When: Sat., Nov. 28 2015
ART OF NOISE: MAD SKILLZ & DJ LONNIE B
SATURDAY, NOV. 28
CLUB EGO, RALEIGH— "You had the DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince fans, the DJs that used to sit in their room and transform and do the 'Peter Piper' routine, the people that only know him from getting thrown out of the house on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the people who are all about the Philly sound, the people who are just there for the hot Friday night party," remembers Richmond emcee and songwriter Mad Skillz about his 13 years as DJ Jazzy Jeff's hype man.
A few of those years constitute the ongoing web series Vinyl Destination, following Skillz and the rest of DJ Jazzy Jeff's touring entourage on a global concert spree. "That was the first time I'd ever seen a DJ satisfy everybody in the room," Skillz says.
Eventually and amicably, Skillz parted ways with Jazzy Jeff and found himself back at home in the company of another DJ and longtime friend, DJ Lonnie B of WCDX-FM. The pair's strategy for their first Art of Noise party in 2012 was simple: "Let's set up four turntables and just play the music that everybody loves," remembers Lonnie B. "Skillz has always been a great emcee. His presence can always get a crowd into the music." As soon as word spread around Richmond that the Art of Noise parties intended to delight Jay Z fans and Frankie Beverly and Maze lovers, the crowds grew from 80 to 1,200.
"This is the party where you get to hear all of it in one setting," says Skillz. "I'm gonna be on the mic, and I'm gonna make you remember your college dorm. We're restoring a feeling."
In Raleigh, Skillz will do most of that from the front of the stage, chanting along with whatever Lonnie B throws on and beckoning the crowd to join in, for instance, on A Tribe Called Quest's "Check the Rhime."
"A lot of today's music isn't positive," he says. "It's more 'turn up.' Your chest is out a little bit more. Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder made you smile, made you feel happy." 10 p.m., $10–$15, 4030 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, www.artofnoiseego.eventbrite.com. —Eric Tullis