Saturday, March 14, 2009
Recap - Hyde - Grammy Night
Jermaine Dupri and I were asked to spin.
I heard it was going to be THE party to be at, despite all the other parties going on that night, Vanity Fair, etc.
It was raining.
It would storm later.
In my heart.
I was told to "do my thing".
This means different things to different promoters.
In places where the music is the priority, it literally means "do my thing".
In places where the clientele are the priority, it means, "do my thing, kinda"
I decided to "do my thing", regardless.
The doors opened at 10 and it was immediately crowded with fabulous people in fabulous garb. The DJ booth is located just inside the front door, so it's very easy to figure out who's been there before and who hasn't when people try to come into the booth with me, rather than walking into the club. Typically it's drunk girls trying to act all cool, until they realize they're trying to step into a 8x8 space that I barely fit in, I normally reply with something witty like, "Sorry, we're at capacity" This would happen seven times that night.
I invited two people.
One was let in without her friend because he didn't look like he "fit in".
(I got him in)
The other didn't come.
I played from 10-11, all classic soul joints.
I played Prince, 'Joy in Repetition' early in the evening before the dancing started, and a girl came up to me to say, "Is the music gonna suck like this all night? When are you gonna play something good?"
"Yeah, you're right, this music that evokes emotion and makes you think is lame... Words that are beautiful and melodies that take you with them are totally overrated... I guess it IS time to start playing some good shit... Hang on... I got "Jai Ho" in here somewhere..."
10:15 - A blonde girl realizes she doesn't know the words to any of these songs.
10:16 - Blonde girl asks for Lady Gaga.
10:16 - "If you go out to your car and turn on the radio..."
10:17 - Blonde girl feels like Lady DumDum.
Kanye walks in, gives me the thumbs up.
Jay-Z walks in, comes over to say hello, honestly, a class act.
Jermaine arrives, comes over to say hello, drop off his bag, another class act.
Coldplay arrives, evz.
Jermaine went on around 11 and played a set without being able to see the room, unfortunately, there were people blocking the small window we are forced to look out of when spinning at Hyde, which makes it rather difficult if people are in the way. He had one of his friends running in and out of the room to tell him how people were reacting to what he was playing. I tried to imagine one of my friends doing that for me.
"Justin, go run inside, tell me what they think..."
"Dude, some of the people on the left are dancing, but not too many on the right..."
"That's OK, the one's on the right don't really get anything anyways...."
A girl grabbed my diet coke, "Oh, I'm sorry, is this your drink?"
"Absolutely not, I got it for you, I know how you are when you get drunk, I wanted to make sure you didn't fuck up and randomly pick up somebody's drink and pretend it was an accident, so I took the liberty of ordering you one..."
Random conversations :
"Can you play the new Janet?"
"I'm not sure... I haven't really "played" a woman for a few years... Although the "new" Janet is head-strong and on top of the world right now, I think I could refine my player skills and make it happen.. I'm not sure, Jermaine IS right here and well, uh... Leave me your email and I'll let you know what goes down..."
"Do you do private parties? My sister is turning sixteen next month..."
"I usually try to only do eighteen year olds, but lemme see a picture..."
"Dude, it's my girl's birthday, can you give her a shout out?'
"Welcome to Chuck E Cheese, may I take your order?"
"Wanna make out?'
"Did you know that these factors can activate a cold sore? Infections, over exposure to sunlight, fever, refined sugars, stress, fatigue, hormonal changes AND The Grammys..."
"Excuse me, bro, you can play me some techno? You want party with me and my friends? Want to do some C with us?"
"No techno but I love C... Later on come back and I'll hook you guys up with some E and some B complex.... (It's good for Crohn's disease...)"
I went back on around midnight and may have done one of the best sets I've ever done.
Jay was leaning into the booth, through the opening, all smiles, singing, "Biggie Smalls is the illest..."
Jermaine was next to me, singing, "He ain't a crook son, he's just a shook one..."
Latifah came running into the booth to sing, "But maybe later cuz my waiter made potato -n- alligator souflee"
Coldplay just sat there.
