Until last Thursday night, it had been about 9 months since I staged a public DJ session. The purpose of the event was the reopening of a restaurant near Fisherman’s Wharf. It was also invite only, extended to hospitality and service industry employees alike.
About an hour into my set, which was composed of melodic, groovy nu-disco/electronic/chillwave selects, I made a transition to Average White Band and Motown. Aha! I had hit a nerve. The people started moving. Someone from the crowd (which was older than I had expected) approached the DJ table, and I knew before they spoke what they wanted. A request. I thought “Oh no, Miss, please don’t kill my vibe.” But the request ended up moving my set forward: MFSB‘s upbeat Do It Any Way You Wanna.
In today’s track, Compton-raised hip hop prodigy Kendrick Lamar enforces the pleasure of solitary grooving, when it’s just you, your drANK and the music. I related to this during my set, as I was sipping on complimentary white wine and grooving on music that I had personally selected. But the MFSB woman had humbled me. She reminded me that some times as a DJ (most times if you play corporate gigs and weddings), the occasion calls for you to respond to the crowd of the moment, not the crowd of your fantasy.
If the original Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe is a smooth brush-off, Star Slinger‘s booty house remix makes the titular phrase a proclamation of indulgence. That’s because this remix is padded with salacious club-banger-esque kick drums and high hats, transforming Lamar’s original locked-in-a-dorm-room mood into painting the town maddeningly red, solo. Lamar may have intended a simple lamentation, but Star Slinger turns the song into an unapologetic, celebratory repentance.
Both versions of Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe are great, and I could see myself dropping either in a set. But don’t expect me to play the Lady Gaga version, in which Gaga does exactly the opposite of what the title suggests.