Doing It Well

December 22, 2005

(Jazzy Jeff guest DJing at The Remedy, Spring 1999)

Led by two of the FADER's favorite DJs, Rich Medina and Cosmo Baker (with their girl Rahnon helping to organize it), Philadelphia party The Remedy became one of the city's most legendary club nights during it's late 90s heyday, featuring diverse, expertly mixed party tracks, surprise guests, and an incredibly loyal following. Since the party ended, Monday nights have never been the same in Philly - so the DJs decided to bring it all back, presenting the return of The Remedy this Monday, December 26th at Fluid. Do. Not. Sleep. After the jump, Cosmo Baker shares some of his photos and memories from the first edition of the party.

(Rich Medina, Cosmo Baker, and ESPO in a Mexican wrestling mask at The Remedy, Winter 1998)

(Jazzy Jeff on the strobelight with Cosmo in the crates. Check those yellow and blue Iversons! Summer 1999)

(Rich, Cosmo, and Rahnon at The Remedy, Summer 1997)

(DJ Avee, Rich, and Jazzy Jeff at The Remedy, Spring 1999)

(Cosmo, Goldie, and King Britt, Spring 1998)

(?uestlove and Cosmo at the Remedy, Summer 1999)

(Jack Boogi, Rich and Cosmo, Spring 1997)

(Prince Paul, Cosmo, and Rich, Summer 1999)

How did The Remedy manage to be so good and so fun for so long?

Well I think ultimately we just happened to start doing what we were doing at the right place and at the right time. Hip-hop wasn't quite fully the "pop" music that it is today, and at that time the indie and commercial worlds had just started to take steps towards each other and meld into one. But also I think that all of us really cared about the party, and the welfare of the party. Rich, Rahnon and myself, this was our thing, and the people who attended it as well felt very protective about their their role in the party as well, because I think it really was refuge to a lot of our folks. It really was a church for many heads, like folks were there religiously. There was a crew of fellas I knew who used to travel 2 hours for the trip down from Lancaster, leave at 2 PM and travel 2 hours back, only to wake up and go to work at 8 in the morning every week. That's dedication. Plus cats really liked to dig on shit they weren't used to. It was "Fluid University" as Rich used to call it, cause we were bringing the knowledge to the masses.

As for Philly, it's a hard ass town and we have a hell of a musical heritage. Thing about it is you have to work 3 times as hard to please Philly crowds. No matter what, you're gonna be held to such scrutiny in performing in front of a crowd in Philly. That's what makes us as Philly DJs so good - because we have the toughest audiences that I have encountered bar none. However once you got them they will be faithful to you. Like with The Remedy, with Hollertronix, with stuff like Back 2 Basics back in the day. People are very faithful to their "brand" so to speak.

Were there any "Remedy classics", or stuff that would just perrenially get played at the party?

Shit, a lot of them. Off the top of my head, Cymande "Bra", Headhunters "I Remember I Made You Cry", S.O.U.L. "Burning Spear", Ghostface "Cherchez La Ghost", Fela "Water Get No Enemy", Beatnuts "Watch Out Now", a lot of that Slum Village shit.

Any favorite edition of The Remedy?

Really way too many, but for now I'd say probably the jawn when I got back from being away from being away for almost a year because of a car accident. I was still in my wheelchair and was dumb high on painkillers, I was spinning, Jazzy Jeff was spinning, everybody was drunk, Rich was yelling at the top of his lungs on the mic all night, he rapped the entire song to "Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down" on the mic, I got that shit on tape. That was mega. But yeah, that's the thing - there was so many good moments during our 6 something year run that I'll probably change my mind and think of something tomorrow.

MF Doom's "Monday Night At Fluid" was at a Remedy party, right?

In 1999 I booked Doom to do a performance at the spot that spring or so, and so he flew in from Atlanta the day of. I had to drive down from Long Island to pick him up so I trucked the 3 hour journey to get him. This was back when one was allowed to wait for someone at the gate, so off comes Mr. Dumile wearing a straw hat carrying a metal attache case. He was super cool and mellow, and we walked to the exit. At the exit his two boys were there who drove up from Washington D.C. to meet him, one of which was his boy Ben who was well over 6'5" and pushing 400 pounds. Everybody was very mellow and we drove to get something to eat, and then I dropped them off at the hotel. Sound check was at 7:30 and so we planned on meeting then. The guys had a full couple of days in store, as Doom was to record with my man King Honey the next day at Space 1026.

So later on we go to the club and get the sound working. Everything was going according to plan. The club filled up and people we dancing and jamming and all of that, and then around 12:30 AM or so Doom was set to go on, performing from inside the DJ booth. He was quiet and polite, pensive even. I was manning the CD player that had all his tracks on it, and was working the mixing board. Doom opened up his metal attache case and pulled out the Doom Mask. He put it on and - this is no exaggeration - underwent an amazing transformation right in front of my eyes. Dude stopped being Daniel Dumile and BECAME DOOM. Gone was the quiet, humble, unnasuming, polite person who was standing next to me, and now was this ferocious monster which was the Metal Faced Villian. He really became the character. The show was going great and everybody was really getting down, and Doom was really putting on a great show, and the villian was in full effect - right down to the way he was cursing me (as "the sound man") on the mic. Kurious was in the house and they did the song they have together on "Doomsday" and it tore the house down.

Towards the end of the show, Doom asked the crowd to give a moment of silence to Subroc. Everyone complied except for these 2 Camden cats who used the opportunity to razz Doom and talk shit loudly. Doom didn't really do anything to react to it, continued the performance for about 1 or 2 more songs, and at the end of the last song, ripped off his face mask, pointed at the 2 guys in the crowd and said (in the most insane, disturbing manner you could imagine) "HI!" He then jumped from the DJ booth and ran through the swarms of the crowd with his metal attache case in hand, followed by Kurious and Big Ben, hot on the heels of the now running Camden kids.

I had to man the decks and so I wasn't outside to witness what happened next, but according to what I was told, Doom cornered the kids in the alley and started smacking the fools with the attache case, while Curious and Ben were going off on the other fools. They had clearly whooped their asses, not badly, but definitely enough to get the point across, and at that point the police rolled up. They asked what was happening and if everything was alright and Big Ben, with his arms wrapped around some of the Camden kids replied "Everything is under control, officer."

The next day we all met up at the studio for the recording session. Doom had a whole rhyme written out beforehand, but that morning he had decided to scrap the lyrics and make new ones up on the spot, particularly involving the description of smacking fools with a metal attache case. The song came out blazing, and when King Honey asked me what I thought of it I told him that it was amazing, and that they should name the song "Monday Night At Fluid."

Posted: December 22, 2005
Doing It Well