When: Mondays, 6-9 p.m. Continues through Sept. 30
Beyù Caffè is known for its live jazz performances, electrifying Durham's Main Street with instrumentation from some of the most talented musicians in the area and around the world. The eatery and music venue has hosted a plethora of innovative events incorporating the Durham community, and last Monday marked the return of its summer d.j. series. This year's effort is dubbed "Verses and Versus," a weekly soiree where local d.j.s pit two popular forms of music against each other and solicit votes for favorites from the audience.
Last Monday, Outkast squared off against A Tribe Called Quest, heavy hitters representing Atlanta and New York hip-hop and arguably two of the most influential groups of the genre. The night began with DJ Rem.e spinning to just the staff at 6 p.m. But by 6:45, Beyù Caffè was standing-room-only with the crowds energetically rapping the verses by two of their all-time favorite acts. DJ Rem.e noted the intricacies involved with meshing two of the greats with very different styles and tempos, resisting the urge to play too much of one or the other. But after three hours of consistent spins, jams, and crowd participation, the night was a clear success.
Beyù doesn't plan on stopping the momentum of the series. In this week's iteration, samples vie against original songs, and future versions include Neo Soul vs. Trap Soul, Jay Z vs. Kanye, and Epic Records vs. Jive Records. And d.j.s are in charge for every set, leaving room for spontaneity that will keep the room jumping from beginning to end.
The series runs through August 28 and is free and open to the public. If the first night is any indication of how this summer will go at Beyù, Durham will be bopping every Monday as some of the most skilled d.j.s give unique angles on some amazing frontiers of music. —Kevin Joshua Rowsey II