As Synco Powers, Vlad Calixte (aka Haitian V.), and I walked up to Pier 40 I thought to myself, “this crowd can’t be for one boat ride!” However, to my amazement, all of those people were there for DJ Stakz “Celebrity Status Bday Bash Boat Ride”. Try saying that ten times fast. DJ Stakz‘ annual boat ride did not disappoint. Not only did it not disappoint, it was the best boat ride of the summer so far. The event was promoted by Team HKNY and Hi-Profyle Entertainment. In case you didn’t know, HKNY and Hi-Profyle are at the forefront of Haitian-American events in the New York area. They have sold out venues such as Club Amazura, the Hammerstein Ballroom, and countless other venues throughout the area. So DJ Stakz’ birthday event was no different.
As the boat left the dock a little after 2am you could feel the anticipation throughout the vessel. There were two sound systems set up on the three level boat. On the lowest level there were DJs playing strictly Kompa and Zouk. On the third level there was a mixture of R&B, Hip Hop, Reggae, Soca, and Kompa. The variety was amazing. As DJ Stakz proclaimed later in the night, this was truly “an international boat ride.” I spent most of my time on the third level. The night started off with Ontrack Disco playing R&B to warm up the many ladies on board. As the drinks were flowing and the crowd loosened up, Ontrack Disco transitioned into late 80’s Lover’s Rock reggae. Artists such as Papa San, Shabba Ranks, and Beres Hammond were helping to build up the vibe. As the energy built, SNL Boyz Synco and Ontrack went into a vibrant soca set. The party had officially gotten on its way.
Next up was the birthday boy himself, DJ Stakz. I must say that Stakz definitely knew exactly how to control the crowd. He played a Kompa set that turned the boat upside down. The crowd seemed to sing out throughout the entire set. Haiti pride was definitely overflowing on the Hudson River. Every time DJ Stakz solicited for a response from the crowd they responded with great exuberance. It was truly a sight to see. As DJ Stakz’ set was reaching its end, Hot 97’s Mr. Cee was preparing to come in next. At this point I leaned over to Ontrack and said “I don’t know how Cee is going to follow that set.” Ontrack simply replied with one word, “watch.” I didn’t expect to see what happened next. DJ Stakz introduced Mr. Cee and stayed on the microphone. Mr. Cee went into a Kompa set that had the crowd in an even more intense frenzy! After the incredible Kompa set, Mr. Cee went into a machine gun paced Hip Hop set that would not let the crowd rest for a second. At this point I forgot about anything outside of that boat. I didn’t think about a drink, a seat, a bathroom break, only vibes.
I was surprised when the boat arrived at the dock. I lost track of time and I could tell that my sentiment was shared by many on the boat. Hi-Profyle and Team HKNY are set to overload Times Square on August 27th with “Kompa Rehab vs Zouk Therapy 2: The Broadway Edition”.
Club Nocturnal in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn was very festive last week, to say the least. It was a birthday celebration for First Class Blue. Thunderbolt with Alley Cat and Super Brad were in the building. The SNL Boyz were also in rare form that night. Yours truly assisted my counterparts in finishing two bottles of Coconut Ciroc mixed with pineapple juice. Allow me to digress for a brief moment. I usually buy Grey Goose, but I have to say that the chemical reaction and taste of Ciroc is more compatible with my chemical makeup. In other words, I’m officially supporting Ciroc to the fullest. Brooklyn clubs have come a long way from what was the norm in the 1990’s. Nocturnal is sleek with a non intrusive lighting system and a beautiful sound system. Ontrack Disco started off the night with a set of mainly Hip Hop and R&B. The music selection mixed with the Ciroc experience had me wanting to dust off my hype man skills and grab the microphone. However, Super Brad was doing a good job of MCing. After Ontrack Finished his set, Thunderbolt took over. I have to mention my appreciation for Thunderbolt. Those of you who are on the Caribbean scene in NYC already know. Super Brad always seems to make the appropriate selection with Alley Cat making equally appropriate and entertaining speeches. Thunderbolt’s set spanned many years of reggae music. At this time I was on my Second bottle of Ciroc. I was feeling nice.
The highlight of the night for me was when the youngest SNL Boy, DJ Youngstar took over with about 20 minutes left to party. The mixes were coming at the crowd fast and furious. Whether it was Rick Ross or Jay Z, the crowd was at full tilt and singing out hard. Synco Powers was assisting with getting the crowd into a frenzy. When 4am came around and the lights turned on, nobody dared to leave. Everyone was still dancing, singing and “vibing” as if it was still early. Overall a very good party, 4.5 out of 5. Can’t wait for next year!
