“Something In The Water” Recap

For those of you who missed out on Something In The Water, check out my review/recap here at TheOriginalChatman.com!

Virginia has already been on the map, but Something in The Water made it official.

“It is beautiful to see that everyone realizes that this was always supposed to be more than a music festival,” shared Pharrell in an interview with The Virginian-Pilot. Now that Something In The Water has came and went–I speak for myself and other VA locals when I say this—we’re ready for next year! Pharrell’s festival creation will be back on the Oceanfront for 2020. Check out the source here.

“If you know, you know.” These prophetic words from Pusha T (one-half of the Virginia Beach rap duo The Clipse) were best said on his recent body of work, Daytona. Virginia natives (such as myself) have long recognized Virginia as a hotbed of musical and cultural relevance before the epic scale of Something In The Water. Hampton Roads is up to its neck in talent. It’s no coincidence Something In The Water (SITW) fell under the same weekend as College Beach Week; nor is it a coincidence Pharrell brought us SITW at the right time.

friday 4/26/19

That Friday was supposed to set the weekend tone; unfortunately,
Mother Nature wasn’t letting anyone be great! Rain and thunderstorms prevented the day from running its course. While several people scrambled to various Oceanfront restaurants to take cover, I found myself hiding inside an arcade off 14th and Atlantic. The sun beamed through clouds a few times; nevertheless, the entire festival was shutdown that day.

In the eyes of some, Friday’s rainy forecast washed away high hopes of the festival being a success. I knew better, and I felt it too. Waking up Saturday morning with my optimism still in tact, day 2 of SITW was going to be different. Those words Pharrell echoed to the press, “more than a festival” were sustained by the various activities and community conversations offered throughout the weekend. Furthermore, the vast amount of food vendors, local and beyond Hampton Roads, was enough to keep me distracted from Friday’s fiasco.

More Than A Music Festival

For example, corporate sponsors Adidas and Timberland brought forth forward-fashion (free customizable tote bags and Adidas slides) mixed with grass-root community efforts that reach a global scale(Timberland presented festival-goers the chance to plant traceable trees that will revitalize Haiti’s ecosystem while also handing out free swag). American Express presented an Hampton Roads-themed/SITW Art-Walk scattered throughout the Oceanfront. Pharrell called on Chad Hugo and several other famous guests to join them for a live taping of OTHERtone, Pharrell’s Beats 1 Apple Music radio show. I firmly believe Pharrell took a page from other festivals, applied his own spin for SITW, and created a wave for the next few years.

saturday 4/27/19

Saturday’s line-up was like THAAAAAAAAT. A$AP Ferg, SZA, Kaytranada, Travis Scott, and Pharrell and Friends.


Kaytranada is a name everyone should know. He’s worked with names like Syd, Ty Dolla Sign, and his live DJ sets will get you moving no matter who you are! Unfortunately, not everyone was jamming as hard as they should’ve been. I know the word “vibe” is used a lot but it was nothing but tons of those during his DJ set.


If you’ve ever followed me on any social media over the past few years, you’re aware of my love for Solana Imani Rowe, better known by her stage name SZA. (For the record, I’ve been a fan since before her 2017 debut album Ctrl). Her signature free-flowing frolic dance and soulful smooth crooning are staples of her artist brand. There was no one/nothing that could stop me from witnessing her beauty and grace up close and personal for the first time. As powerful as that sounds, it’s a half-truth
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . SZA does make very relatable music; however, her music is mainly from a female perspective. (insert photos/videos here)

Imagine how hard it was for someone over 6-feet tryna stay lowkey while singing songs like songs like “Go Gina”, “Say It Like That”, “Drew Barrymore” and “Love Galore”. Willing to risk any stares I received (and I did get some wild ones), I kept my cool even loudly whispering, “That’s my wife! I love you SZA!” After her set ended, I turned around to look for my dispersed friends. On the journey back to them, I met a random kid with a Ctrl 2017 Tour shirt. When asked about his t-shirt, he told me he was proud to wear it and even prouder to call himself a SZA fan. We dapped each other up and then I left. That small interaction with him made me feel less crazy for admiring her as a fan.

Pharrell & Friends

No Pharrell Williams slander will be tolerated as long as I’m alive. DON’T YOU. DO. IT! Who do know you has enough juice to bring out Snoop Dogg, Charlie Wilson, Tyler the Creator, Missy Elliot, Diddy, and Busta Rhymes on the stage.. on the same night!? P warmed up the crowd rapping some notable hits he’s produced/sang on over the years such as “Hot In Hurrr”, “Alright” and “Mr. Me Too.”

Diddy diddy-bopped and hit us with a smooth, crisp dance number shared along with his three sons. Timbaland gave the crowd nostalgic You Got Served vibes doing “Breathe In, Breathe Out” with fellow VA native and (often-forgotten) veteran artist Magoo. Snoop and Charlie chimed in to help Pharrell serenade the crowd with “Beautiful.” The stars were aligned on the beach.

You know that feeling when you reach the highest of highs, and excitement becomes an out-of-body experience? That’s exactly how I felt when JayZ slyly positioned himself next to Pharrell for his verse on “Frontin'”.

