Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I was at Mikki Afflick's Ft. Greene party, and....

I had a lot going on with me personally. Gloria and I got there and I was in the stankest mood. Attitude at a high level of 10. I just didn't want to be talked to. I hardly ever go out in public like that. But I'm human and it happens. Gloria was with me and I was walking in front of her for a sec.. I had to catch myself.
Random thought: Men have gotten slapped for smaller reasons, LOL!
You know, the thing about being an entertainer, big time or small, is that in public one must always be "on."
It's lights, camera, action at all times. I've been blessed to enjoy a career in the music industry for 27 years. There's times that I meet people that I don't know that have supported my career in some form. And I feel that I owe them a smile, a picture, a hug, a handshake or whatever it is that they want for that moment I meet them. Within reason of course. I'm not going to sit there and talk for hours, but I need them to feel respected. I realize that my career depends on the people that support me. 
Having said that, as soon as I walked in, there were smiles. Strangers dancing, kids playing, music playing, and people laughing and talking. This is everything I love right here. Friends and family.
And.......... It's free!! And, there's Free parking!!!!
Usually when I go out:
1. It's going to be at least an hour and a half drive there(I live in North East Pennsylvania.)
2. Gas to and fro is at least $20
3. Parking is anywhere from $25.-$40
4. I'm not always on the guest list, and that can be another $10.
5. I'm a tequila and beer drinker. Add another $40
6. I have to stop and get a Falafel $2.50
7. And I almost forgot, TOLL $12 in NY and $1. in Pa.
Now we're talking $125.50. And that's just me. God forbid if Gloria pulls a "I wanna come"(If y'all tell her I said that, delete yourself from my friends list!!!), that's even more loot. And I ain't rolling like that. And truth be told, there are very few entertainers/DJ's that are.
So needless to say I was thrilled to at least be able to go to an event in my absolute favorite city in the world, and see some good friends and family, some like minded lovers of our soul music again.
I'm shaking hands and saying hello to folks and the first person I see is Leah with her sweet spirit. Gloria thought she was Mia Phillips. She gives us love immediately, and then there was Basil. This brother and I go back like 25 years. He was looking like his old self with a white wash cloth on his head! That's true Club Culture right there. All he needed was a bicycle hat and some speedos! Y'all don't know about that! That was serious masculine gear for a time there.. Soon after that I saw Charmaine Bourne, who looks like a beautiful piece of hot chocolate. The epitome of God showing off! I introduced her to Gloria because the next time I make a video that requires a leading lady, she will be the one. No need for a casting call!


Anyway, my mood is picking up.. NiNi was walking around with a cute little kid. I think he was her son. I see DJ Disciple, and he introduced me to his lovely wife. He looks happy! I like to see that love on a brothers face when it comes to his girl.
While I'm talking, Duce Martinez literally jumps on my back, and piggy backed on me for at least 20 seconds! LOL!!!!!!!!!!! CRAZY!!!! I mean the man jumped on my back!!!!!! Do you feel the love of house music yet???? This is the spirit that I know will be at a real soulful party.
Doris is there supporting. Seemed like she was working.. How does she always end up working at a party?


So I continue to glance around and Flipman Jeter is doing what he does... FLIP!.. He did this one flip and landed on his feet and went into a West African Manjani dance move. This my friends is the kind of talent that we have just oozing in the house community. It's inspiring me to stand here watching folks move. Of course there's the "Old Guy" that comes to every Ft. Greene Park party to really show his best dance steps. Gotta love him..
Lisa Andrews, Venus Ka and David Rice came from Philly. And they brought a cooler with goodies. Venus gave me a coconut custard little pie thingy that was amazing, and Lisa was giving me Ice cold water and... ready?......Corona!!!!!!!!! Oh God yes!!! Now it's a party!!!!!


I'm noticing that there was something a little not clear with the sound. And because this is Mikki's event, I'm really concerned. Mikki is DJ'ing and checking the sound, and DJ'ing and checking the sound, and DJ'ing, and..... You get the picture. I could see by the way she's looking that she's not able to fly like she want's. Something is holding her back. There is unrest on her. 
She takes these events EXTREMELY serious. That's something that club goers don't see enough of. A promoter that has this kind of passion.


