Ten years ago Mikey Palms told us he was opening a bar in Park Slope in an old 99 Cent store with his childhood friend, Matt Roff. As soon as we saw it, we immediately knew we wanted to throw a party there. The Rub started the first summer Southpaw opened, and after an unprecedented run of over a hundred monthly parties, we are sad to report Southpaw is closing.
Simply stated there would be no Rub without Southpaw. Before Fifth Avenue had any sushi restaurants, yoga studios or boutiques, Mikey and Matt took a bet on the neighborhood. They helped us connect with a community of people who wanted to stay in the Slope and party with their friends to quality music. Southpaw was an oasis for Brooklynites who didn’t want to go to Manhattan and spend half a paycheck on bottle service while some asshole played The Strokes off an iPod. And they didn’t just invest in the neighborhood, they invested in three DJs who were dying to find a big room were we could play cool shit for a crowd who loved music as we did.
We were talking about it the other day, and Mikey put it in perspective when he said “remember, when we opened, you could still smoke in bars.” This was just six months after Bloomberg took office – before mash-ups, before 50 Cent, before Serato or MySpace, or all-over print and skinny jeans, before any of us had gone on tour or released a record. If you were there in the beginning you remember Roger, and Uncle Moe, and Marissa, and Bill, and Alex (RIP). You remember when Mark Ronson Djed on Halloween in face paint, when Diplo and Low-Bee played in a blizzard, when DJ Premier dropped in for a surprise DJ set and when Dave Nada tore the room wide open with Baltimore club. You remember when a couple fucked the sink off the bathroom wall, when Pumpkinhead got in a fistfight at the end of the night and rolled around on the dancefloor, when the winner of the White Rapper Show threw up and passed out on stage, when we got shut down and had to move to Bar Reis because Southpaw didn’t have a license to serve lemons and limes, when Jeru the Damaja hopped on stage and performed “Come Clean.” There was a special feeling every month, like a big house party, loud and sweaty and thrilling. And in the last few years, you also remember waiting on a long ass line around the block. We could have moved The Rub to a bigger club plenty of times, but it was such a special feeling and a perfect crowd, and besides we were loyal to Mike and Matt, and of course Kenan and Ro and the whole crew.
This Saturday will be the last time The Rub is at Southpaw, but it’s not the last Rub. Mikey and Matt are going to focus on their Williamburg club, Public Assembly. The Southpaw space will become a tutoring center for children. Eleven, Cosmo and I are taking The Rub down the hill to Bell House, a beautiful venue very similar to Southpaw in a lot of ways, but a little bigger, with a little better sound, and a little off the beaten path. We looked at a bunch of clubs in Brooklyn and talked to a ton of our friends, and everyone agreed that this feels like the perfect room. The gang’s all going to be there, with Rahnon and Matt at the door, and me, Eleven and Cosmo on the turntables. We’re switching it up to the last Saturday of every month, and we hope you’ll help us spread the word so we can keep it up for ten more years. Please please please sign up for our email list, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and ask your friends to do the same. And if you don’t have anything else to do this Saturday, come to Southpaw (EARLY, to beat what will surely be a crazy line) and join us for the first Rub of the rest of your life!
After the jump: 10 years of Rub Flyers!
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DJ Ayres and DJ Eleven… What can I say about these fucking guys? The first thing is that I’m surprised that after 9 years we haven’t killed each other. The second is that I love these fuckers like brothers and, through the ups and downs, what we have collectively and with each other is a great thing. A lifetime thing. Third is that I can’t believe we actually made it this far. The Rub started back in 2002 as a foil to the New York City nightlife climate that was at an extreme low point. I always factor in the three things that created the malaise of the early aughts. The first thing I always attributed it to was the after-effects of Rudy “FUCKFACE” Giuliani’s draconian “Quality Of Life” laws and how that basically was designed to sap all the fun and vibrancy out of Metropolis. To this day, there is not one politician that makes my blood boil in the same way that FUCKFACE does. As much as I sincerely loathe Bush, Cheney and the unholy cabal of right-wing idiocracy, it’s Giuliani who makes me want to “Hulk SMASH.” The second thing is the rise of bottle service culture. Of course money runs everything, and we all know that. But there was time when a perfect balance between making money and showcasing music was alive. But with bottle service, commerce and bottom line stepped to the forefront – and in doing so pushed music completely out of the way. Now I’m not trying to paint this picture of halcyon club days where everyone did it for love, but by this point music had taken such a back seat to selling alcohol that the actual production of music began to suffer in a huge way. As did DJing. The art of it. The craft. The imaginary status of it. It all shifted in a direction that was away from being pure of heart. And the third, obviously, was September 11th. Not much to be said about that one. We’re all still getting over that, as if we ever fully will.
