By JR Valrey, the People’s Minister of Information
The ingenuity of the Black community in the Bay, has always allowed for Black artistic innovation, at least since Fillmore was considered “Harlem of the West”, Jimi Hendrix was hanging around the Haight, Richard Pryor was trying find himself while living in Berkeley, before becoming the g.o.a.t. of comedy, and Ester’s Orbit Room was the center of Black downtown on 7th Street, in West Oakland.
Luminaries as diverse as Sly and the Family Stone to E40 and the Click, were artistically born from these waters, and businesses like The Black Muslim Bakery, Flints Barbecue, all the way to Creative Music gave the Bay Area the unique culture that it has always had, to become the capitol of northern California, culturally, politically, socially, financially, and in every other type of way.
One of the cultural jewels in today’s Black Bay Area is the Compound of D’Wayne Wiggins, of the internationally known and locally celebrated R&B group Tony, Toni, Tone. Located on 85th Ave in an undisclosed location, there are weekly live music sessions on Mondays, hosted by yours truly, and there is a legendary comedy night on Thursdays, “Laughter is Medicine Entertainment” organized by the hood’s favorite promoter Bump Geesus.
I had to sit down with Bump Geesus to give y’all an overview of what Pac called “a gangsta party”, and what we call Laughter is Medicine comedy night. Also tune in to the Bump Geesus Comedy Cruise coming up on June 24, tap in now for info. Stay tuned to Bump Geesus talking about his endeavors in comedy.
JR Valrey: How long has L.I.M.E. been going on? What’s the purpose?
Bump Geesus: In my head, L.I.M.E. has been going on ever since the first time I showed up to Tommy T’s, and realized that they do not accommodate handicapped Black men. I was in a bad motorcycle accident, and was bed ridden for almost 2 years; barely able to walk but feeling better and happy to be out of the house, Tommy T’s was the only place I would go besides Dr. appointments. Tommy T’s stopped making accomodations for Black handicapped persons. Over 3 times I made paid reservations for the handicap table, to show up, and find out that they gave my reserved handicap table away to white people that were not even handicap. They robbed me for almost $1,000. After countless emails with Gail and other Tommy T’s staff, no accommodations, and no refund. Tommy T’s will double sell tables, over charge guests, and treat the Black comics like shit, in comparison to the white ones. Instantly I knew one day there would be a Bumpy G’z Comedy House. I want to do a comedy show the FUBU way, For Us By Us. Helllooo! We’re grown and sexy! We know how to act. We, as a people, have to start providing for ourselves to ensure proper treatment and respect from business and entertainment to family and food, to ensure we are properly treated and taken care of. There is no way we will ever be right, dealing with everything white.
JR Valrey: How do you choose which comedians appear at L.I.M.E.?
Bump Geesus: I have been so blessed with some of the greatest comics from Northern Cali, and they all have funny friends. I get requests from comics, artists, and musicians to perform all of the time. I have been truly blessed with great support, in that aspect of this comical journey of administering laughter as medicine.
JR Valrey: What type of vibe does L.I.M.E. at the Compound have?
Bump Geesus: We have an extremely grown and sexy vibe and the nostalgic Tony, Toni, Tone energy can be felt, as soon as you enter the gates. All the creative juices and brainpower from over the years will fill your heart and inspire you. At the very least, you will be ticketed and entertained in a secure environment.
JR Valrey: What is it like running your own comedy night in East Oakland?
Bump Geesus: It feels like the story of Jesus feeding the whole hood, with a loaf of bread and 2 fish, or Samson realizing how powerful he was. I have never had nothing but positivity, never had no money, or fancy cars, or even people to love me, but that never stopped me from being me, and putting paint where it ain’t for the whole hood. Smiling and laughter is very important for your mind, body, and soul. Laughter is Medicine Entertainment is essential and my pleasure. I even wrote a book called “Smile As If Your Life Depended On It”. Shout out to Mr. Lil D. Reed, the big dog, I definitely hope to work with him on this book soon.
JR Valrey: Who have some of the crowd favorite comedians been over the months?
Bump Geesus: Of course everybody’s favorite uncle, Ricco the Great, Shea Suga, Tony Sparks, Jay Rich, Insayne Wayne, Scruncho, Nicole Blue, Leon Gibson, Dejan Tyler, and Tristan Johnson, just to name a few.
JR Valrey: What’s unique about the comedy show at the Compound?
Bump Geesus: Thanks to D’Wayne Wiggins, this is the first comedy show rocking with a live band. Everything’s better with a live band. This situation has led to me producing an album, called “The Cedt Mobb” and creating a record label called Comedy Mobb Records. The location is full of Tony, Toni, Tone memorabilia. You can feel the energy from all the creative vibes over the years.
JR Valrey: What’s your goal as a comedy promoter in the next 18 months?
Bump Geesus: My goal is to bring smiles and laughter from hood to hood, and state to state, and be the difference maker in enough people’s lives to actually change and impact the world; change the stigma of being hard in the hood, and create jobs and opportunities in a different light. I have given some comics their first shot, and some their first paying gig. I ain’t got no money, but I try to take care of everybody that comes to perform, and I constantly put paint where it aint! For the summer, Bump is taking Laughter is Medicine Entertainment on the Bay. The first comedy boat ride is June 24th. We have a “Comedy Dinner” on a yacht periodically, so stay tuned. L.I.M.E. will be opening up for Tony, Toni, Tone, later this year. I will be taking L.I.M.E. from D’Wayne Wiggins’ “House of Music” Compound around the world, if you believe in Geesus.
JR Valrey: How could people tap in?
Bump Geesus: YouTube @BumpTheGreat and IG @Bump_Geesus @laughterismedicineent