Love Jointby Themba Kriger / 10.11.2011
Although it was probably dry since he left the flat, Kyle only noticed that he had cotton mouth while walking up the stairs in Zula. “Let’s get a drink” he said to Sam. She nodded in agreement. At the top of the stairs he turned left instinctively, which led him to the main hip hop floor. “Much better than that commercial shit they were playing downstairs,” he thought and he began to move a little to the beat while waiting for drinks. Not that he knew much about hip hop, but he knew what he liked and it didn’t bother him that he didn’t know all the names of the artists and tracks. “This is much better than downstairs right?” she said. “Fuck”, he thought, “why is this girl always in my head. If we have fun tonight, I’m just gonna tell her how I feel.”
“Let’s check out the Cold Turkey floor.” Sam said, knowing he wouldn’t need much convincing, considering he had been going to Cold Turkey religiously since the third or fourth one. The Ruffest had just come on and at first he felt a little unsure about their music which sounded a bit like the generic Kwaito they play on Channel O, but after about fifteen minutes he started to get into it. These guys really had that new Afro-House sound down and although he had no idea what the two MCs were saying, their stage presence and energy won him over. “What was the name of that last track?” he asked, half not expecting an answer. “It’s called ‘Siyabenzela’.” Sam replied. “You can grab it off their SoundCloud”. Noting the surprise in his face she said “I follow the Red Bull Music Studio blog, they were in studio a few months back”.
By the time The Ruffest had finished playing, their drinks were finished. Feeling a bit tired he suggested they go over to the hip hop floor to get another round and chill out to some beats. They sat down towards the back of the floor and he started to think about what he was going to say to her. Meanwhile, Sam was trying to have a conversation with him and when that didn’t work, decided to dance. She had a feeling he wanted to tell her that he wanted to be more than friends, but hoped he wouldn’t.
Having still not decided on what to say to her, Kyle went over to Sam and said, “let’s go check out Step Up Soundsystem,” instead. By this time, Zula had filled up and the short trek to the Cold Turkey floor involved a lot squeezing and apologizing. He really liked both Blotchy and Ish, so he had a feeling he would be enjoying this set. “This should be good!” Sam said. The next hour and a half was a blur of bass. The sounds of future garage and dubstep filled the room and although he was dancing right next to her, he only thought about Sam when he opened his eyes. “That was incredible!” She said as the set was winding down. Kyle smiled.
Fletcher came on to a roar of cheers from the crowd and his set was pure class as usual. His record box was deeper than most and he pulled out tracks that no one else seemed to play. He dropped everthing from dub to breaks, with some dubstep thrown in for good measure. Towards the end of his set Kyle pulled out a pre-rolled joint from his box of smokes and said, “I think now is the perfect time for this.” This was going to be the moment. “Awesome, but are you sure we can smoke in here?” Sam asked. “Don’t worry about it, I’ve seen a few joints go round tonight, we’ll be fine.” He replied. Unfortunately, both of them had failed to notice the bouncer standing in the shadows behind them, who stepped forward just as Kyle had lit the joint and said, “no my friend, you can’t smoke that in here.” As they both walked down the stairs with their escort, Big Space came on. “Damn, sounds like he is playing some rad shit up there.” Sam said. “Ah fuck that, let’s just go to mine and smoke this joint.” Kyle replied, trying to hide the embarrassment of being thrown out. “Yeah, okay.” she sighed. As they walked to his car Kyle figured that tonight was probably not the best time to tell her. Next time.
*All images © Themba Kriger.