Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I played in Detroit for Rick's Birthday party...

Most of you know Rick Wilhite, right? Well if not, he's a Detroit cat turned International DJ. 
He's throwing a birthday jam in his hometown of Detroit and I've been invited to come down and play some music with him and a slew of amazing DJ's. Detroit is like home to a lot of entertainers from all over. It's the birthplace of Techno or Tech music. And I mean the real tech music, when it had soul to it. 
I'm excited because I know I'm going to see Piranha, Minx, Diviniti, Raybone, Diamond, Monique, Phil, Earl, Laurie Brent, Mocha, Paula, Tomika, Tasha, Bruce, Nancy Gavoor, Malik..... you get the idea. Family. 

10:45am

I get to my seat and there's an African woman sitting there. As a matter of fact, there's a family of maybe 10 African people on this plane. I don't know what part of Africa they're from but right now she's in my seat! So the husband, who's sitting in the next row, asks me "Where for you sit?" He already knew that she was in my seat! I'm really patient, but they're talking loud, and apparently, her having to move was a big joke for them. They all said a few words in their native language and burst into a hearty laugh. Not only was this rude, but I felt disrespected. But whatever. 
I sit in my seat. I'm cool. But now she's sitting next to me trying to hold a conversation with her family. So they're talking over other passengers and being rude. 
She's yelling in my ear.
How should I go about this? Clearly there is a culture clash. She's looking through her purse, dropping snot tissue on me. 
How much more shall I endure before I snap? Is this ok? What culture tolerates this? Am I that "uppity" that I don't recognize normal? 
My wife is Haitian. Her family speaks Creole and they get crazy at family gatherings. I get it. Family love. But this is just disrespectful. The plane isn't that big and they're laughing so loud and talking even louder. 
The plane had taken off, and I notice the african woman next to me do the sign of the cross. Just like catholic people. 
OK. Whatever. Maybe she's catholic. Cool. 
But 3 minutes later, she did again. 
So now I'm thinking that maybe she did one, said a prayer, and closed the deal with another sign. But then she did it for a third time. 
Now I'm a little uncomfortable. Is she that nervous? She's making me nervous. 
They sure are loud. Wow. 

11:25am

Check this out. You know when the flight attendant comes around to give out free sodas, well...... this flight attendant got to my row, and the African lady next to me asked for a coke and I got an apple juice. As the attendant was making drinks, we started talking(the attendant and myself). Small talk. Didn't last no more than a minute. But as I was talking I heard the lady next to me, loudly, interrupting my thoughts and completely invading the moment, "No ice pleez!"
I'm now annoyed at her lack of manners. But I'm still cool. 
Some people never learn good manners. 

3:38pm

When I landed, I got my bags and went outside and immediately, there was Rick in the big shiny black pickup truck. For those of you laughing right now, you're nasty.
Anyway, life has been good for this brother. This truck is HOT!!!! 


I climb into this thing and immediately he's talking music. LOL.. You gotta love it. We talked about vinyl, and things like that, but when he said, "Yo. You like wings?" I almost spoke in tongues. Do I like wings? Did he just ask me that?
Did James Brown get down? Is Freddie dead?(That one was for the real playas.)
I love a good wing. I like to think of myself as somewhat of a connoisseur of good wings.
So he takes me to Sweetwater Tavern. I had the wings and a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. Now.. If you have no other reason to visit Detroit, this is sure nuff a reason! Wooooooooooo Lawd! I almost started crying.


The flavors were happy dancing on my tongue. My soul felt happy. I had JOY like a running river. This food is serious.
After eating I slightly have the ITIS. LOL. We get to the hotel and it was really nice. I was very impressed. It's on the water. Hooked up. I really like it. The ceiling was around 15 feet high. This is perfect. Let me relax….
Wait a minute.. Whatchall mean the AC don't work????
Lawd and they got a fan in my room…. A fan!!!!

June 16 10:03am

OK. I need to catch you all up on everything. Yesterday afternoon I linked up with a profound poetess I know, Rhonda Welsh. She's a part of an EP that Honeycomb is releasing that will feature some amazing poetry. Her and her soulmate Tyrone Burris took me to lunch. We had a great time. They gave me a small tour of Detroit. There's an area that's nothing short of Upper Montclair NJ, or Beverly Hills Ca. The houses and the architecture are amazing. Just one block over is the hood. It's really something to see. 
I learned a lot about Detroit in just a few hours hanging with them. 
Let me tell you about the party!!!!!!
Bruce Bailey picked me up. We get to the party and the first thing I notice is that there is a very nice mix of people. I saw some Asian, Spanish, White and Black people walking around, drinking and partying together. The club had an outdoor area where we would be rocking. Doc Link was inside doing his thing. Bruce started ordering beers right away. He wasn't going to let me exist without a drink in my hand. I thought that was very sweet. 
Just because it was their night doesn't mean drinks are free. So for him to keep the drinks coming was extra special. Gracious host. 
I look around and there was Minx, Jennifer Xerri, Diviniti, Phil Da Mix and his lovely lady Doris, Piranha, Latonya, Laurie, and the crew. But when I saw Boo Williams, I knew this was going to be a party.
 I already knew Glenn Underground was coming. But to see Boo was a really special thing. These guys are so so talented. I felt blessed to see them. 
There was a DJ rockin. His name is PowderBlu. He was doing his thing and Marc Duncan was assisting on the sound. People were dancing. But what I appreciated mostly was that he was different. All soulful DJ's play pretty much the same music. Or at least the music sounds very similar. 
This guy was playing a lot of edits that I've never heard. And he's a white dude. The reason that's so important is because it shows Detroit's diversity. I loved it. Geoff Cee was there from Baltimore. He played earlier. It was cool to see him traveling and working. 
But then around 10:30 it happened. The legendary Glenn Underground got on.
 I haven't heard him play in a minute. 
And just like I imagined he started his set with something exclusive that none of us heard. Then he played another hot jam that I never heard. And another and another and another. And his blends were nice and seamless. He knew his way around the booth. It was just nice to see him do his thing. Marius Bingue was capturing this momentous occasion on camera. Taking pictures of everything. He must have taken at least 300 pictures. LOL. It was fun. 
When I got on, the crowd that Glenn heated up so thoroughly hung around. Thank God. I played from 12:15-2. We partied. And drank!!! Rick had a secret bag full of premium liquor. 
Wooooooooweeeeeee. At 2 we had to shut down the outside area. But the party was supposed to continue on the inside. They cut that off at 2:20!!!!! We should have been rocking at least till 3. Bruce was about to tear the roof off of the place. The owners name is Tree. And that brother was incredibly nice. He's smart. He seems to invest in his business. The lighting was great and the sound was nice. I loved it. Great night. 

I linked with my sister Diviniti, and we had a coffee and a small breakfast. Nothing like eating and vibing with family. She took me to the historic United Sounds Systems. It's a historic recording studio. Some of America's most influential musicians recorded in this place. I'm feeling awesome at this very moment. I'm sitting on the steps that Johnny Lee Hooker, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Max Roach, Aretha Franklin, Funkadelic, Isaac Hayes, Rolling Stones, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers walked on.

And then we ended up going to Motown.. I've been, but I wanted to go again.


Before going to the airport, we met Rick at Sweetwater Tavern. I couldn't go home without getting another taste of those wings. God those WINGS!!!!!!
I'll miss you all here in the D. But we'll do it again soon.