I swear, that song (Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, if you've neva heard of it) has never smacked me in the soul more than in this glorious era of D-Nice's IG Live Club Quarantine sets, except for the parts of the song that are about being brokenhearted by some womanizing scoundrel. I didn't know my life needed saving, since I've been truly chillaxing to the max, despite getting to work from home [notice I said "get to," not "have to" - I believe that (in pageant voice) tiny habit changes can help this globe continue to spin], but my life has been elevated. I do, though, wish for love and money and health and sanity (in everyone's respective preferred order) to all who are feeling like they've been visited or poompoomed by Struggs McGee. I'm certainly not the first, and I won't be the last to herald the magic that is DJ D-Nice, but here we go!
For the entirety of my teenage years, I'd fantasize about being an adult. "Being an adult," in these fantasies, translated to: being alone in a candlelit house listening to the radio all night...and that's pretty much it. (Trying on clothes and makeup while grooving, optional but likely, and also, lol to the idea.) But not just any radio! I'm talking, 92.3 The Beat... you know, "92.3, the bee-ee-ee-eat." (Speaking of which, #whereistheo?)
Well, folks... I am officially the adult in my teenage fantasies. All it took was a virus of biblical proportions and fuckin' Instagram, both of whose disappearance I wouldn't mind, save for the good that unwittingly emerged from them both. I could go on with the pros and cons, but this is not one of my art therapy groups, and you are not half-dead clients wishing you were anywhere else smoking fentanyl. Just kidding about that last part, remind me to delete later.
All I envisioned for myself back then was a buttload of money, mild alcoholism because that was sort of glamorous to me, and slow jams 24/7, interspersed with 90's hip hop. I wasn't thinking specifically about a husband or kids, nor was I thinking about hard work (still not). Come to think of it, all of these things speak to my white privilege.
Anyhoo, as Elizabeth Barrett Browning did for her lover, so shall I commence counting the ways I doth love my ear-lover. Hmm, sounds weird, also remind me to delete.
1. D-Nice's 700-hour long sets take me back to the time in my life when the fantasy of love was greater than the actuality of what real love is - the reality of which takes work and time and has ups and downs. I really don't know where I got the idea from 90s RnB that this wasn't gonna be the case, because about 99.5% of these songs were about heartbreak and tears and rain and very intense begging.
2. When the 90s hip hop hits come on, I am daily and nightly transported back to when it wasn't too difficult or tedious to get into clubs, and when you could wait in line without the distraction of one's phone or social media. Don't get me wrong, I'm embarrassingly guilty of it on most occasions now. But, NONE of us were then. It's almost eerie to look on it now and recognize that form of technological innocence is LOST FOREVER. All you had, really, was your friends, a disposable camera, the pre-party, and the hope that your inebriation would last until you got to the bar, that is if you didn't have a flask, or in my case (and Syleste's), a travel coffee mug filled with yucky brown liquids that I'd neva drink now, not just because I haven't had a drink IN SIX MONTHS. (Also, wtf to that, but patting myself on the back, as well.)
3. I'm reminded of that golden era where every song elicited "Ohhhhhh shit!"s and either sweeping arm movements or body rolls, and Midori Sours flowed like the fountain of youth and bile. You could hop up on someone and grind wordlessly, because the music was the only language you needed, and then you could hop off like it was a train passing in the night, and there was no attachment on either end. Somehow, too, there was nothing grimy about that part. It was simply everyone feeling the vibe, like Boyz II Men sang about in "Vibin," off of their album "II," released in 1994. It just FELT like music existed solely for the sake of the soul. It wasn't a whole meta THING like it can be now. I don't think it's a coincidence that social media and the current level of general shittiness in music are correlated, or seem to be. (*There are exceptions, obvs.)
4. It's a throwback to the time where you could do ill-advised shit (see, for [very basic] instance, grinding on someone from point #3), and it wasn't discreetly (or not discreetly at all) recorded for all posterity. Remember the time when you could be a complete asshole in public, and people forgot because they forgave you with time, not because something wilder came up and took its place? And there was no evidence of it, most importantly?
5. I loveee that "da club" is now in my home, and I can enter and exit on a whim without having to get ID'd again or endure some probably toxic stamp on my left wrist. I don't have to see anyone or talk to anyone, much less scream into my friend's ear and have them respond-scream into mine, and then in the end we couldn't even make out what the other person was saying. And this club is filled with so many people who seem to feel the same way! Like 16-20k a night on average! (I'm estimating those numbers but it's also what mine eyes have seen.) QC is for all the likeminded people who'd want to stay and dance until the lights come on, and the sticky floor and actually hideous decor are exposed, but our bare souls have been exhausted beyond blessed measure, so nothing else matters.
6. Basically, Donnie Wahlberg lives in this club. I can honestly say that I never really gave much thought to Donnie before, but I really like the guy now, and his presence brings me a sense of calm (lol). Another semi-cool thing is that you are privy to all these music celebrities' conversations with each other and with us peasants, which I want to say I couldn't care less about but am obviously quite entertained by. I also love how D-Nice hollers at Halle Berry on a regular basis. I hope he gets what he wants because he deserves the universe!
7. L-O-V-E! If I were forced (or just asked nicely) to pick one word to describe the feeling of Club Quarantine, it! would! be! Love! There is zero hate, only pure love and dope vibes in that virtual place that encompasses many time zones across this planet. Love is what we all have most in common there, aside from the same taste in music. It just... feels good, like Tony Toni Tone (1990).
It seems that the soundtrack of those idyllic years has returned with great vigor to become the soundtrack of these dystopian times. Is dystopian too intense a descriptor? I guess that depends on whether you're asking someone who wears a mask every time they go outside or whether you're asking someone who touches a Walmart cart and then immediately their facial orifices. Either way, it makes everything easier, not that I wasn't having an already-easy time, and also not to brag about that, I'm just enjoying life okay! I hope some parts of this time last forever (see "Make It Last" by Keith Sweat, 1987), but as we know, all things must pass, and all things come to an end, except for the essence of our being, which has always existed and is true peace and, you guessed it, love. (That took a turn, but is also real.)
Anyway, I'll NOT see you on the dance floor, but we will be together there in spirit and sweat!