My name is Malik Diamond. I’m an MC. I rock with DJ Innalect. We throw the best parties on the planet.
For the last 5 years, we have thrown Invisible Parties, where no photos, no videos, and no cell phones are permitted. If I need to explain to you why these restrictions make for the best parties on the planet, you are guaranteed to be under the age of 25, and you should ask your elders. Or, better yet, you could throw your own Invisible Party and learn by experience.
Parties are invite only. Under the ground like mice.
Recently, DJ Innalect and I decided to throw a dry party, where no alcohol is permitted. This will be the first such party; it’s been at least 10 years since I personally went to a dry party. There are a number of reasons we decided to do this, and after almost a year of radio blog silence, I figured that writing about it would be the best way to clarify my thoughts, and put them into the easily digestible soundbite format that seems to be the preferred method of communication in this year of our Invader Era, 2015.
Doing Too Much
At every party we’ve thrown, there’s always at least one person who does way too much. At my last birthday party, I was the culprit; I don’t remember half of my set. Everyone tells me it was great, but I’ll have to take their word for it. The party before that, Innalect got on that slurricane, and went on slump mode before we even got a chance to do our set. A performer at the last party showed up drunk, kept drinking heavily, and forgot the lyrics to several songs. A first-time guest harassed a group of women that included two queer women; he was haranguing them with some bullshit about queerness being unnatural. Which brings me to my next point…
We want a celebratory space where everyone feels welcome and secure. Men already have a hard time respecting women’s space and boundaries, ignoring both physical and verbal “No’s” and demonizing women for refusing advances. Add booze into the mix, and it just gets worse. There were no women who complained to me directly about this problem, which is a testament to how normalized harassment is in this culture, but I personally witnessed several times at the last party when men simply refused to leave women alone, or were aggressive about getting in women’s personal space. Hell to the nah.
Everyone in the underground knows that hip hop shows are populated mostly by dudes. It’s an environment ripe with sexism, aggression, and male posturing, which is boring for grown men and both boring and threatening for women. However, there is a strong vein of Afro-diasporic tradition in hip hop, which is based on the Circle; everyone is welcome, everyone has power, everyone has a say. If we want women to feel welcome, we have to create an environment that discourages harassment and macho bullshit. That’s exactly what we are doing.
Boozing the Culture
Two decades plus of (white) corporate-sponsored rap music has embedded alcohol into the culture as if it were the secret 6th element. Party & Bullshit went from being a critique to a point of celebration. Artists do a parade of free events at bars, making talent into a glorified commercial for alcohol. We’re a generation indoctrinated by the self-hatred of consumer propaganda and the narcissism of social media culture, and many of us “can’t have a good time” without drinking. So heavy are the internal chains, so uncomfortable we are with ourselves, that we have difficulty enjoying ourselves while sober. Well, fuck that.
The Temple of DZA
As a matter of principle, the Invisible Party rejects the ubiquitous documentation of experience and the alienation of gadgets intruding on communal experience. The theme of my album The Temple of DZA is about rejecting the machine god cults of civilization: patriarchy, government, capitalism, white supremacy, and civilization itself. Alcohol is a tool of all of the above. To celebrate the (re)release of The Temple of DZA, we are going on monk status: booze free.
D for Divine or Destroy. The choice is mine, the choice is yours. All of us choose. What will you choose?
Z for Knowledge-Wisdom-Understanding. The cycle of unfolding consciousness: do the knowledge, gain the wisdom, experience the understanding. Grow and change.
A for Arm Leg Leg Arm Head. We are the gods, we get to create our own spaces and values. What will those spaces and values reflect?