Tuesday, March 09, 2004

  • MON

  • I thought I had pretty much blown my load the first 3 days. My throat was scratchy and hoarse, my legs were beat from about 6 hours a day of dancing, I was sunburned, and my head was so full of new music it was crowding out my thoughts. Today was chill day. Lie around and nap, watch movies, recharge batteries. Maybe we'll go hang out at a low-key party later, to just chop it up with all the folks we've met. Sip drinks on the patio.


    Low-key party turned into Supreme Summit of Esteemed Hip-Hop Pioneers and more dancing until 4am.

    Super Agent Adrian Loving on the Batphone: "Yo, Doug E. Fresh is going to be hosting this jont. Invite only, but I can get you on the list."

    Ultra snazzy Miami club right in South Beach, flush with mafia money, socialites and extreme high-rollers. Straight Miami Vice shit. Paris Hilton was having a party on the outdoor pavillion level of the club. Rhomie-Slice slides in on the list with scuffed Pumas, jean shorts and a polo shirt. Inside, stilletto and lycra-clad model chicks paint a stark contrast against young WMC attendee jawns with conference badges and cargo capris. There are 2 dj booths on stage. "Why is this so?" I think to myself. The jocks are lazily playing mainstream rap hits. Not digging that. But I'm drinking for free, observing pageantry and talking to good folks, not mad at that.

    Then Doug E. takes the stage backed by 2 dj's. Flashbacks to Chill Will and Barry B. anyone?

    This ageless wonder of a performer proceeds to run through a tightly choreographed party-rocking prototype of a show, complete with medleys, trick call and response choruses and chants, beat box segueways, and of course... all the hits. There's maybe 300 folks in there, but this man is dancing, spinning, rhyming, sweating, emoting and CRUSHING SHIT like it was Madison Square Garden. J-Live and I are damn near moshing each other.

    I got a little teary eyed. I screamed away what little was left of my voice. I was 10 yrs old again.

    Yes, he rocked the simultaneous beatbox/harmonica solo.

    Yes, he did bring out Vicious (no longer L'il) and backed him on the beatbox for a speaker rending live version of "Freaks".

    It wasn't over though. Because it was time for The Ruler Himself to join The World's Greatest Entertainer.

    Slick Rick took the stage. They paused the show for a minute to shout out a few cats in the front row:

    Fat Joe, GrandMixer DXT and Jazzy Jay (yes, Bamm's protegé).

    And we do have a confirmed Timbaland siting to add to that, just as a side note.

    Details are really unnecessary about Doug E. and Ricky D. on stage together. Yes, they did Ladi Dadi with the beatbox. Yes, Rick did Wop It Out until he could Wop No More. And he brought out the jawn with the platter full of gold chains and medallions so he could lay aside his platinum, don his gold, and take it from the new to the old.

    Oh, and you know his gear was tizzight.

    Then Biz Markie got up and did the Biz Markie quick-mix, novelty record thing. Folks are enchanted. The uber-cool heads are shedding their ice grills. The party started heating up. Jazzy Jeff drops in. Raheem and D. Chase in the place. In rolls the Legendary Roots crew. In rolls....

    GRANDMASTER FLASH... Flash... flash.... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ?uestlove gets on the wheels. Flash hops on stage to dap him up. I'm standing in the hallway trying to comprehend the magnitude of what I am experiencing. J-Live and I are forming our own impromptu support group to help each other sort it all out. Another drink helps. But then I see another hero of my youth approaching me.

    E.S.T. THE ACKNICKULOUS ONE!!!! (Get them Beyoncé checks dawg!!!)

    "Yo man, I would take out a home equity loan just to get Original Styling on vinyl. No Words! Greatest Man Alive! Peace Yaself! Da Fat Cat Clique!! (didn't think I knew about that one didja)"

    E.S.T. is humble and mad personable. He has a beautiful au natural sista in tow (an even bigger contrast to all the silicone and micro-mini skirts) and they're very sweet together. He's very interested in coming to DC and genuinely moved by my appreciation of his work.

    So after my acknickulous encounter, I head back out to the patio and have a conversation with Flash, Jazzy Jay and DXT. I was finally able to tell them all the stuff that choked up in my throat when I met Bamm.

    I owe the essence of who I am to what you brothers created. And I'm just one of millions.

    I shared this with Oso-Fresh and Dirty Handz. We had a DC dj moment together. RBI, D'Salaam, Eurok - wish you were here homies!!!!!!!

    ?uestlove was turning the party out. He goes into the classic breaks. JB's, Bob James. I jump into what may be my 10th dance circle/battle of this trip. Cats are busting head spins. ANOTHER uprock battle jumps off. Model chicks are screaming their heads off (aren't y'all too cool and hungry to expend that much energy?)

    Several amply endowed jawns jump on stage to dance. A couple of them veer into girl-on-girl love territory. Cameras pop up like mushrooms after a rainstorm.

    Risikat dragged me out of the club eventually.

    Today - Louie Vega and Elements of Life free live in-store performance. And I'm missing Jazzy Jay & Rock Steady Crew AND Ron Trent to catch Louie. No one should have to be faced with such choices.

    Vacation is my new favorite word.

    - Stylus


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