House to hip hop

This past weekend, I went to a really cool party in the Pilsen neighborhood, which is south of downtown Chicago. It was in a large space where a very cool, friendly dj resides, and I had a great time. What I love about living in an American city is the diversity of the people--sounds trite, but it's true. One week I might be with white yuppies, another week I might be in a situation with hardly any white people at all, among a mixture of professionals and people who have no office aspirations.

I found out about the party through a friend of mine who I used to hang out with when he was spinning records around the city. The music that he and other dj's I knew played house music and underground stuff--deep sounds that had warmth, positivity (don't know if that's a word) and good vibes. So the Pilsen-dweller, who had known my friend for a while, wanted to bring some dj's together to celebrate that type of music.

When we first arrived, there weren't many people there, so I just hung out and enjoyed the tracks and mixing. I talked to some talented dj's about music and the scene, and once again, I regretted never learning how to spin or really pursuing it. Late in the night, more people started showing up until the place was quite packed. But it was weird--no one was really dancing. I don't dance, but still, I was surprised that the clubby-looking people around me weren't. The dj who was on was incredible--his selection and mixing were just so tight, soulful, and groovy (not in the 60's way), and really should have inspired people to move or at least show interest in what he was putting out there.

Since it was getting really late, my friend and I wanted to leave, and we noticed that the music went from house/underground to hip hop. I guess the crowd was so passive, the dj and host discovered the only way to get them going was to play it. And I heard that it was hip hop from then on. Which really wasn't the intention of the night.

Ok, hip hop is popular, but Chicago is known for house and for creating innovative music. Yet there are people here who want and only are aware of and open to hip hop, which is quite sad. I wish that there were more outlets for people to hear more variety, more quality, more of what the alternative has to offer.


Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

12 27 06

Hey MJ:
Cool post. I love house music and have always grooved to it. I am not a very good dancer, but just LOVE moving to it. It is always weird when you go to a party and folk aren't dancing. But then again, it seems like it was a hip hop crowd. Sometimes hip hoppers like house, but the two can be mutually exclusive too! Interesting.
Glad to know you are getting out living life! I am trying to do the same, but my tutoring gigs have been consuming a bit of time! Thanks for the note and best wishes for a Happy New Year! Let me know when you come back to Northern CA:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by--I thought you'd appreciate this post :)

I'll definitely contact you when I go out there again :)