When I found out Bobby Konders’ Massive B anniversary would feature Barrington Levy, at Albany Manor.. the first person I hit to come to the show was Tek of Smif-n-Wessun. Even though he’s busy putting out their new Monumental album, we share a sincere reverence for certain classic reggae artists like Barrington, Beres and Sugar Minott (RIP).
He was hype and I thought things were all set, but two nights before the party, a family member of his fell ill and needed his support out of town. With Tek no longer attending I was kinda bummed!! The party was in a part of Brooklyn that I was completely unfamiliar with.
I simply wasn’t trying to hit up a huge soundsystem party alone. If you’ve ever been to one you can guess why it’s nice for a lady to go with a little company.. Unlike hip hop shows, people arrive in big groups. Who wants to be odd (girl) out in an unfamiliar hood? It was either find a “Tek stand-in” or stay home.
I resigned myself to staying home and sent Bobby a tweet saying neither one of us could come. Now. You’d think he’d have way too much on his plate to give a crap that I had no friend who was free to come with me. NOPE. To my surprise, the night before the party, he hit me with the math, met me in front of the venue, walked me in, plunked me on the stage and told his right hand man to keep an eye out, but make sure I had fun. I couldn’t ask for a better reception that that. Thanks Bobby!
So I’m watching.. and the deejays were killing the crowd. I wished I’d brought a piece of rag to wave. The Pretty Posse Soundsystem ripped it. Of course they kicked it off with all that “raise yuh han in de air if you think batti bwoys haffi ded” business. Yeah. I’m good. I just dance. No one “haffi ded” for me to enjoy the party… Live and let live I say!
Anyway .. each DJ was SICK wid it !! The King Jam soundsystem came all the way from Japan and rocked the crowd. (they also began with a lot of “kill the batti bwoy” call and responses). Hey, I’m just there to dance and report on it, like I said! You’ll get NOH8 from me. All that posturing aside, the scene was super fun and lively.
DJ Young Chow is new on Hot 97’s Friday night lineup. As soon as he hit the tables I heard soca and yup- he was repping for Trinidad. Lord have mercy. He played the “Wotless” remix during which, I did many dances that I will have to repent for later. Thanks Young Chow. I’ll never get to heaven now, due to your set.
I had two favorites that night. Definitely Majah Hype, who is part of Bobby Konders and Jabba’s Massive B crew. He was partially responsible for keeping an eye on me in all of my “rolling dolo-ness” that night. Lol… he did a good job. I made it home safe. But back to the program Majah Hype has that name for a reason! He was doing thee most. At the top of his lungs, he explained the difference between a jumpoff and a wifey, then had all the ladies yelling, hands in the air if they knew they were wifey not a jumpoff. I’m telling you- High energy call and response tings a gwan when Maja Hype de pon de microphone. His own music is dope too. Check that out here.
My second favorite opener was Mister Cee! Yes !! Cee showed up and delivered the craziest Brooklyn set I have ever heard. Ever. He cut so many records at warp speed. He played all sorts of reggae that hypes a brooklyn crowd, interspersed with the hip-hop artists it influenced. But only enough of the intro of each song to get you WILD, then he cut to the next piece of hip-hop-reggae hypness! Tease! (Think Toots and the Maytals inspiring this Foxy Brown song). Then he closed his set with stuff like Uncle Murda. Nice.
Later that night Bobby Konders surprised the crowd with a Dawn Penn performance (she is the singer of “No, No, No…. you don’t love me and I know now…” fame!) She has a new album coming out. Her newer music is funky and electric. Check that out here.
If you can’t tell by the length of this blogpost, the party went til morning time. You need not ask about Barrington Levy, He is an amazing talent !!! He brought out Busta Rhymes. I’ll let you guess what kind of energy you get from the crowd when a Jamaican legend brings out Busta Rhymes… in the middle of Brooklyn !!
Folks.. I must say, the Massive B soundsystem and all their affiliated guests KNOW HOW TO ROCK A PARTY. I lost a few pounds doing dances I shouldn’t be doing. Thus, I recommend anyone with the urge to feel very West Indian, don’t hit up the jerk spot, don’t hit up the roti spot.. just stop by one of Bobby Konders’ parties. You’ll leave 10 lbs lighter, 3 times happier and 2 times more West Indian than when you went in.
Bobby Konders is off to Jamaica tomorrow related to the Riot Squad Riddim and Praise Riddim he’s releasing on his label. For more info on his releases click here.