I don’t know a lot about being black and gay and cool. In fact, I’m going to write this disclosure: all my information came from short conversations with D.J. MikeQ, my good friend and collaborator Maluca, and the only YouTube comments I could understand. In fact, that I’m white and straight makes me the perfect outsider to Vogue Knights Tuesdays, a vogue/“ballroom” party in Manhattan. It’s probably one of the few places where I would be considered exotic—mostly people probably think I’m a narc or an undercover police officer when I spend time in this club.
I bring all the brave D.J. friends that come to New York to visit to this party nestled in the little dreary street around Midtown. It’s right next to a Comfort Inn and many empty-looking warehouses, but once they come here, they can’t look at the New York clubs the same way. Everything else becomes cold, boring, and empty. They realize that what makes a good party isn’t the fashion, the clientele, the hipness of “D.J. current hit,” or the club’s interior. They see that a really good club is built by the community, and that a community breeds the creativity in the music and the dance. You’d think that, on first look, when the dance competition starts, that these guys hate each other. The new-school vogue style is built on a lot of hair whipping (if you have the extensions or real thing—Willow Smith’s song got played a lot in different forms) and a lot of falling down backward on the offbeat. This part of the dance is amazing. It seems the more violent the hair whipping and the falling, the crazier the crowd goes.
I love that Diplo is a music correspondent for Vanity Fair.