Mad Decent Block Party….I know what you’re thinking…and you’re right. It’s young, its crazy, there are very few fully dressed individuals. BUT my friends, BUT…if you like to shake your butt. And I mean shake your booty to the ground, do your dance do your dance, care for some salt on your french fries DANCING, this was the place you needed to be. And I must say for the crowd, it was a pretty decent experience. There were a few stampedes over barricades, true, but what would life be if the youth didn’t rebel against the constructs imposed upon them. Before we get into the nitty gritty just a few side notes. No hula hoops allowed, which was a bummer, and the beer lines were ridiculous. Although water was available at all food carts not just the bar cart, way to go bureaucracy.
OKAY….So, some background. Mad Decent is a record label started by Diplo, who needless to say, is a very successful DJ. The idea for Mad Decent Block Party stems from Diplos’ breakout town Philly, which, shuts DOWN streets in the summertime with their block parties. I don’t know if you guys have ever lived or been in Philly during the summer time, but seriously, just get a bike. Between the old school infrastructure and the block parties/bbq’s, trust me.
The Major Players: For me the major players were Diplo, Dillon Francis, Major Lazer and Big Gigantic. Major Lazer is hands down the favorite, with their signature sound of reggae/dancehall, blended with modern dance genres such as moombahton and electro house, its just phenomenal. There’s NO WAY you can listen to a Major Lazer song and not tap your feet to the beat.
The next favorite has to be Big Gigantic. They are literally a Hip Hop and Jazz INSTRUMENTAL live electronic group. I’ll just let that sink in for a second. Okay, ready. They blend saxophone and hip hop samples in ways that I dream about, its so fluid, and the drums are so on point. I wish I could talk more about the video that was playing behind them, because it was probably really great, but my head was down their entire set. My lip was curled. My shoulders were bopping.
Dillon Francis’ video however was AWESOME! I’m sure I was one of 3 people that knew who Jean Claude Van Damme was, but it was a continuos sketch comedy of him performing karate, there were some flying cats in there, maybe a Pikachu. His first full length studio album “Money Sucks, Friends Rule” is a collab with Mad Decent and Columbia Records, expected out in the fall of this year. Personally, I’m pretty psyched about it. Known as one of the founders of the moombahton movement, it’ll be interesting to see what direction he takes on his first major undertaking.
And then of course, Diplo! Just going to put it out there, I appreciate Diplo so much more in his collaborations than I do as an individual. He’s done some really great work with M.I.A., who eventually introduced him to Dj Switch. Diplo and Dj Switch went on to do some great things, dropping Paper Planes with M.I.A., which was a huge hit, and also forming the original members of Major Lazer. They released one album together, “Guns don’t kill people…Lazers do,” and they went down to Jamaica to do it man. Diplo continuously shines light on sub genre’s of music, and with this album, they really went after that authentic dancehall influence. He worked with Snoop Lion on “Reincarnated,” completely blindsided by the whole Rastafari thing, by the way. No, not really. He’s also involved with Dj Skrillex in the group Jack U. Never seen Jack U perform but Dj Skrillex puts on a good show. He’s a total experience kind of entertainer. Light show, video display…catering to the demand of the crowd I guess you could say.
That’s about it. It’s been two days, and there’s still some glitter in places I’d prefer there not be glitter in, but…it was a fun time!