The dirty secret of New York is that despite its image as the world’s nightlife’s mecca it’s effectively worked itself up to the point where it’s too cool to party. Yeah, we put on our cool clothes and venture out into the grime to act like we are having fun, but for many it’s just an opportunity to network and either get laid or paid.
Red Bull Culture Clash was a great example of how GREAT a party could be. You had every urban social group represented from artsy fashion students and their beat making boyfriends to junior bankers and their bridge and tunnel significant others. While the event was set up as a competition to see who had the better performance really it was just an excuse to go out to drink and dance into the next day.
The competitors were broken up into four groups; representing the Jamaica was Federation sound lead by bushy bearded Max Glazer. Filling in for last minute dropout Fools gold was perfectly coiffed NYC underground dance party hellions ‘Trouble and Bass’. Hip-Hop was represented by producer extraordinaire Just Blaze and engineer Young Guru. Representing Latin music was long running NYC Global Bass music party now label Que Bajo?!.
The competition was hosted by Miss Info with continuous sets between the four groups separated into rounds. Each soundsystem would have 10-20 minutes to play their best tracks, remixes, and generally do whatever it took to get the biggest cheer of the night (as measured by a sound level meter). The refereeing was as informal and freewheeling as the sets themselves with different genre’s bleeding into each. The groups brought out props and played dubs with adjusted lyrics directed at their competition.
As the sets went on the DJ’s pulled out surprises and guests to try to sway the crowd. Nina Sky, Spragga Benz, Jadakiss, Bun B, Raekwon and even 2 Chainz came out to perform. The biggest surprise of the night came when Trouble and Bass brought out Robin S to perform her classic ‘Show Me Love’ live.
Only to outdo themselves with a guest appearance by everyone’s favorite repetitive word twisting lyricist and Harlem native Cam’ron.
After that it was a wrap as to won the competition. As the Trouble and Bass crew came onstage to receive their trophy the other dj’s started to badly feign outrage; it was too much of a fun night to try to act like it was anything but.