8pm. Light a bowl. Throw on some socks and pull out the laces of my Adidas shells so I can get the tongue to stand up. Do the usual browse on the phone while I wait on Chris to come scoop me for this Provision event. Then fuck…I see it, the New York Times did an article on Jersey City. Was it good for us? I’m not sure I thought as I glanced over the headline a third time, “Moving to Jersey City? Join the club.” Join the club? This is the wave now? I remember when I was a kid and all my cousins in the Long Island suburbs cracked on me for being from the “armpit of America”. I can recall a whole joke arc in How I Met Your Mother based around the idea that no one wants to travel to Jersey.
That’s my general perception of what our image is outside the walls of the Garden State, because only we see the garden in it. I lit another bowl and got back to what was needed now–this Nothing But Love mixer. The reason why I say it’s necessary is that with headlines like this there are two possible outcomes I can see as a resident of 22 years, either property taxes and shit like that completely push what we imagine as Jersey City out the frame or we see this for what it is and take full advantage from a vantage point.
I met with Gus from Provision a few weeks before the party and it was a 30 minute meet turned into a couple hours of breaking down the chess board. I love this city, I hate this city, but this city is ours. When a man like Gus comes to you with, “I’m going to bring Jersey City together for the first real time,” you have to listen a little more thoroughly to the words following that statement. We’ve covered Gus before for our article on his initial brainchild VillainousNY so I don’t have to regurgitate these weren’t just rambles of a pipe dream, if someone could make this happen with seriousness it would be him.
So jump back forward to the 12th, getting details from Jersey City Ced, we end up at Transmission and step in before CUTS gets the shoutout over the speakers. The DJs ripped it, it took me about 5 minutes to warm up and push my way to the bar. Two drinks at a time for me, you could feel the amp in the atmosphere and I was with it. When Bizznice (Society Needs Culture) jumped on the mic and said something along the lines of, “so many lovely faces out tonight,” you know what he meant and I could feel the things Gus mentioned weeks ago rush back to me. This was Jersey City, though just a fraction of the population, these were the people that make things move. In the sense of creativity, you had enough brainpower in that room to fuel museums for years. Unbeaten by the freezing temperatures, I’m sure we all made it out leaving with something on our backs. Nothing negative, but something stuck with me after a night of meeting so many people I got love for as a “journalist” and as a man who knows the process behind the catalog of work and services by the minds in that club…these were all peers in the same hustle.
Before I went in I was sure I wouldn’t be able to make a write up, I told Marvin I probably couldn’t do this. As I’ve done (or haven’t done) many times before, I’m a pencil and paper artist and hardly ever do those strokes turn into text. Yet here I am, belly full of last night’s liquor and regret from that quesadilla from VIP, writing like Luke wrote for the Bible. It’s easy, the events of last night are very clear. Hip hop was alive as it lives in the people of this city.
If anything could unify everyone it’s through the string of music.
It’s been researched hearts palpitate in unison when a group listens to the same song. It was a beautiful sight really, as each beat pumped to each note we bounced on the same wave. That was honestly Nothing But Love.
In my writing I hope the right people see this. The DJs deserve a second mention, Ced, Society Needs Culture, Gus, Barron, Dead Since—they really did the damn thing and made yet another iconic moment. Make it a point to keep your eyes on the formation of a formidable force within this city and the company that’s started it—PROVISION
Photographs supplied by: @andylvlac
Jersey Fuckin’ City.
Exclusive 2/15/2016 update: I’ve been working closely with NJCU photographer Dakota Santiago. We just asked him to stop by and network the crowd with us. Yet, being the professional he is, he brought over a traditional film camera anyway. Thankfully we get to share these photos with you as I can promise you that the way we documented this party it will be in the history books. Enjoy the set, Dakota did his thing and developed them overnight just for you.