Hyde was going off, it was like a house party, people were smiling, dancing, having a blast, people were making amazing requests, for once, the planets aligned in Hollywood for once and it was an amazing night, no pretentious vibes.
Here comes Kanye.
Kanye came over to me, a little faded, and stopped himself from saying what he was gonna say when he saw Jay and Jermaine standing there, next to me.
I watched him stand there, smiling, pretending to be in the moment, but something was going through his head. He was waiting for something. Waiting for an opportunity. Waiting for just the right moment, when nobody was watching. Finally, the moment came. Jay and Jermaine started talking to each other and nobody was looking or listening. Kanye realized this and leaned in, covering his mouth with his hand , he whispered, "Yo, Adam, throw on that Heartless..."
Now, I may be somewhat heartless when it comes to these recaps, but in that moment, I felt so sorry for him. What a truly sad moment. I had to do it. Amongst all the amazing music I was playing, I decided I would let Kanye have his moment. I put on "Heartless", which, based on what I was playing, made no sense, AT ALL, musically, but everyone understood, ultimately, why it was played. Kanye ran back to his booth as soon as I put it on, cleared people from the back of his booth, where people typically sit so they can be seen, and made space for him to do a dance routine, to his own song, while lip synching. WOW. I think Taz from Sa-Ra (who is a dope dude) was doing backup for him. Jay, Jermaine and I all had a "is this really happening?" moment. We laughed. We cried. When it was over, he came and hugged me. Aw, presh.
Two guys were walking around with bottles of Dom asking girls, "Want a swig?"
A guy was requesting something "faster", his nose was completely red and raw and his jaw wouldn't stop moving around and he kept grinding his teeth...
Some dude in a very colorful hoodie and red sunglasses came up to me and barked, "You're not the regular Sunday DJ are you? He doesn't play all this jungle music black bullshit!!!"
"Well, kind sir, as a matter of fact, Jungle music, or just Jungle, is commonly held to be a term that is synonymous and interchangeable with drum and bass, that being said there is no universally accepted semantic distinction between the terms. Some associate "jungle" with older material from the first half of the 1990s, and see drum and bass as essentially succeeding jungle with the newer, post-techstep developments. Others use jungle as a shorthand for ragga jungle, a specific sub-genre within the broader realm of drum and bass. In the USA, the combined term "Jungle Drum and Bass" (JDB) has some popularity, but is not widespread elsewhere. As for that black bullshit comment, fuck off..."
Someone handed me $2 as a tip...
A drunk, blonde girl came up, after requesting Michael Jackson earlier, and yelled, "I asked you 20 minutes ago to play something my friends and I can dance to, what's the problem?!!"
"Well sweetie... Alcohol is a drug that slows down the brain and nervous system. It is the most widely used drug in the world... Drinking a small amount is not harmful for most people, but regular drinking of a lot of alcohol can cause health, personal and social problems. Drinking a lot of alcohol regularly over time is likely to cause physical, emotional or social problems. Problems can include: stomach problems, skin problems, memory loss and confusion and bad coordination... Think about it..."
A girl handed me her business card, it had her myspace address on it...
That's the new shit....
Drinks : 0
Times I played 50 Cent: 0
Times I played Smif and Wesson : 2
Times I played Camp Lo: 2
Times I played OC: 1
Times I played Jeru: 2
Times I played Group Home: 2
Times I played Blahzay Blahzay: 1
Times I played Black Moon: 2
Times I played Mobb Deep : 2
Times I played Gang Starr: 3
Times I played Mic Geronimo: 1
Times I played KRS-One: 3
Times I played Main Source: 1
Times I played Showbiz and AG: 1
Times I played Three Times Dope: 1
Times I played Ultramagnetic MCs: 1
Times I played A.D.O.R. : 1
Times I played Brand Nubian: 2
Times I played Beatnuts: 1
Times I played Kool G Rap: 2
Times I played Biggie : 8
Times I played Jay-Z : 0
Times I played Jermaine Dupri : 0
Times I played anyone who was there that night : 1