Monday, July 30, 2007

Beautiful Bittersweet

Saturday night was probably the most surreal experiences that I've had as a DJ... Earlier that day, I DJed the 2nd annual Urban Groove House Picnic. Overall, the vibe was very good. Mel, the kids and I all went together. My sister Melva also came to join in on the fun. Trench and his girlfriend were there for a while... Even Mike Banks and UR showed up -- it was like one big family reunion. Good food, lots of barbeque!!! Everyone was in a lovely mood. I wish we could have more days like this in Detroit. Maybe we do, and I'm just too sheltered to see it. Nah... We definitely need more days like THIS in Detroit!

I DJed at around 7:30 pm... Of course, folks were dancing and loving the tunes. I dug DEEP into the crates (yes, VINYL, bitches!) and pulled out some GEMS. I'm talking Ken Collier days... It was wonderful, and folks were feeling it. The spirit called me, and I had to play Jocelyn Brown's "It's Alright, I Feel It!" Sometimes you just need to hear a word of encouragement. Lord, I NEEDED it... And when the music broke down, and Ms. Brown started to testify, baby... It was total church up in there -- at least it was for me. I'd like to say that my set was the peak of the night, but it wasn't... I was only paving the way... Ms. COREY -- I know her from somewhere!!! Ms. COREY politely asked me if she could play a couple of records... I said SURE. I am certainly not one to hog the decks, and I was curious to hear she she had to offer... BABY, she got on those decks and turned it OUT... I mean, the floor was PACKED PACKED PACKED!!! And she worked those EQs like she OWNED them. I stepped back... "oh shit..." This woman -- this beautiful woman, let us HAVE IT!!! Do you hear me? She "beat those bitches down..."

After that party, I had another gig to go to. I've done 2 charity events so far, but this gig in particular, was a paid gig. Well, the promotor (J.) had promised me payment before I even hit the turntables... I guess around town, he has a reputation of promising payment to his DJs, but not delivering. Hmmm... I was never one to pass judgement, although I had to hunt him down @ the last party I spun at (for him). And I do mean HUNT... I waited around until 6 in the morning for my fee -- it was not pretty... It was for THIS REASON, he promised to pay me BEFORE I spun any records.

I arrived at the Labrynth, nearly 30 minutes before my scheduled set. I asked around for J., no one could find him. It turned out the he was playing at the same time I was, only on a different floor. He left me a message to see him AFTER my set, and he'd take care of me. SOOOOO, like a professional, I played my scheduled set.

The venue wasn't packed on this particular night, but something in the air made everything cool... Everyone was feeling my deep house vibes, and again... I played Ms. Brown... Something told me that I HAD to play it.. This time, I noticed a black man standing in front of the DJ booth, as if he had the Holy Ghost... He hung onto every word from Ms. Brown... So did I. I closed my eyes, lifted my hands to the sky, and let her words consume me. I didn't care WHO was watching... But then again, everyone was watching.. And they understood. They felt me. They felt Ms. Brown. And it sounded like a black Baptist church up in there!!!

When my set was over, I ran into a friend of mine (my Girl, ASHLEY!)... She said to me, "there's a guy here who just lost his mother 2 nights ago... and he's HERE now... and YOU touched him with your music." (I'm paraphrasing, but the point was, he just lost his mom... I touched him with my music.. and somehow got him to take his mind off of things for a minute, and just DANCE...) I told her to FIND this friend of hers, and bring him to me. I HAD to meet him. I sat down at a table, and when she arrived, she brought this SAME BLACK MAN that I saw on the dance floor! Wow!

I immediately said to him, "Look... I know EXACTLY what you're going through. I just lost MY mom too... And it doesn't get easy at all, trust me! But hey... if you need ANYBODY to talk to, at ANY TIME -- and you will, believe me... Call ME. I'm HERE. I PROMISE... " And I gave him my card, and a huge hug. We cried together for a second, as I held his head in my arms. I swear, I couldn't have planned a deeper connection that night... THIS meant more to me than worrying about J., the promoter-- who still hadn't paid me.

After the guy and I talked (I still can't remember his name, just his face and his spirit), I made my way around the dance floor. I shook some hands, gave some hugs, have a few good laughs... And then I sat back down. Someone approached me and told me that the venue didn't make enough money, BUT... they would make arrangements to pay me my fee later on in the week -- I don't remember what else he said, because at that point, I tuned him out. He gave me his e-mail address, and I politely told him that it was no problem. We could settle this later. I wasn't gonna let this issue spoil my night. So on that note, I left. I went home, feeling BOTH like I was on top of the worlld (because i KNOW I helped somebody!) and like a piece of shit (because I KNOW I got shafted for my fee -- and THIS time, I NEEDED it!)...

While I won't go into what else happened this night, because believe me, THIS is enough for one blog; let's just say that I'm a damn good friend. Those who choose not to recognize it are blind... Those who take advantage of it are CRUEL... But here's the killer part: I'm stronger than that. Really, I am. Shit. I'm TOO strong of an individual to let other people's actions get the best of me. (sometimes!!!) But today, it's a strong day. And I realize that NOBODY can do anything to me that I DO NOT ALLOW them to do. If you take advantage of me, I ALLOW YOU. If you use me for my money, etc., I can't bitch about it, because I'm ALLOWING this to happen. I could easily be a dick. I could easily say NO... But in the interest of caring for others (my so-called friends), I rarely, if ever, say no -- even if it hurts me. And in the end, it usually does...
It stems from that attitude, "if I give him (them) what HE needs/wants, he'll give ME what I need/want." Sounds simple, eh? YES it does! But 9 times out of 10, I'm the one who DOESN'T get what I want. And over the years, you'd think I'd be some sick, jaded bitch because of it. But I'm not. Oh well... That's what I write songs for. lol!

That's it for now. Do leave your thoughts. Better yet, I'd appreiate if you just stopped by to say hello.

Love on u...
Aaron-Carl

1 comment:

Laurent Chambon said...

ah, ending up not being paid for a set or a concrt. happened to us. but worse: that a bad sound ingeneer screws up the concert because he doesn't know how machines work properly. it's really really horrible, trust me!
you should put some of your sets online, we'd love to hear them, even tho we know it's 150% times better live with the crowd, of course/
love from amsterdam
L&L