Saturday, August 21, 2010

Roosevelt Island BBQ at Lighthouse Park

Last night I was reminded about something very special about Hip-Hop.  At it's core, it inspires people to create something out of nothing.  It gives many, who otherwise would not have one, a voice.  It is raw energy.

The BBQ was going extremely well.  The burgers and dogs were on and off the grill like clockwork.  It's a good thing they were too.  Sustenance was necessary to soak up the copious amounts of alcohol.  My friend "Violet" whipped up a drink for me with Stolichnaya Vanilla, Ciroc Coconut and orange soda that probably knocked 4 years off of my liver with one cup.  After a dog and two burgers, I was back on easy street.

The music was blasting from the lone PA speaker and everyone was having a great time.  Apparently, it was too loud for tiny Roosevelt Island's Public Safety and they barged in to tell the hosts to turn it down.  The squad of about 6 officers hovered around for about 10 minutes and then walked off into the night.  Of course, the music made it's way back up shortly thereafter and Public Safety was back again.  This time in two vehicles.  They made it clear that if the music didn't stay off, the party would be shut down.

People huffed and puffed for a short while about the lack of music and then something special happened.

*Clap* *Clap* *Clap* *Clap*...NO MUSIC!

It started with two or three people and within seconds it grew to about 30 people.  The chant continued and a group gathered.  The "cypher" was officially opened and the MCs began to take control of the party.  This is Hip-Hop!  They tossed rhymes back and forth between each other and even worked in a 3 round battle.  It gave the party an entirely new energy.  A visceral energy.


Eventually the "cypher" subsided and the music went back to full blast.  I hadn't experienced such natural energy in a long time and it was a great feeling to have.  At around 12:15 am I said my goodbyes and hit the road headed for home.  I made the 30 minute drive with *Clap* *Clap* *Clap* *Clap*...NO MUSIC!  Perfect.

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