Welcome 2 The Dawn: A Tribute to Prince

By Shyra Gums —

Losing the music legend and icon Prince is still very difficult to digest, however, the best way to carry him in our hearts is to celebrate his legacy and timeless creativity.

The New Parish stage lit in purple with “Purple Rain” film screening in the background.
The New Parish stage lit in purple with “Purple Rain” film screening in the background.

Ryan Nicole, Dwayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Toné!, and Socially Flyy hosted “Welcome 2 the Dawn”, a tribute party and concert dedicated to the great purple one. Many artists, Dj’s and media personalities, from Oakland, gathered to pay tribute at the New Parish in Downtown Oakland on Friday, May 13th.

The night kicked off with a stunning mix of Prince’s deep cuts and greatest hits, spun by Djs, Davey D, Christie James (Q102), DC is Chillin (KMEL), Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist, DJ Justin James and DJ Meezy. The whole room was highlighted in purple lights. The audience was dressed head to toe in purple, with a huge screening of Prince’s most popular film, “Purple Rain” projected on the wall of the stage. An even greater surprise occurred when radio personality, Nikki Thomas, of 102.9 KBLX energetically danced on stage, wearing a headband holding her curly hair to the side, and a mustache, pulling off a pretty successful impression of Prince.

Kev Choice covering Prince’s smash hit “I Wanna Be Your Lover” with his Keytar along with the  O’Boys (band).
Kev Choice covering Prince’s smash hit “I Wanna Be Your Lover” with his Keytar along with the  O’Boys (band).

The venue was completely jam-packed, and was the perfect environment to start the show off with a beautiful tribute performance from “Young, Gifted, and Black” a grassroots youth performing arts group, who recites a mix of poetry and Hip-Hop, commemorating Black History. Following was a brilliant performance of amazing Oakland artists such as Kev Choice, Silk-E, 1-OAK, Netta Brielle, Antique, Dom Jones, Ryan Nicole, Viveca Hawkins, The O’Boys, Mix’d Ingrdnts and more.
The money made from ticket purchases were announced by the hosts as proceeds to go toward youth music organizations, Youth Aid Non-Profit (Dwayne Wiggins), and to Elevate Oakland (Sheila E and Yoshi’s). “Welcome 2 the Dawn” was truly a night to remember.

 

 

View from the New Parish Balcony of the audience and KBLX’s Nikki Thomas, dressed as Prince.
View from the New Parish Balcony of the audience and KBLX’s Nikki Thomas, dressed as Prince.
Oakland’s Youth Grassroots Program “Young, Gifted and Black” Paying Tribute to Prince with a heart felt accapella performance.
Oakland’s Youth Grassroots Program “Young, Gifted and Black” Paying Tribute to Prince with a heart felt accapella performance