DJ D-Nice’s Instagram Dance Party Shines a Light into a Dark Time
As the world scrambles to contain global pandemic, COVID-19, and we’re really not sure how we’ll make it through, a glimmer of hope appeared on Saturday afternoon (2pm PST to be exact), by the name of DJ D-Nice, who invited us to his virtual party Homeschool, aka, #Club Quarantine, the biggest live streaming party of magnitude proportions. DJ D-Nice is hosting a party? Yo, that D-NICE? Yes, “the taking out the suckas, and you don’t know how I did it”, D-NICE. Yes, that DJ D-Nice!
D-Nice, a New York born rapper/host/producer/photographer/deejay extraordinaire, has an industry career spanning over thirty years, beginning at the tender age of 16, as a member of pioneer hip hop group Boogie Down Productions (BDP), hailing from the South Bronx. Representing the glory days of hip hop, D-Nice, blessed us with a party of all parties, spinning some of the best music that literally is the soundtrack to our lives.
Earlier in the week when we began our first go at it of social distancing, DJ D-Nice took to instagram for what he dubbed a Social Distancing Party (with the first installment on March 18th) where his turntables covered a mix of songs from R&B and Hip Hop out of his Los Angeles home in hopes of bringing some distraction and normalcy of sorts to a few of his close friends and resident instagram followers. By the time the weekend hit, D-Nice was ready to do it again, sharing the love, offering an experience to be enjoyed by all, in what would become the biggest online global house party ever. The vibe was awesome, the energy infectious, the drinks were flowing (courtesy of your own bar), and the music was, well, EPIC! D-Nice played a diversity of hits, straddling multiple decades, genres, and generations (music you and your mama can jam to), ranging from Earth, Wind, and Fire to Stevie Wonder to Missy Elliot to Kenny Rogers to Beyoncé, and more!
Numerous celebrities, sports stars, tech innovators, and politicians joined the fun, including FLOTUS Michelle Obama, Oprah, Will Smith, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Ellen, Tiffany Haddish, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Dwayne Wade, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Mark Zuckerberg (yes, Zuckerberg had to give the green light to go over capacity on IG live). With each record spun, D-Nice continuously gave “shout-outs” to health care and medical professionals for being on the front lines, working to battle the Coronavirus (y’all are the real MVP’s). As the night progressed, we kept grooving to the beat, and before any of us realized, D-NICE had curated a nine-hour set, with over 100,000 people jumping in on his live feed, forever cementing D-NICE’s legacy as one of the greatest deejays in the world!
For many of us, one of the best moments of the night was having all of our friends in attendance as our plus ones, sending each other waves, emojis, and the classic, “meet me on the left of the deejay booth” from the comfort of our couches (fuzzy socks included).
In those few hours, we partied together like it was 1999, and for a moment let go, and escaped our current reality. We smiled, we laughed, and we danced to timeless hip hop music — harkening back to the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, EPMD, Slick Rick, and Eric B. & Rakim (if you don’t know, well, you now have google to help translate)!
As the art of social distancing becomes part of our daily routines, where we’re spending more time apart than we are together, the irony that #ClubQuarantine illuminated is that in this digital technological age, our need to be connected to each other is essential to our survival, perhaps, now more than ever. The ability to see each other, to know that we’re not alone in this; an affirmation that we will get through this, together. Indeed, a moment that we needed much more than we ever imagined.
D-Nice’s HOMESCHOOL party was a reminder that even in seemingly dark times, there are shining lights that encourage and give us hope for a better tomorrow. A beautiful expression of what it means to be in community with each other — so powerful. On March 21st in the year 2020, DJ D-Nice was that North Star guiding us through unprecedented times, while simultaneously breaking the record for the highest number of viewers in an instagram live feed! DJ D-NICE, you brought us all together for an experience of a lifetime that we won’t soon forget. All heroes don’t wear capes, instead, they spin records, providing food to our soul. DJ D-Nice, we are indebted to you for the gift you’ve given us, and for that we are forever grateful.
In our most bleak of circumstances, where hope and despair lie, leave it to the ingenuity, creativity, and tenacity of Black people to not only make history but save us from ourselves — EVERY DAMN TIME!
By the time Sunday rolled around, D-Nice saw his instagram followers soar from 200k to over one million and counting. Later that evening he offered up another live set capping at over 150,000 viewers, asserting, “This has been a great way to keep our spirits high.” I’ll catch y’all next weekend at #ClubQuarantine…. remember to wash your hands and be sure to tip the deejay!
Ralinda, a Los Angeles native, is a writer, educator, speaker, and cultural commentator who works at the intersection of culture, identity, & diversity. She sparks thoughtful conversations on what matters most; authenticity! Connect with me on FB/IG/Twitter: Ralinda Speaks