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Reflections While on the Run Pt 7

Event: DJ Set, Revilla Grooves and Gear, Milltown, NJ

Date: Saturday, November 4, 2023

Kicks of Choice: adidas UltraBoost 1.0 DNA “ZX 8000”

Thoughts captured on November 5, 2023


As I was approaching this final event for the “K for the Way” book launch, I can’t lie – it was the one I was most excited to get to! I love being able to talk about the book and my research, and share my love of blending DJ culture and academic practices and theories with folks. But the best way to show how that research really lives and breathes in practice is to DJ. And sometimes, folks simply think that it can’t or doesn’t happen – but be clear: I still gits busy!


We found Revilla Grooves and Gear on a family outing in the summer. We were excited to find a dope local record store, and the owner, Darren, is super-cool peoples! We have many mutual connections in the DJ world, so it just felt good to be back in the record store (all DJs know that feeling when you find the DOPE record store AND it’s a local business)! As we got closer to the book launch, I stayed in touch with Darren. And once I had books in hand, I dropped one off to him. When he invited me to pick a date to do a book event and DJ set in store, I jumped at the opportunity.


Revilla has been doing live in-store events with bands, artists and DJs. So being on the stage in front of two turntables and a mixer was all I needed. Plus it was the type of event where people of all ages were able to come through. But the craziest part was that as I’m rockin’, my wife looks at me and says “yo, was that Kenny Dope?” I look out the window, and sure enough, Kenny Dope Gonzalez had pulled up to Revilla. I met Kenny before with Breakbeat Lou up at Cornell’s Hip Hop Collection. To put this in perspective, Kenny Dope Gonzalez is one half of the production powerhouse Masters at Work. Kenny is a super dope producer and an even iller DJ. Kenny is one of my top DJs of all time. But even beyond that, records like “Kenny Dope Presents the Mad Racket” which had a song entitled “Supa” – that was one of the first records that I had double copies of. It was Kenny Dope’s “Unreleased Beats” that I used to mix with the acoustic version of Prince’s song “7” that got my uncle to really notice that I was serious about DJing. So Kenny Dope is part of the foundation of my own DJ history and lineage. I wanted to interview Kenny for my dissertation and for the book – and we were always so close, but timing is everything, and it just wasn’t on my side (Kenny – if you see this, I still want to get this interview crackin’ bro!). So the fact that he showed up out the blue on the day that I was doing my book event at Revilla was just incredible! Great vibes, on everything!


I was so shocked that I didn’t even get to give Kenny a book. I just told him we’d met before, gave him a pound, and then continued playing my DJ set. And you know in the back of my mind, I was like “damn, Kenny Dope is in the building – I gotta get these mixes right!” But it also just felt extraordinary to finish up a book launch for a book about DJs by DJing live and direct on the set!


Shout out to Darren, Brandon and Brandon over at Revilla Grooves and Gear! If you’re ever in the central NJ area, come through to Revilla, you will NOT be disappointed!


And while this event ends my “Reflections While on the Run” blog series, best believe that the events did NOT stop here!!!

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