So the idea was to create this foil contrasting the mockery that partying in Manhattan had become. Initially it was just Ayres’ birthday at a new place in Park Slope called Southpaw, where Ayres and Eleven and a couple other folks decided to throw this party that was classic disco and non-radio rap music and house. Fuck bottle service. Fuck an oppressive front door policy. Let’s just have fun, get drunk, get laid, listen to some JAMS and forget about the rest of the bullshit that we’re dealing with in the real world. I guess that concept kind of resonated with people. I had known both these dudes since before the party was established and they had me up from Philly to do a guest spot either the second or the third installment. I guess I did pretty well, since they asked me back a couple months later, and then a couple months later than that. As the 1 year anniversary came, I found myself moving to Brooklyn and spinning, along with Ayres and Eleven, at The Rub on a monthly basis. It was around this time that we said to ourselves “He, we have something pretty groovy here. Maybe we should try to solidify things as a crew or sorts.” And we never looked back.
8 long years have passed since then. And that all still seems like yesterday. We’ve released countless records, remixes, CDs, done shows around the globe, all as this DJ remix crew that we started just for the fuck of it. People have told me that the shit that we were doing in the early 00s was groundbreaking, innovative and highly instrumental in pushing the type of music and DJing that we deal with in the direction where it is now. I dunno about that, cause at the end of the day us three dudes were just doing what we love. But it is pretty remarkable to see what has become of this.
I’m truly grateful. Grateful for Ayres and Eleven for rocking with me all these years. For Mikey, Matty and the rest of the Southpaw family for giving us a home. Grateful for Rahnon, my BFF for holding down the front lines for me (for 14 years at this point – I love you babe,) and grateful for my man Kenan for being the King Wolf and holding us all down. But most of all I’m grateful for the people who have supported us over the years. We open doors at 10 PM. At 9:45 there are 20 to 30 people outside. By 10:30 the line is around the corner. And people still flock in droves. And people travel from distant countries to rock with us. And people have locked in with us for 9 fucking years. What more can I say about that?
I will say two things. Thank you all for everything. This has been the ride of a lifetime. And secondly, you should come and rock with us this Saturday in Brooklyn. Me, Ayres, Eleven, my homeboy Low Beezy, and the rest of the fam. Trust me – you will have the time of your life! We would LOVE to see you out…
- Cosmo Baker
Saturday, July 2nd 2011 – The Rub 9 Year Anniversary @ Southpaw – 125 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
As I was typing this post, I noticed that Ayres’ set from last Sunday had just popped up on the Do-Over homies’ site. So with that, we’ve got a compete The Rub vs The Do-Over Summer 2010 post on our hands! Here goes:
History of Hip-Hop 2008 (Mixed By Cosmo Baker) (right-click, save as)
Artwork by Rhek for Sharks and Hammers
Tracklist after the jump!
All 3 Rub DJs have played the Memory Lane show. Watch the archives right here:
DJ Eleven spinning classic West Coast rap
DJ Ayres Part 1 (1979-1993 rap)
DJ Ayres Part 2 (1990-2006 rap)
Tune in at 9 PM EST every Tuesday for a new Memory Lane: www.ustream.tv/channel/memory-lane1
So our good friend DJ Anonymous is in town from Helsinki this week… Well actually he’s been trying to get to New York for the past 2 weeks but that damn volcano was fucking up the program. But he finally made it and so we’re having a last minute throwdown with the dude. He’s a great homie, and the first supporter of The Rub in Finland (which is one of my favorite places to play in the world. So this Wednesday we’re gonna go all in, all vinyl, at the Down South Lounge which is the basement of Southpaw. Nothing of great music, great people, cheap drinks and no cover charge so hope to see you out.