Interview: Maurice Slade of NYC’s Grits & Biscuits Party

July 20, 2011

This Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the Grits & Biscuits party, a Brooklyn-based oasis for Dirty South transplants. The party was conceived by brothers Alzo and Maurice Slade and Erika Lewis, collectively known as E. Z. Mo Breezy. Erika handles the business. She also greets party guests at the door and makes time to hand out church fans. Alzo primarily pops shit on the mic and Maurice mans the turntables as DJ Square Biz. Grits & Biscuits feels like a college homecoming party that got a little too crunk. Sometimes people just want to get down and dirty, and folks have turned out en masse for the consistently packed events. The next Grits & Biscuits goes down this Saturday, July 23rd at Music Hall of Williamsburg. We sat down with Maurice to find out what makes the party tick and what his mom would say if she ever walked in the door. Read that chat and check out the mixtape the crew made to commemorate a year of wildness, below.

Download: Grits & Biscuits 1st Year Anniversary Mixtape

What was the response like to the first Grits & Biscuits party? I was always talking with Alzo and Erika about how New York clubs suck. With all the pretentious bullshit, the VIPs and velvet ropes—so we wanted to throw a chill party with none of that. We had one party, called The Crawfish Boil, last summer in Brooklyn. After seeing the crazy response it got, we came up with the idea for Grits & Biscuits. The first party was dope. It was surprisingly at capacity—I didn’t feel like there was a huge buzz, I don’t know how people found out about it, we just posted it on Facebook and everybody came out. A lot of the people that came went to historically black colleges and universities.

At Grits & Biscuits, people are up on the stage getting it in right next to the DJ. Yeah! People just jump up. The stage is part of the fun. I don’t want to be standing up on the stage by myself watching, I want to be part of the party too. The crowd really lose themselves. They’re no longer caring what people think and everyone’s in that zone. There’s no judging. There’s a woman that comes to every party and she hops onstage every time with a fanny pack full of fried chicken. She’s eating fried chicken on the stage. She's a well respected lawyer in her mid-thirties. Fried chicken. Every party. It’s crazy.

Do people know what they're getting into when they walk in the door? Before every party I send out a survival kit to let people know what the deal is. One dude came in a suit one time. Came in a suit! I couldn’t believe it. Girls come with heels on. Every time, I see a group of chicks who come in there with that air like they’re above getting down. They try and hold it back as long as possible but without fail, 15-20 minutes later Juvenile’s "Back That Ass Up" or "Let Me See It" from UGK comes on and they’re on the floor getting into it. There’s a lot of young black professionals who work on Wall Street that go to our party. Without fail, a week before the party, they’re offering crazy amounts of money so they can get some kind of section where they can have their bottles. I’m like, Shit man! It’s so hard, but we can't have a VIP section. We can't do that. It’s not authentic, its not organic.

What would your mom say if she walked into Grits & Biscuits? My family is super religious. My dad is a preacher and my mom’s dad is a preacher. But my mom likes to see her sons doing well at the same time. She couldn’t do anything but laugh. She wouldn’t be mad.

Interview: Maurice Slade of NYC’s Grits & Biscuits Party