So we loaded up, and headed out. I94 westbound. Myself, Marvinna, good music and great conversation. It was her 1st time going. I guarantee it won' be her last.
Pre parties after parties...the main event! For 48 hours I was in 7th heaven.
Now, I didn't attend any of the parties, but as always my ear was to the ground and word got back to me that they were all that one would expect and then some. Detroit was represented by our very own Bruce Bailey at Truth. Sorry I missed ya friend. I know you repped our city well.
I'm alway's amazed at how a small group of DJs pull off such a phenomenal experience. A place in the park where 1000's of people come together in the spirit of love,music, and dance.
27 years strong with no signs of slowing down. House music..HOUSE! Soulful, disco, phunky, progressive...HOUSE!
They even took the time out to recognize Bruce for keeping that I94 connection strong. I am going to thank Rick Wilhite for all the work HE put in to building that connection as well.. Damn proud of both of you!
When I walked in the gate, by the way..the ease of entry into the event is greatly appreciated. I noticed something a little different (I'd missed out on the last two years).
Aside from the tents, grills, smiles, and fashion. I noticed much more diversity. That was pretty cool.
The smells from the grills left your mouth watering. The friendliness of the festival attendees is appreciated. You may walk in knowing no one, but you'll walk out with a new friend or two.
It's all love baby...nothing but pure love. To be able to come into a public place and be surrounded by so many beautiful people who looked like me with NO issues or incidence amazes me year after year. 27 years strong no fights. That in and of itself is an accomplishment. I mean Chicago, like Detroit doesn't have the best reputation for being non confrontational ya know.
My cousin and I decided to purchase a tent to chill and listen to music. A tent that was more complicated than it looked. No worries, ask and help will be there. I' looked around for a little help thinking...where is a white person when ya need one. Welp, we didn't, our help came from a sister..we, Wakandian sister's stick together ya know. Once the tent was up..ya girl was on her way. Main stage ONE stage 7 djs and a few notable guest.
The Basement Boys laid down a set that I'm sure will be remembered for years to come. Wayne Williams took us on a musical journey. And then..Somewhere somehow Mike Dunn came and blew me away.
Now it' no secret that I have favs, and out of those 7 illustrious group of Cats. Mike Dunn gets the big piece of chicken EVERY time. I knew I was going to be front and center to hear him play, watched those shoulders roll as he manipulated the box and laid down a powerful performance.
I also, well me and a few thousand of my House kinfolks..had the pleasure of hearing Ralphie the Raz Rasario. Um, can we get him here please? MCW, Friends Cocktail, Lovin Life, The Bosco..M!X? SOMEBODY get that man here!
Ooh y'all.. I danced for 4 hours straight.
Imma pause here and say this. Detroit we do NOT dance, we claim we love House music but REALLY, we like to listen to it at our favorite venues. My Chi Town folks DANCE! I can say this because I myself like to listen at my favorite venues...so yeah, there's that.
So anyway while I was front and center dancing my heart out watching Mike play, a young lady became overwhelmed by the heat and I'm sure the beats. Being one collective group I saw folks swing into action to cool the young lady down. And the genuine care and concern I saw up on that stage made my heart feel good. BUT...one of the security guards either, has a hearing problem or ain't too bright. I told this cat 7000 times to call the EMS. this boy kept saying, " I have ice cold water" wait what? Dude, I said the child needs medical assistance and she has water, soo yeah, imma need you to get the EMS. FINALLY he understood. I wanted to grab him by the collar and shake some sense into him. Then I remembered 27 years..no incidence. That and Alan King is NOT a criminal defense attorney.
Help arrived and she was safe. But what I'm trying to make clear is the level of care and concern shown to her by those in her immediate area. That shit was just dope as fuck.
I'd like to think those 7 dudes create that type of atmosphere of love and unity because that is who and what they are to each other.
I've met all but 1 and they are all cool ass dudes. I could share my feelings about each one. But then it wouldn't be as special. I get selfish that way sometimes.
Now I may say some things that will make folks feel some kinda way, but it's my Blog and these are my thoughts..
This year it seemed a bit more compact. Not a whole lotta room to move around. And um..some of the blends and mixes should have been a bit cleaner.
Listen if you're a DJ and I'm standing there and you fuck up a blend...I know it. And I'll show it, with my..."WTF was that face"! I listen and watch so intently that I know...Mike Dunn rolls his shoulders when he's feeling it. Earl Mixxin McKinney bites his bottom lip, Norm Talley left's his hands above his head and claps them together. Rick Wilhite gives off that million doallor smile. Bruce fits pumps..I see hear and know you because I admire and appreciate each of you..but if and when you make a mistake I'll also point it out. It's cool, player's fuck up. Yep, even the great ones. Hell I've even heard Delano mess up.. Ok enough about that.
This year that early morning set was left up to Mz Nicky Morrison. DJ Bretts Boo'Thang, wife, mother of his kids (ok Brett you happy now -lol (insider) cause we all know you the real MVP! But back to not about Brett.
Nicky was set to start the day and start the day off is exactly what this pretty lady did! I heard not one not two not three but many people say her set was the best set of the day. You GO girl! Not only did the park goers say it, but a helluva lot of NOTABLE DJs said it as well. Nicky, I tip my hat, and raise my glass to you always. I love you, and am glad to call you my sister/friend.
Wakanda may only be an imaginary place. A place where all hues and tribes come together for the betterment of their country and kin. But Saturday July 7th a return to Wakanda is where we were. Southside..Chicago..Stony Island..Jackson park.
I can see the greatness in our people. I saw the love and unity, I was there when we came together to help someone in need. And through it all there was the beat..The beat that can only come from Mother Afrikah. The sound that is embedded in our DNA.
I pray the attendees walked away with the same feeling as I. Together we CAN! The call of the drum, that beat that gathers us to our ancestral birthplace. The greatness that is our people. The FIRST people. The people from which all others derived.
Let's continue to come together in love. Let's dance as one..love as one be the kings and queens that we are. And adjust each other crowns when need be.
So here's a little crown adjustment for some folks.
No festival can be put on for FREE! STOP COMPLAINING. I don't know all the work that goes into putting something of this magnitude on. But I know THIS..permits, cost. Insurance...cost..added police and emergency presence cost. Sound systems ...cost lighting workers...all of that cost. And these brothers and their people put this event on for 40.00 and some of y'all are bitchin about 40.00!! You wanted it to be free...MISS ME WITH ALL OF THAT BULL....SHIT! Tell ya what. YOU throw on some music, invite a few 1000 of your friends over and then you MIGHT have a leg to stand on...but what you won't have is a free event. Cause it's levels to this maaan...Think like an owner not just a festival goer. Support those who make you feel oh so good.
Let The Music Play,