Any party that can get me to dance for prolonged periods of time is definitely a good one. All of the DJs brought the heat. The Ciroc brought the warmth. And the crowd brought the energy. Happy birthday Blue! And if you want a fly cake for your party you can contact the ladies at BCake!!!!
After the N.E.R.D. concert at Brooklyn Bowl on Wednesday my associate Jay White and I decided to go into Manhattan to check out DJ Jon Oliver & Mr. Vega at Stay on East Houston. It was my first time in the lounge, and I was impressed. It was a great atmosphere, but nothing beat the music. When we walked in some old school Hip Hop was being played. The mixing was flawless. Before I even knew it we were into a totally different genre, but it was seem-less. I especially liked the remixes of vocals from various genres to a funky upbeat dance-style of rhythm. I know that description may seem vague, but that is the only way I can describe it. Music nowadays is very eclectic, but I digress. DJ Jon Oliver gave us a tour of the lounge and downstairs, where there is a secret lounge (shhh…don’t say I told you). Overall Stay is definitely a good place to take someone to relax and maybe bust a move or two.
After Stay we went around the corner to Ella on Avenue A. I was very impressed by the decor inside of Ella. I couldn’t get pictures, but please visit the site to see exactly how it looks. Let me talk to the fellas for a minutes. Gentlemen, this is the type of spot that you take a female that you’re trying to impress. The flip side of that is, drums please, there are already beautiful people hanging out. So you can decide whether or not you want to “bring sand to the beach”. We made our way downstairs where the real party was jumping off. The music was great. It was electronic mixed in with a little funk. I was going once the DJ got into his Michael Jackson set! Two thumbs up from me.
The next, and final, spot for the night was Apotheke. What can I say about this establishment? It is an aesthetically pleasing place to be. You can go to their site and see for yourself what Apotheke is about; I do not want to do it any injustice. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to partake in adult beverages from time to time. Apotheke is more than a bar. It is a place where the bartenders are mixologists. That title is not a joke. I have gone there many times and it has never disappointed. If you want to drink, you can drink. If you want to dance, you can dance. However, this spot is, by all accounts, exclusive. So do not be surprised if you finally figure out exactly where this spot is and you get to the door and they tell you that it doesn’t exist. If I were to say that this spot was for NYC’s elite, I would be saying too much. However, I would suggest that you look at the site, see if its for you, and make a valiant effort to go. Real talk!
Being that I am an aspiring music producer, I jumped at an opportunity to see N.E.R.D. perform at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg last night. It was an RSVP only event sponsored by Walmart and Axe Body Spray. This was the first event of four for my Wednesday night. The event was sold out and the RSVP list was closed. So naturally Jay White and I decided to go anyway. Long story short, Jay is always on the list, which is why I will be posting a blog entry about him in the near future. I have to admit, although I purchased their first two albums, and will purchase the fourth, I am a N.E.R.D. rookie. I didn’t know the lyrics to any songs (real talk). However, all of that didn’t matter. When the band was performing a brief tune up before the show kicked off I heard it. I heard a perfectly round, clear, and distinct low end. For those who aren’t into music the low end is the bass. But this was not your average kicker type bass, it was undistorted. Once I heard this I knew that the system was perfectly tuned. And it was, perfectly tuned indeed. Whether it was vocals, drums, or guitar, everything was clear. I have to admit that I was impressed by the way Pharell controlled his vocals. By no means is he a virtuoso, but he uses his voice in the best way possible.
Before Pharell came out, the lead guitarist led the crowd in an amazing rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner”, a la Jimi Hendrix, minus the acid. As soon as Pharell came on stage it was pandemonium. He started with some new tracks from the soon to be released album “Nothing”. Then the group went into some old favorites such as “Lap Dance” and “Beautiful”. As I said earlier, I am an N.E.R.D. rookie, so don’t ask me for a playlist of the songs that were played…lol. In all seriousness, I moved my body from start to end. To everyone’s surprise Lupe Fiasco joined the group on stage and periodically emptied bottles of water onto the crowd. He must have done it at least four times. The las t time he used two bottles, but the crowd was into it. The entire crowd was captivated by the group. I was especially impressed by the dual drummers in the background. There was a particular part of the show where the drummers got to share a solo and started a very fast paced call and answer with each other. After the hour long set I felt that my free entry was worth it. Seriously though, I would have paid $40 or more if I knew this show would be so well put together. I would definitely recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to see N.E.R.D. should take it! This was only the first of four different venues we went to on Wednesday night. Stay tuned for the follow up to the night. I will let you know about the rest of the night. One event down, three to go. Check out the video and second video via the link at the bottom of the article. I apologize for the quality, we are working on purchasing something other than a Blackberry to take videos. Until next time.
– Your Man on the Streets
Here is another video from the show: Click.