Tuesday, September 3, 2013

HOUSE MUSIC IN ATLANTA IS DEAD,

maybe in the cemeteries.. 




Aug 30th 8:37am

Atlanta shows me love every time. I was even thinking of moving to Atlanta once. I just did an EP on Vega Records and I named one of the jams ATL. I LOVE ATLANTA. The crowd receives me the way I wanna be received. That in and of itself is an amazing thing. 
I already heard from Justin Hypollite(DJ Aquabeat). He's down there and hit me up twice! DJ Kemit is posting on Twitter about this event. Carlos Mena is trying to link on Saturday to check Ron Trent's in store out. I know Kai Alce is rocking this weekend. Moody man is going to throw down his vibe. I get to laugh with Ramon Rawsoul. It's going to be crazy. Salah and Nina Ananse invited me down to play some music with for them at their party Afrique Electrique. 

8:45am

Watching the Today show. They feature an artist performance every Friday. Today Chris Brown is performing. I'm not a big Chris Brown fan but we all must admit that he can really sing and dance. He's an incredible performer. Anyway, just now the camera went up close to his face and he had the biggest booger in his nose. LOL!!!!! I know right!! There's nothing he can do. Millions of people saw it. 
Anyway, I'm headed to Atlanta!!

12:07pm

So far so good. I'm at the airport enjoying a nice freezing cold Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer. Waiting on my sandwich to come. Just a second ago I saw Savion Glover. Remember him? The Tap Dancer. Played in movies and broadway. He looks like he's doing well. But I wonder what he's doing? Ya know? People that seem to drop off the face of the earth, I often wonder what happens to them. People like Cisqo who did "The Thong Song" and that rapper lady who did that song "My Neck My Back". Remember that? Or going even further back, and I'm telling my age now, but remember that singing family "The Jets"? Where are they? They were huge! 

1:54pm

I remember being poor and living in the projects. I remember what it was like to get something that nobody in the building had. There was a feeling of being special because I had it. I remember when technology started making huge strides in the 80's and talking on the big Motorola cell phone. It looked like a big brick. Remember that? 
But being proud of material things in that way is a ghetto mind set in the first place. Ya know what I mean? If you purchase an IPhone 5 and pull it out in front of your friends, as though you're handling some important documents using the word app, you're ghetto and that is a sign of immaturity. 
Well, we're all boarding the plane now. Everyone is showing their boarding passes. This one woman, instead of showing her printed boarding pass, she pulls out a dinosaur laptop with finger smudges all on the screen in an effort to show us all that she had a laptop. It looked older than any computer I've ever seen. It ran on coal. LOL!
But really the screen had an monochrome(calculator) look to it. I was embarrassed for this woman. She was walking around with it opened. Proud! And it was humongous. It looked like a small Television. Old computers were heavy and big. Nothing like the new slim light weight computers. #sosad
I know I'm judging the woman. But come on folks. You can tell when someone is showing off, trying to be more than what they are. She got her hair and nails done for this trip. She looked like she was going on a field trip in school. Just a little too dollied up for a flight. Ya know what I mean? Ugh. Ya can't make this up. 

