Last Saturday we took some time to honor one of the greatest and most influential DJ’s of all time…. Grand Master Roc Raida and do something to benefit his family.
The second I walked in the door at the Shadow Lounge I knew that something about this night was going to be special. It was 10:30 and the place was already starting to fill up and become the sweat box the makes for a great party. I wandered around and quickly found Joe Boots and Uncle Arlo in the crowd watching the break dance circle that had opened up in the center of the room. It was getting hotter I needed to lose my jacket. I wandered over to the Timebomb Crew Booth that was stuffed in the back corner of the already cramped venue. It was going to be impossible to move in the bar tonight, I hate the crowd at this point and it is still early. I remember that there is a second bar that I can get to in the back. Its empty and there’s a place to sit. This is the perfect place to chill for a little while complete access to outside to smoke and the temperature is far more tolerable. I post up on a couch for a while. There are horror movies playing on a screen about the bar this is dope. Arlo grabs me an energy drink from the bar, I need to wake up hopefully it will help.
Some time and a few cigarettes later I make the decision to walk into the main room again. The break dancing circle has been broken up by a even larger crowd of people milling around and dancing. Its even hotter in here now. BZE is performing tonight and is just about to go on. I follow him and Brick from Timebomb through the crowd and up onto the stage to join Hank D, Knowledge and DJ Selecta. Once I am on the stage I look towards the back of the venue I have been there a hundred times before and I swear I have never seen it this packed and I could have never predicted how amazing the night would turn out to be. While I am waiting for BZE to go on Neil from CJ3 Productions hops on stage with his video camera. It’s even hotter on the stage and there is a video projector pumping heat and light directly onto us. The banks of lights don’t help either. Its going to be a great show.
BZE took the stage and rocked it the crowd’s fists pumping in the air the place went wild and that was just the beginning. The crowd parts at my side again and Z-Trip who was in town DJing an event with Shepard Fairey at the Warhol earlier in the day walks on stage followed by Rob Swift. I don’t think I actually knew how special the night was going to be at this point but, I did realize I was going to be pinned down like a war correspondent underneath the projector for the rest of the night.
Rob Swift brought the house down with one of, if not the sickest turntablism set I have seen. Punctuated with a complete history lesson about the life and influence of Roc Raida. Rob put down a solid hour of brilliance. Jaws dropped in the crowd and in the group of people the had congregated to the side of the dj booth on the stage.
Mid-set I text Arlo. I need a drink. If he can get it here for me he is going to have the best seats in the house. He wades through the crowd two beers in hand I can see him coming. The crowd more or less spits him onto the stage there is no going back. Welcome to stage left. For the next two and a half hours Rob Swift pays tribute to his fallen comrade in the most proper way possible. He speaks with his hands in a frenzy of body tricks and scratching that boggled the mind and then as a fitting finale to the celebration of DJ’s life spun a dance party that coulda went until morning.
BZE Killin It.
“That is the definition of Turn Tablism.” – Z-Trip. Rob Swift on the decks.
These fists were pumping all night long.
Uncle Arlo and Z-Trip
Z-Trip and Myself.
Limited Edition Classica Material Roc Raida Tribute Shirts all Proceeds benefit Roc Raida’s Family Available at TIMEBOMB SPOT