?uestlove and Black Thought Teach School at Neumos
Thursday night on Capitol Hill class was in session and the bumpin’ crowd at Neumos got schooled proper-like by two professors of pimpin’, ?uestlove and Black Thought of The Roots. Hot off the opening stage for Erykah Badu at Marymoor Park, the two hip-hop superstars laid down the lessons of life for an eclectic crowd. The show drew people from all different scenes in Seattle- the electronic music kids, hipsters, hip-hopsters, dance freaks, nerds, curious skateboarders, innocent bystanders, and Blake Lewis, who is everywhere. They all came to enroll in Hip-Hop High; you might want to take notes because there will be a test. And get out your history textbooks because what went down last night was Old School, straight up and down like six o’clock.
Lesson 1: Give the ladies Biggie. During the opening DJ’s set, a gorgeous woman who could have been mistaken for Ms. Badu herself came up and asked me if there was any way to get the DJ to spin some Biggie; she was hungry for some East Coast flavor in her Thursday night soup. “Aks him,” I replied, and helped her out doing the deed myself (I have no fear of DJs; they only rarely bite). “Can you play some Biggie? This beautiful woman wants to hear him.” The DJ seemed to acquiesce to my request only to fail to drop said Biggie beats. DENIED! The hot chick was quite disappointed until the real show started and ?uestlove proceeded to show quite a bit of love to the East Coast and Mr. Smalls himself. And we didn’t even have to aks.
Lesson 2: Session Lager comes in really big bottles. Forty ounces for eight dollars. Drink it fast or you will find yourself in warm beer city.
Lesson 3. Black Thought is the quintessential MC; he brings meaning back to the two letters. This man had the crowd going nuts, reaching out over the front of the dance floor and dusting the fingertips of his fans with magical MC power.
Lesson 4: ?uestlove CAN SPIN, even when he is really, really, stoned.
Lesson 5: You cannot bring bottles of wine into Neumos.
Lesson 6: Everybody still really loves that Biz Markie song; just sing it to yourself to get the full effect: “OH BABY YOU, YOU GOT WHAT I NE-ED…” (and now it will be stuck in your head all day).
Lesson 7: The front of the dance floor is where it is at. This holds true at every show but in particular at this one; the sing-along effect was in full force, championed by the ladies with big smiles on their faces and arms waving in the air. Only happy people put their arms above their head; this is a well-documented cross-cultural human trait. Also only happy people sing along to Old School anthems by Eazy-E, the Beastie Boys, and even a classic anthem from E.U. (Google it; this is a family website). You can take the kids out of the 80’s but you can’t take the 80’s out of the kids.
Lesson 8: The source of all of ?uestlove‘s power is THE PICK.
Lesson 9: Neumos’ capacity has recently been drastically lowered, thank you Mayor I-Hate-Rock-and-Roll Nichols. Although it was nice to be able to leave the front of the dance floor and find a little space in the back of the room to cool off (impossible at many previous shows), I worry about the implication of this recent development and what it means for the future of not only Neumos but other venues and dance floors (my home) around Seattle.
Lesson 10: CultureMob.com freakin’ rocks, and not just because we got to hang out with ?uestlove and Black Thought. CultureMob is now open in the San Diego, Phoenix, and Boston markets in addition to our existing sites in Portland, Denver, and Seattle. CultureMob.com is the next generation of online social networking. We take it one much better step further than Myspace or Facebook by giving you information that gets your network OUT, a place that is far spicier, louder, more colorful, more fun, and most importantly more real than the internet; it is a place where you can touch and smell and hear and actually engage the people you have been stalking online. Welcome back to reality.
Did I say there was going to be a test? Here it is: Get out there this weekend, Seattle. Get out there, and get down.
(AND YES, I DID MEAN TO SPELL ‘ASK’ LIKE ‘AKS’ . For more information please refer to the album “Doggystyle” by Snoop Doggy Dogg. Thank you.