I, personally, have never heard a crowd chant “USA! USA! USA!” at anything other than a drinking competition, or an air show. The crowd at Metro sure as f*** were yelling patriotically as Red Bull 3stle World Championship winner Seattle local Four Color Zack took the gold and was thusly proclaimed best party rocker DJ in the world.
That is the pertinent info- but here is the other noteworthy stuff from Saturday night at the Metro in Chicago.
It literally felt like we had arrived at an international summit, the G20 of turntabling as it were. I guess we had.
We got there just in time to hear Cosmo Baker’s set. Now, my team has heard a whole bunch of Kanye West samples this week, but none even held a candle to what Baker was doing. “Can We Get Much Higher” straight into “Get Em’ High”. As this was happening I looked up into the proscenium and saw a row of flags hanging down that would give O’Hare’s intl welcome terminal a run for it’s money.
Right smack dab in the middle of these flags sat our venerable judges, Skratch, Jazzy Jeff, and after his set, Cosmo Baker. We made our way upstairs and that is where the real internationalizing began.
Diplomats from every round of the competition were finally all in one location and were more than happy to talk about the trials and tribulations of the week. We caught up with New Zealand’s DJ Scissorhands first- a totally nice dude who spoke about his Grandparents being the source of his musical aptitude.
Spain’s DB was on deck. Like a good Spainiard, he dropped the international futbol fan favorite Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400 after a masterful electro mix of Dead Pres’ “Hip Hop”.
The coolest part of his set, and actually one of my favorite things that happened all week was his outro. Martin Luther King jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech mixed with Aloe Black’s “I Need a Dollar”.
Our hometown hero, Canada’s DJ Shub came on after this hard act to follow. I got to sit with Shub’s family during this set. They were all wearing shirts that I thought said “Subway” all week- I figured…they were really into subs? Shub-way was what they said upon closer inspection, duh.
Lurking close by was Four Color Zack (winner and American contestant) which was fortunate for us, because we got to see him react to the Shub dissing him (calling him out by name!) on the tables. When I asked 4CZ what his reaction was to this he called Shub his “buddy” while grinning ear to ear. It made me instantly fan girl status like him. Million dollar smile? Try trillion dollar smile. There were a whole lot of smiling and partying as everyone seemed to finally relax for this last night.
What is a great way to keep all the positive energy in the building? Bring Jamaica’s “DJ Nicco” to the stage.
I mean, I could practically smell the Jamaican patties just listening to this guy spin. It was one of the bigger crowd reactions I had seen all week- everyone singing along to Bob Marley samples. Then the obligatory Damien Marley stuff…Jam Rock etc…but wait no, is that, Welcome to Chi-Town?! Yep. You got it. He also gave well deserved props to each of the three judges. Perhaps I am biased- he played the sample I ache to hear when in Chicago- Chief Keef’s “Shit I Don’t Like”. You know when you get texts from people who are out at awesome shows and need to text you about how awesome it is? Sorry if you got one from me at that moment that said “Chief Keef, King Louie, This is Chi right?!”; I sent a lot of those. Well played Nicco, well played.
Dj Drummer from Chile, my personal winner- his the decks after this. He intro’d with “Sweet Home Chicago” and dropped samples from Queen and Fun as well.
Drummer came up to the balcony and hung out with the rest of the Latin DJ’s who were all dancing around having drinks; Drummer looked concerned as he watched wild card pick Four Color Zack step up to the table.
His concern was warranted. The American DJ suddenly changed the nature of the entire conversation with patriotic samplings of Bruce Springsteen et al. Now this was clearly between Chile and the good ole’ USA.
While waiting to hear what the judges had decided we got to experience ?uestlove.
As soon as Four Color Zack was announced as the winner at the end of ?uest’s set, the whole place erupted, literally. There were cannons of red confetti; kind of like a blizzard.
The perfect way to cap it off was to finally see main man Jazzy Jeff (West Philadelphia, Born and Raised!) perform. A long week, a ton of DJ’s, 1 world champion; it’s been a slice folks. Catch you on the other side.