MNR Special Edition:
“Funky fresh, dressed to impress, ready to party.”
MC Lyte (GOAT)
“Put on my best. Can’t believe that she said yes...”
People don’t dance no mo’, all they do is diss... The Goodie Mob blessed us with this jewel long ago, but few really peeped its ultimate message(s). At that time (‘98 era) the club and party scene was a far cry from eras past. From those good ole Black love, late night blue light basement parties to the endless wave of disco maniacs on the floor blissfully dancing the night away in those long gone downtown Manhattan spots like Studio 54 and the Garage to the Bronx and Harlem early hip hop park jams of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s to the skating rinks of the past like Skate Key #BXNYC, The Rink in Bergenfield (Jerz), and the still active Branch Brook in Newark (Jerz again) to ‘80s hip hop and R&B shrines like the Rooftop, Harlem World, Disco Fever, and the original Latin Quarter to the New Jack Swing and Go-go fueled Black college parties and house parties, there were a couple of things every function had in common. People actually came to dance all night (or until the lights came on) and they left the guns and the nonsense at home. Well, except for Skate Key. But anyway. This was when the function was really the function. It was your stress reliever. It was your refuge. All the fly ladies were gonna be there. It was your chance to pop out and have a good and safe night. Yeah, you smoked a J/L or three, you hit the bottle with your folk. Shit. You might e’en have traded 2 on 2’s of some Peruvian snow with your manz on the FDR while headed there (don’t forget to clean your beak). Whatever you did, you did it to boost your endorphins. You did it because you had every intention of having a good time. But around the time New Jack Swing began to fade out, “gangster” rap became the wave. The tone of the music darkened. It was a reflection of the times amidst the harsh reality of the crack era. Parties started to get shot up, from outdoor jams to the clubs. People didn’t come to dance anymore. They came to fvck shit up. My folk Dre from Northside Richmond (VA) lost his big homie at a club named Flood Zone out Shockoe Bottom around the same time Goodie dropped “They Don’t...”. Sun was just standing outside the club smoking a bogie when niggas drove by and shot the whole outside of the club up. He never had a chance. I can’t tell you how many #BXNYC house parties and outdoor Brooklyn summertime functions got shot up in my era. All of the sudden, dancing at the function became pussy. Imagine that. Dancing was pussy. No chi chi buoy, dancing was where the pussy was at (I know my preposition is out of place—leave me alone). But that’s where it went. I never was the biggest function attendee; I was prolly somewhere in a NYCHA project apartment getting higher than that MF who tightroped across the Twin Towers. But I did pop out err now and then. But it wasn’t my cup of tea unless the environment and guest list was controlled. I’ll party all night with my folk and my family. Other than that, I wasn’t ever really with it because of how shit started to go left with the violence. The big homie T. Jackson got bodied in the function at (the infamous) Post 99 down the Hali (VA) trying to peace keep back in ‘01. Shit was horrible...fast forward to present time and there’s a new negrodemic out the club scene...social media. Mainly IG. The homie DJ Showtime said it best years ago on Twitter. He said something to the effect that he knew girls who wouldn’t leave the club until at least one of their IG posts from inside the function got 150 likes. That shit blew my brain to bits. There’s superficial and then there’s super fvcking ficial. Bitch, you’re so vain. I recall a time a few years back when I was out at a hood upscale Bergen County spot in Edgewater with CEO & First Lady and an old lady friend of mine. A group of about four or five fairly nice looking sisters in their ‘30s were having a good old time amongst themselves on the little dance floor area. That was cool, but I noticed they were doing all that shit for the Gram. I’m not hating. That’s their prerogative. But it just felt contrived. Let ME tell it, the activities at the function are fluid and natural. I’m caught up in the music pumping out the speakers and the way my buzz is making this track I’ve heard a zillion times feel like the first time again. Or the euphoria I feel when I’m in the function and I hear some new heat (Erykah “On and On” & Jacquees “In The Club” come to mind) for the first time. All my inhibitions are wiped away. I remember when Mic Geronimo said, “I’m smiling, cuz the La seems never ending...”. It’s THAT feeling. Serendipitous euphoria. The vibe is right. The dance floor is stupid packed, yet there’s plenty room to do what you needa do. Parliament said, “feet don’t fail me now!” That was the vibe at my mama dem basement functions. Puff kept a hot record on the books during my era, from Jodeci to Mary to BIG to 112 to Total to...err damn body. Erick Sermon said it best...”It’s just that feeling that got me. I wish music could adopt me.” Any stress from throughout the duration of the day you sweated out on the dance floor. I really wish my woke babies from this era could honestly know how that feeling was. It was a beautiful thing, so they tell me. I don’t club but I wonder what the current club scene would be without cell phones in the venue. I wonder if people would even attend. Y’all go ‘head and ponder that. My eyes are looking toward the exit. I’m out. Y’all be cool how y’all be cool.