The last time the Gully God passed through NYC we were a bit preoccupied, but when we heard Funkmaster Flex on Hot97 bragging about bringing him to "So Fly Sundays" at Prime this past Thursday, we vowed to avenge our past misfortune. The show was billed as Mavado's first Manhattan club appearance, and the turn out (and door price) reflected it. On line we met an Englishman who offered an unprompted, though spirited, dissertation as to why Mavado and Kartel are incomparable as artists. We also saw a dude almost get shut down because coat check refused to check his skateboard. In an especially angelic gesture, a bouncer stepped in and offered to hold it in his truck. Aside from a thorough pat-down, as a club, Prime offers a refreshing experience for a performance. The DJ booth is located in the center of the dance floor which allowed Flex and an equally nasty Young Chow, a focused accord with the crowd. The leveled VIP, which surrounds the dance floor, has a kingly view of the floor's inhabitants, and vice versa, where diamond drenched pendants and fist-fulls of dollars were on full display for nightlife paparazzi. When Mavado climbed into the booth just after 3am, the first, "Anywayyyyy," rippled across a sea of gunfingers. Rocking an iced out Mickey Mouse pendant (?!) with dreads tied up for mobility, Mr. Brooks sang his gangsta heart out, performing everything from from "Dying" to "On The Rock/We Need Barack" to "I'm So Blessed." By the time the Unfinished Business Riddim of "I'm So Special" signaled business finishing, Prime was deep under his spell, having witnessed something so, so special; an exclusive performance by one of dancehall's biggest artists, at the absolute top of his game.
February 03, 2009