Red Bull Music Academy brought their well-known curation prowness to New York City to throw a broadcast with Boiler Room TV. VIBE was on-hand for the occasion which found graduate Flying Lotus taking a huge bite out of the Big Apple.
For those unfamiliar with Boiler Room TV (http://boilerroom.tv), "the world's leading underground music show" has become the go-to place for voyeuristic audiophiles looking to see amazing music online for free. Through its handful of influential music partnerships — Red Bull Music Academy, Red Stripe Make Sessions, Warehouse Project — we were a part of the lucky few to witness some impressive acts of musical history take place in the Lower East Side section of New York City. Tucked away on 99 Attorney, right underneath the Williamsburg Bridge, a select few gathered to witness performances by some notable legends (?uestlove and Just Blaze), raucous upstarts (Joey Badass and Flatbush Zombies), and the King of the Brainfeeders, Flying Lotus to close out the whole night.
The room was set up to look like something out of the movie "Saw," as there was only one way fans and fiends were able to enter into the event. A table set up for free open bar drinks (which found The XX's own Oliver Sim being stalked by female fans) was on one side and the performance area was on the other side. Artist and everyman would collide creating ceremonious chaos to be streamed to Boiler Room TV fans all over the World Wide Web. Immersed in the thick of it all, we arrived during Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson's deejay set, and watched as his champion sound blared throughout the room. The sea of heads swayed to the beat of ?uest's 1's-and-2's as the 2-1-5 ambassador set the tone for the night. Easily, switching from funky grooves to Robert Glasper to a homage to J. Dilla, the Funky Roots Drummer made all of us forget that that day was even supposed to be a holiday.
Up next to the plate was former Roc-A-Fella producer, and "Combat Jack Radio Show" cohort Just Blaze. Many outside the New York area may not have had the distinction of watching the producer-slash-videogamer at work, but when Just is in motion it is pure frenetic energy presented as true art. With his back to us in attendance, the InternetS got a clear look at how many rap bangers Just Blaze has introduced into the national consciousness since 1999. His 30-minute set found the Paterson, New Jersey native stringing along classic club bangers such as Cam'Ron's "Oh Boy" and State Property's "Roc the Mic" next to their original counterparts. If there was any sample of the night that wasn't more cherished than Creative Source's smooth 1974 cut, "I Just Can't See Myself Without You," it hadn't been played yet. Interestingly enough, Just Blaze didn't cater to just the old fogey's in the room, as he slyly sneaked in RL Grime & Salva's remix of "Mercy" and Flosstradamus' remix of Major Lazer's "Original Don" that made the young heads break out in full swag/swerve/traphouse dance euphoria.
WATCH JUST BLAZE GET ILL BELOW:
One of our favorite guys, Joey Bada$$, the 17-year-old Brooklyn native who brought that old New York sound back, represented strongly for his Pro Era crew without the aid of backing vocals. His star quality and effortless flow caught the attention of special guests SBTRKT, Kitty Pryde, and MeLo-X — with the latter coming close to the get a up-close and personal feel of all the godlike energy flowing from the "1999" rapper and his crew. An intriguing highlight of the night was that even though most of those within the crew looked like they're not even able to vote during this year's presidential election — they presented a wisdom and presence that beguiles their earthly years. Fellow breakthrough acts such as The Underachievers (who recently signed to FlyLo's Brainfeeder label) and Flatbush Zombies literally kidnapped everyone's attention with a performance that would make the Mash Out Posse (see: here) proud. They even broke into a fight with a willing bystander (whom relished getting into the fracas), right during the first verse of Flatbush Zombies' first song. In a bid of showmanship and a plume, the Brooklyn collective broke out of heading too far into the danger zone by shouting "Peace! Peace!" and then acted as if nothing ever even happened.
With copious amounts of that "good good" in the air, whispers of "trap is back" floating around communal circles, Flying Lotus, the man of the hour took to the stage to continue the celebration of his latest release, and round out the night's festivities. "Until the Quiet Comes" has been hailed as another feather in the cap of this brilliant artist, and with audiophiles still digesting the good cooked food from his Diplo & Friends mix on BBC Radio 1Xtra, a live appearance was eagerly anticipated by all. By the time he took over the turntables, the high-spirited birthday boy was joined by fellow comrade-in-arms Thundercat, and showered with Rick Ross adlibs, praises and sheer eargasms from all those who embraced being trapped in the traphouse with a growing legend. Mixing his "brain-puter" style with thumping bass lines and shrill hi-hats, FlyLo managed to sneak in a few unreleased grooves that had audiophiles shooting off joy boners late into the midnight hour.
But you don't have to take our word for it, you can watch Flying Lotus do his thing in the video clip below:
— Words by: Kevin L. Clark (@DLYDJ)