Just as we were walking in with photog and FADER contributor Damian Castro, a fight broke out. Held back at the door, we watched and waited for the dust to clear. The guy was kicked out, and the DJ dropped the“Jump Around” instrumental. Um…House of Pain as peacemaker?
Post-ruckus and pre-headliners, no one was leaving, but host Sano-In attempted to keep heads in the house by assuring the crowd that he “knew the guy in the fight, but I don't get into beef.” We'd applaud their daring to eject anyone - despite the 'line' outside, attendance was basically a half-filled room of promoters and head-nodders. Whatever though, the vibe was decent, and everyone there was primed to hear some music.
Taking the stage after a bit of hype from a Ralph Lauren-clad Thirstin Howl III, Don Dinero impressively paid no attention to the empty space. Mixing old songs (“Mr. Money,” “Papi Was A Rolling Stone”) with cuts from his upcoming LP, Ahora Que Si, he showed love, love, love (!) to Spanish hip-hop, exhorting the crowd to “make rap in Spanish,” which we started doing immediately. Then we realized our Spanish is not all that great.
Somewhere in between all this, Howl managed to boast that he'd been rapping for “100 years.” 'Lo Life fo' life!
Finally, the main event: Dipset's J.R. Writer took the stage. Or, should we say, “J.R. Writer”? By all accounts and purposes, it wasn't a Diplomat at all, but a dubious stand-in. The camouflage bucket hat-wearing imposter mumbled one song and it was over. As we walked out into the rain, even the guy working the door seemed puzzled about what we'd just seen. Dip-set, dip-set, dip...set?