Aug 30th 3:57am

I'm just getting in from the night at the Sound Table with Salah and Sabine. 
When I walked in Sabine was playing. I always enjoy her playing because her style is way different than most DJ's I know. And she's such a lovely person. That same loveliness exudes when she plays. She's one of a very small few dancing DJ's that I know. And what I really love about her is that she encourages EVERYONE. In one of my other blogs, I mentioned how I was train wrecking when I first started DJ'ing and she danced as though I was Killing!
Salah rocked some joints that the crowd just loved. He's home and knows his people. Lovely brother.
I did my thing and totally screwed up!!!!! LOL. And Ron Trent was standing right there. I hate screwing up in front of any DJ, although Ron is a brother to me. LOL. I hate it so much. 
Nobody knew it, but I messed around and played the same record twice!! Back to back!!!! LOL. It's a common mistake. But after that I thought I had a decent set. So many of ATL's finest were out. Kai Alce is my brother who is always real artsy and in style. His wife Allison looked good too. Ramon Rawsoul was his lively self. Looking happy as usual. Courtney Gwinn was wearing her beautiful Afro. Some people, like her, has swag that you can't learn or pay for. It's just so natural. She looked awesome. Salah was wearing these African looking pants that were really nice. If he weren't 5ft tall, I would have taken them from him.  April from DC is here with beautiful self. 
Karin Smoot looked totally amazing.  It's like she's getting younger and more beautiful every year. I guess having a baby will do that to you. She just looked radiant and stylish. Melba Searcy came with a Black and White dress that killed! She knew it was hot. Everybody else knew it too. Deborah Conton gave me the biggest hug ever.  She was one of the first people I saw. And she was so full of love that it set the tone for the rest of my night. John Crooms had his camera capturing all the magic. He always does that. And our scene desperately needs people loke him to capture our moments.
Justin Hyppolite(DJ Aquabeat) was there fully supporting and showing his love. Another dancing DJ. I'm not an envious dude, but I wish I could dance like that. I can move, but when Justin and his wife Cher dance together, it's really something to see.
Nina(Salah's wife) had the funkiest haircut in the building. Just downright stank! Miranda Nicole was working the snot out of this blue outfit 



. Man. It was nice. Roland Clark whom I've known for at least 20 years was here looking like he just came from the gym. Arms all muscular! I was proud of him. He and Miranda sang tonight. That was hot. 
Robin Latimore shined through. That sisters voice is extremely unique and heart touching. I want to get her in the studio. She's like a Gladys Knight of today. I must do something about getting her in the studio. My Chicago family was there. Cheez and his wife, Jozana, Osman, and that whole crew. I knew when I saw them that I'd better not make any mistakes. Those brothers know music. Baltimore was there!!! DJ Donna Jefferies was there with her smile and BMores, Rodney Williams was hanging. Jersey was in the building. Now I have a special love for Jersey because that's where I got my musical start. Rescue Poetix came through! She's soooo nice. We're doing a poetry track soon. DJ couple Ray Wright and Erika Hardin showed their love. DJ Yusef Terry from ATL introduced himself, showing his love.
I know I named a lot of people, but I only scratched the surface. There were so many faces there. But one cat that I have to mention is DJ Lionel Burt. I know you may not know him. But when I was 16 and barely able to get in a club, he was rocking in East Orange NJ at Club 88. And when I say rocking, I'm talking about wrecking the place. Teaching us kids music. Real music. That brother said that he wants to start getting his footing back in this game. I was sooooo happy to hear that. He is a talent that I won't forget. Ever! I really felt the love from so many tonight. It was a great night. As we were wrapping the night up, a dj from South Africa came through. DJ DeeToy. Now while he's playing, we were taking pictures with ATL's Carlos Bell and talking with the house lights all the way on. It was bright. That usually means its time to go. But this man DJ DeeToy was playing  some really good music. I loved it. He can play. And his music was nothing I've heard before. He's definitely going to be a favorite. 

September 2nd 11:18am

Now this is going to be long. So buckle up. 
When I woke up, yesterday morning, I noticed it was raining. So immediately I thought that this isn't good. The festivities were going to be at Grant park. That means mud everywhere. 
Betty Castillo was talking about a Yoga session around 8 this morning. I was into that idea. But with the rain, I knew that wasn't happening. 
So I get to the park and it was packed!! 