By the way, if you don't know who Mikki is let me give you a brief intro. She is a lover of good music. 
She's a producer, Label owner(Soul Sun Soul Music, DJ, Promoter of her own party(Afflickted), and her wife is fine! LOL!!!!!(Hey Danielle).
Random thought: I'll bet NOBODY thought for even a second about who paid for this event to happen.
I mean sure, the sound is being worked on, and we can all see Mikki telling the sound guy to get it together, but we didn't pay a dime to get in here. We're enjoying top quality DJ's. A variety of music and Cinnamon Brown is performing later.. Guess who paid for all of this to happen?.... Go ahead guess.. I'll wait..


Mikki and her wife afforded everything. No sponsors, no corporate accounts, nothing.
And check this out.... I saw Mikki say to the sound guy "What is happening with the sound?" in a very disgusted tone. And when she walked away they kinda laughed about it!!! 
It was important to her to give us the best day we could get while being there. You all don't know this, but last month she had surgery, and was not able to walk, much less do things for herself that she was accustomed to doing. And I'm not talking about a same day surgery that last for maybe an hour. She left that surgery and wasn't able to walk for a while! She was cut open.


So in the midst of this chaos, the sound got worse! Basil is playing and he got annoyed. People were losing patience with the sound people. For whatever reason they just couldn't pull it together.
And if it couldn't get any worse, it starts to rain!!! Not a pouring down of rain, but just enough to discourage anybody. 
What happens next, I will NEVER EVER forget. The image will be in my head forever I promise you that. Look at this picture....


Mikki begins to dance. And I mean this Panamanian woman danced as if the sun was shining, and the sound was crystal clear. That very moment made my heart smile, laugh, and love really hard. I learned so much from that moment. The main thing I got out of that is that sometimes, you'll have to encourage yourself.
This woman is dancing like this when everything seemed a little off kilter. Not to mention she is still healing!
WOW!!!!!! I'm friggin inspired.
Slowly the sound was coming together.. The rain stopped! People were coming back on the dance floor. More people were coming in.
Mikki got her smile back, and walked me over to meet her Mother, Aunt, Sister, Nieces(who by the way produce music also), and I think I met a gentleman also, I forgot what was his relation, but they all had smiles and were lovely to meet.
I saw Sandra Phillips dancing herself happy. Lisa Moore came and gave me this big hug. She's always so cool. Shellie Walker came out from Baltimore! Sweet right? DJ Pookie was dancing in the way that he gets down. There's nothing that says support like a DJ dancing! Flora Cruz and Mark Mendoza was there all hugging and kissing.. You know how they do LOL!!! Lovebirds. I was standing next to the talented Bradford James for a while. 


The one thing I love about our scene is that the people are lovely. There's hardly any major blowups. We have our drama, but it's usually nothing life changing. 
Soon after that I left. It was early. Cinnamon had not even arrived yet. I ran into Phyllis Cocoa Leath on the way out, and to be honest, it was lovely to see her. Her dad just passed not even a month ago, and she's out to enjoy herself. With a new hairdo I might add. We see you Phyliss!
But speaking of drama....
I'm home two days after the event and I go to FB and see NEGATIVE post on FB about the event.
I don't think the post were meant to hurt or to bring anyone down. I think the post were posted out of frustration. And while I really do get that, I think that one must be responsible when posting, especially about someone's event. None of us know what Mikki sacrificed or put into this event. She spent money that she will not get back. The things that went on were not in her control. Really she did the whole thing to give something to us! And we repay her by slammin it on FB.
Allow me to be very clear. I get what was said. But posting it on FB is not only hurtful but it can be discouraging. I've posted things about events that I didn't like before. But I paid for my ticket, parking and toll.
This was a free event that one of OUR OWN gave and we show very little appreciation when we do these things. I'm saying this with respect and love for everyone that posted anything in regards to this event. Our genre is a small but growing genre. Let's try to take care of each other. We can't afford to discourage our own, and then wonder why there's no where to go to hear this music. Let's not so easily tear each other down over simple things. Chicago just had 40,000 people at their Chosen Few event that features House Music. But I'll bet they started in this same way. Small. 
I CHALLENGE anyone to put on a better event with no flaws and let us all come in free. When it's done, see if you can smile after spending your money and hear people that you felt at least had respect for you, tear it down.
Well later I was told Cinnamon came and did her thing thing on stage. She happens to be someone I work with. I know she's fun to see. But again, I also know that she made a sacrifice to show up and perform. NO MONEY was involved here. These people are doing it for the love and we are the beneficiaries. Let's not discourage each other with our words.
Show love everyone.
See you at the next one.