hustles Journal