  Rain and all. Cars were everywhere. People were walking in the mud and nobody seemed to care. There were tents everywhere. I immediately thought of Gloria. She wanted to go, even more than I and when she finds out how dope this was, she'll be pissed. People were BBQ'ing as though the sun was burning Hot! Soooooo many beautiful people everywhere. And I don't think I've ever seen so many Twists, fro's, braids, locks, twisty fro's, natural's, knots and bald styles in one place ever. It was as though I was in the Mecca of beautiful black people. There were nationalities of every kind there. But rarely do I see so many black people this proud of their features. I don't think anybody had a relaxer in their hair. And another very important thing is that there were children everywhere.  Dancing and singing. But what they don't know is that they're also learning. And in order for our scene to survive, we have to reach the children. One woman was dancing with her baby on her back! And when I say dancing, I mean DANCING! And the child looked like she was so accustomed to it. It was beautiful. 
There were twin huts in which the same music was being played. They simply put speakers in each hut from the same DJ console. Each hut fit maybe  300-400 folks. And both huts were jam packed with people spilling out. And everybody was partying hard. Going in deep. It was electric! When I walked in DJ Kemit was effortlessly killing the crowd. When he played "Move Yo Body", the house music anthem by Marshall Jefferson, Lawd I thought the building was going to come down! It just got crazy. I love moments like that. There's a synergy between the DJ and the crowd. It's spiritual. Nobody can make that happen on their own. 
Salah  played "You Brought The Sunshine" by the Clark Sisters and again, the moment of OH MY GOD happened. Every DJ had those OMG moments during their set. The crowd was ready for it. Ramon, and South Africa's DJ DeeToy  had the people dancing in a train line around the place while screaming chants. It was around then that I saw singer/songwriter, Chris McCray. DJ Kai Alce jumped on around 6:05 pm. It was like the whole party started all over again!  Nina and Salah had a cooler and their people DJ Kwest-on and Salah's sister Breagin was pouring the most heavenly Rum and Cranberry drinks.  
But when they ran out, there was a make shift cash bar in the middle of the park. I know right? A make shift cash bar in the park!!!
I saw this older couple dancing together. They were so cute that they drew a crowd. They seemed to be doing a cross between the hustle, stepping, and the lindy-hop. But believe me, they were awesome. I couldn't do their moves if I tried. 
I'm seeing all kinds of faces at this point. Tracy Fortson from NY is twirling with Atlanta's Simone Monteiro.  Shilonda "Nikki" Coutee from DC is dancing on a table.  DJ Carlos Mena is hanging in the DJ Booth. ATL's(Soon to be Brooklyn's) Deborah Conton was there crying.  We later found out that they were tears of joy. Her mother was there. I know right? Her moms was there! And her mother was very social, wanting to meet all of Deborah's friends. She was so proud. Cheez, Jozana, Osman and their crew had a tent. And they had the jerkiest of all jerked chicken you'd ever wanna eat. Cheez introduced me to a cat named Leonard Roy that had some Gumbo. The brother offered me some. Now y'all know me and food! And for a minute, I thought we were in Louisiana. My man had the crawfish, crab, shrimp, sausage and rice exploding with flavor! And after that, he gave me a rib! And it was so well seasoned that it didn't need sauce. Heaven. I saw DJ Sadar Bahar there eating and chillin. I love his music. Raye Sharrief-Cotto was just walking in. 
DJ A1(Naomi) was there with her mother. Talk about talent, she's a DJ that stopped for a while. But she's decided to start again. Amazing talent. Carlito's Way was in the building.  I'm not sure if he's from NY or NJ. But he's family regardless. 
The guy that everybody loves Chip Greenidge from Boston flew down. It's always good to see him. 
Newark's Clay Hakim Holloman was taking flicks of everyone. 
Chicago DJ Sean Alvarez was dancing with Brooklyn's DJ Sabine.  I didn't know Sean could move like that. Nice. He's playing later on at the Sound Table. Brooklyn's finest, Lisa Moore and a brother I never met was dancing together like Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire. 


  They looked as though they rehearsed the whole thing. It was something. Here are some shots and vids I took while hanging. 




















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video video video Before leaving the park, I ran into a childhood friend "Snoop" Damian Jackson. He looks like he's doing well. 
I love this energy I'm feeling right now. The Facebook post, the tweets are all very positive. The love is evident. This is the absolute finest event. I know that Ramone Rawsoul and Karin Smoot have a hand in organizing this. It's an event I would highly recommend to anyone looking to experience house music at its most purest form. Everything was being played from soulful to Afro to classics. And even the in between stuff. It was all love and music. I witnessed many tears and emotions throughout the place. All was welcomed with the same love. Black, white, gay, straight, skinny, fat, short, tall, old and young. Everyone was smiling. And check this out, it was a free event. Yes. Free. People were responsible for their own food and drinks but to party was free. 
A++ Atlanta. Job well done. See you next year.  And my shameless plug:
Pick up Sheree Hicks newest release on Honeycomb Music at:
http://honeycombmusic.bandcamp.com/