Any ounce of cool I *thought* had in that moment was lost when Jay popped up and continued doing hits like “Izzo”, “I Just Wanna Love You” and my personal favorite “PSA(Public Service Announcement)”.

Allow me to reintroduce myself…my name is Hov!

Sunday 4/28/19

  By the time Sunday arrived, my voice, body, and mind were drained from the whylin’ out I put on for Saturday’s line-up. Nevertheless I kept that same energy from Saturday for Sunday. Chris Brown, Teddy Riley and Anderson . Paak were the last few artists I were ready to give my energy to.

In similar fashion to Pharrell and Friends, Teddy Riley snuck in some surprises throughout his set. 🎶 Doooon’t let me goooooo! 🎶I like the way you work it–No Diggity!🎶

Next thing I know, Coko of the ’90s girl group SWV came thru with her silky summertime voice to perform “Weak” and “Right Here (Human Nature Remix).” Somewhere between “No Diggity” and “Don’t Let Me Go”, Teddy transitions his keyboard playing into “Curious” by Midnight Star, the sample behind Lil Duval’s “Livin’ My Best Life.” Lil Duval jump-skip-hops along the stage and everyone goes nuts!

Chris Brown

Light rain came thru and reared its ugly head before Chris’s set causing him to hop on stage 20 minutes later than his 9:10 showtime. To be honest, I’m not even mad he was lip-synching for the most part. He danced so vividly I couldn’t believe the moves I was watching on stage. They were done so smoothly and effortlessly!

Anderson . Paak

Prior to me writing this, one of my friends recently just got hip to Anderson .Paak and I’m sad to inform y’all this person is no longer my friend! 😔

I kid, of course!😜 Without discrediting the legacy of the late soul singer James Brown, I can honestly say Anderson . Paak is the modern day James Brown with a modern approach. When the Chris Brown crowd left, I discretely inched closer towards the stage in an effort to catch the groovy vibe he and his band The Free Nationals gave off to wrap up Sunday night.

Something in the water was…

Overall one of the greatest experiences I’ve been a part of in a while! It’s about time people stop sleeping on Virginia and what we have going on in our hometown. Something is truly in the water, alright.


When work and play make the best day (July 2015)

When work and play make the best day

July 27, 2015

By Jamal Chatman

At 22 years young, I’ve had a handful of enjoyable experiences I’ve prematurely dubbed as “the best time of my life.” None of those previous experiences prepared me for the epic event which Hampton Road residents know as Shaggfest, which happened Sat., July 25. However, up until last summer, Shaggfest wasn’t on my radar.

Last year, I attended Shaggfest as a casual concert goer. This year became the come-up as myself and nine others contributed to the overall success of Shaggfest as Z104 promotional assistants. On our end, promoting meant plastering “Z” banners all over Farm Bureau Live.

Around 3 p.m., Farm Bureau event staff opened the floodgates to let the crowd inside. The promo team and I had a “Z” table and tent stationed near the front entrance. We were tasked with greeting people as they walked in, and also snapping photos of fans with a life-sized Trey Songz cardboard cutout.

The cutout seemed so realistic that one woman nearly had an out-of-body experience when she thought Trey was that easily accessible. Once she realized the cutout wasn’t Songz in the flesh, she halfheartedly took the photo despite “Mr. Steal Your Girl” not physically being in front of her. This was only the beginning. As the Shaggfest crowd dramatically increased, I witnessed a flock of single women gesture themselves in the most provocative yet funniest of poses…all for a cardboard cutout!

Now imagine what would have happened if Trey was standing between us and the entrance of the venue. Not only would my team and I have been viciously mauled by the Trey’s Angels fan base, but Songz himself would have to fight off the countless women ready to throw themselves at him…and I thought I had the best job in the world!

Super-producer Timbaland and his protégé Tink, rapper-actor Rotimi from the series Power, Ma$e, and the “Classic Man” himself Jidenna all had powerhouse performances. Timbaland kept the crowd rocking when he performed his greatest hits with various artists from Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliot and late R&B starlet Aaliyah.


Time has flown and by the time Timbaland finishes his set, it’s a little after 9:30. Before “The Prince of VA” graced his presence on stage, Z104’s Shaggy himself laid down some rapping skills to some classic ‘90s hip-hop hits while DJ Babey Drew provided the music. Shaggy killed it! Who knows? Maybe one year, Shaggy could headline his own music festival.

Finally. The music is dramatically cut down. Only a slew of stage lights remain lit. The Jumbotron screen facing the upstage center wall blares out a random visual pattern. The time is 9:56 p.m. Screams and shrieks erupt from fans from the pit area to the lawn seats. Trey opens up with his most recent radio hit “Slow Motion.”

He did songs reaching as far back as his debut album I Gotta Make It to his most recent Trigga: Reloaded. Originally, I was reluctant to enjoy a male R&B artist whom caters his songs mainly to women. My main focus was on his all-female backup dancers. My mind changed when I heard some of my favorite Trigga cuts “Can’t Be Friends” and “I Invented Sex.” Eventually, I loosened up and sang along to all the songs I knew. Forget Coachella and Bonnaroo, Shaggfest is where I want to be every summer!


%d bloggers like this: