Dj Stylus, Dj Jahsonic, DJ Rich Medina, DJ Spinna
Words by Cherisse Rivera. Photos by Jefry Andres
Audio Trip”, a music, cuisine, and lifestyle event, took place Tuesday, May 18th, at Lux Lounge in Washington, DC’s Mount Vernon Square neighborhood. Originally, I didn’t know what direction the evening would take, but I knew that it would definitely not be your average DC event, especially given the fact that attendees were able to RSVP and get free admission for what appeared to be a very packed lineup of performers, including well-known veteran DJ Rich Medina, DJs Jahsonic & Stylus of the Soul Controllers, Daz-I-Kue, 2-Tone Jones, Waajeed, Roddy Rod and DJ Spinna. Arranged by Lil SoSo Productions and sponsored by Smirnoff, thegenres varied on each floor: old school and new school hip/hop on the first floor, a lively Afrobeat set on the 2nd and House on the 3rd floor. I walked into the venue, and was handed what appeared to be an airline ticket, in keeping with the evenings concept, a trip or journey, and which listed the evening’s schedule.
The first floor was arranged in what appeared to be “zones”: there were multiple bars distributing free Smirnoff cocktails, a catering table with colorful, creatively arranged hors d’ oeuvres and hot sauces, a comfortable elevated seating area, and another area for djs and guests. The crowd was a rather motley crew which included everything from men and women of various races in t-shirts with hip-hop related slogans, to those in suits and ties, and African, Asian traditional garb. The night’s performances began with an acoustic guitar set hosted by Nikki Strong accompanied by vocalist Maimouna who sang a soulful ballad reminiscent of a Lauryn Hill. Then suddenly she changed it up and rhymed, showing her ability to master a rapid-fire delivery. This was something one definitely doesn’t see everyday at a plush, technology-laden, mainstream hip-hop venue in DC like Lux.
The evening later exploded into a frenzied dance party when the second and third floor was opened up and DJs unveiled a rhythmic Afrobeat set. Along with the music, artist Aniekan Udofia created a live painting that seemed to capture the intended and actual spirit of the evening, an ethnically ambiguous woman who appeared to be moving her body to a rhythmic beat. It was clear that by the end of the evening, “Audiotrip” sparked a new spirit of anticipation for what DC nightlife may hold for those who have been waiting for “something else”. After all, as the evening’s emcee put it “…everything that’s dope ain’t on the radio…”