I can honestly say that I have been a house head for about 15 years. No, I’m not that old so I cannot sit here and reminisce about Paradise Garage or Shelter in its heyday. I cannot dig in a shoe box and pull out pictures of old friends lofting it out on powder covered floors or group shots of people slained in the spirit of house at Better Days or the Music Box. I cannot recall the time when Disco made its transition and House took over. I cannot recall when mp3’s took the place (for convenience sake) of vinyl or when Macbooks with Serato replaced (for convenience sake) the turntable.
I can, however, recall when MichaelAlan played a set so fierce that Osunlade had to kill the music just to shake up the atmosphere before starting his set. I can recall. I can recall late nights at Revival in the cellar of old The Church across from Turner Field, we now call the Museum Bar going in at midnight dancing all night and emerging when the sun came up! DJ Tabone set up tables with 4 Sony Discman and headphones pushing his Feel Rawsoul mix cds.
I can remember the 3 songs of death that AppleJac played at Apache and completely turning the party out! I can remember Tiffany running up to the DJ booth at any given Secret party and playing an active role in making sure that the DJ did not mess up the vibe of the night by killing the dance floor but doing it in an oh so loving way fully equipped with a sweet burning inscence in hand! I can remember DJ Kemit when he had locs and was turning the party out with House in the front room of Club Kaya!
I know that sexy and house would not be synonymous with each other if it were not for DJ Yusef. I know if it were not for Ramon Rawsoul there would be no House in the Park, the largest outdoor house music festival in the Southeast! I know that we love Karl Injex, Cozy Sean and DJ Cullen not because they are white but because they have SOUL! I know that on any given Sunday Salah Ananse will do a set so sexy he makes all the beautiful people of Atlanta forget they have to go to work on Monday!
I know that there were DJs like Ron Pullman and Calvin Morgan laying the building blocks for Djs BE and Stan Zeff's Tambor Party. I know that if it were not for DJs like Mike Music, house music and disco would not be alive and well on the skating rinks of Atlanta. I know that if it were not for DJs like Serge, Theo, Earnest and Steve Mathis Chicago House and disco would not have a home in the A! I know that if it were not for people like Hodge large scale house events in Atlanta would not have been a vision truly realized!
I know that if it were not for the promotion prowess and behind the scenes funding, and the global travelings of Atlanta house elders John Denise and Rodney Williams, or the FM radio presence of Sista Requaya, DJ Omega Black (of whom I have a shoe box full of house mixes on tape) and Sista Rah before podcasts existed, Atlanta would probably not even have a scene. Lastly I know that if it were not for people like Kai Alce who had a residency at MJQs for years and for the vision of Marky G who dared to invest in a space that House could call its own in Atlanta House would not be as respected of a genre on the club scene in Atlanta. If it were not for people like DJ Ant B who was one of the first to usher in online video DJing. And for those who remember every dj that blessed the turntables for the late night sessions at the The Ying Yang Café, no words can express how much this venue has help to shape and cultivate the scene for House and other subgenres of music before there was an Apache Café.
I say all of this to say that as we move forward in carrying the torch of this positive vibration we call House Music it is important to recognize those who have and continue to pave the way so that headz can enjoy it and djs, promoters, graphic designers, producers, singers and venue owners can eat off of it.
Karin Smoot – Divas of House
Divas of House. is an Atlanta based nonprofit arts organization committed to empowering women, educating and uniting youth, artists and community through House music and dance culture to inspire positive social change. For more on Divas of House please check out: http://divasofhouse.com/