Welcome to Frank Fridays, where every time out we let a professional let you know what you should be listening to this weekend and beyond.
This Friday night, long-running and beloved New York City party The Rub welcomes SoSuperSam and Siik of LA’s 143 night for a team up at Coney Art Walls by the beach in Coney Island. We got The Rub’s DJ Ayres to discuss what he’s going to play at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult week.
I’m in a really conflicted headspace right now, sitting at home on Facebook and Twitter promoting a party I booked three months ago while public discourse is in a very serious place. Beyond the feeling that it’s in bad taste to be pushing a party right now, a lot of our fans’ heads are miles away too. Who is the audience for a “Big party this weekend!” tweet when violence is weighing so heavy on everyone’s minds? But baby needs new shoes, and maybe taking our minds off the heavy stuff for a few hours isn’t the worst idea in the world either.
J Dilla, “Fuck The Police”
“Now tell me who protects me from you?/ I got people that buy tecs and weed from you/ And all a nigga see in the news/ Is cop corruption/ Niggas getting popped for nothing/ And niggas get stopped for nothing/ And cops pull out the Glock and bust ’em/ Y’all need to get shot for nothing.”
So much hurt and anger expressed over such a pretty loop. This is a great warmup song. It’s fairly danceable and gets underground hip-hop heads involved early in the night without going too hard musically or losing the rest of the crowd.
I got into DJing in 1996, inspired by Stretch and Bobbito, Spinbad, PF Cuttin, and Green Lantern. For me it started with collecting a solid crate of hip-hop singles from Fat Beats and Footwork and Rock & Soul before branching out into classics, house, and dancehall once I figured out I wanted to play parties. So even if I didn’t know it at the time, I was playing lots of Dilla productions—Pharcyde’s “Runnin’” and “Drop,” A Tribe Called Quest’s “1nce Again,” and “Stressed Out,” De La Soul’s “Stakes is High”—and I’m still more a fan of Dilla’s rap songs than the beat tapes released after his death.
Christina Milian featuring Fabolous, “Dip It Low”
We’re in a weird place right now with dancehall. There hasn’t been a huge hit by a Jamaican artist in a long time, with maybe the closest being Kranium’s “Nobody Has To Know” last year. And at the same time, dancehall beats are the backbone of a ton of radio hits: Drake, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Major Lazer & MØ, Tyga, and so on. These songs get played at The Rub every time and make it easier than ever to transition seamlessly from hip-hop and R&B into a classic dancehall set. They also open the door for earlier dancehall hybrids, and in the last year my secret weapons have been R. Kelly’s “Snake,” Beyoncé and Sean Paul’s “Baby Boy,” and Christina Milan’s “Dip It Low.” (All three also reflect a very un-PC early-2000s obsession with “Eastern sounds,” from Jay Z & UGK’s “Big Pimpin’,” to Erick Sermon’s “React,” to Jay Z and Panjabi MC’s “Beware of the Boys” remix.) I love bringing back songs from around 2004, right before Serato came out—songs that were played out and didn’t make the leap into DJs’ digital crates, so they still have a little bit of a surprise element when I drop them now.
ILOVEMAKONNEN featuring Santigold and 1st, “Forever”
What an absolutely perfect pop song! I’ve been swimming upstream with this one all year, selfishly forcing it on crowds because it lights my brain up like ASMR when I hear it on big speakers. How long can I hear this on repeat before I get sick of it? FOREVER. I heard it on Hot 97 a few months ago and got really excited that it might cross over, but it didn’t. And maybe that’s for the best, because it won’t turn into “Tuesday” where every time I hear it now it just reminds me of work.