By Matthew Hendley
By Monica Alonzo
By Monica Alonzo
By Monica Alonzo
By Stephen Lemons
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Dulce Paloma Baltazar Pedraza
By Ray Stern
"I'm from Jamaica, Queens," he explains. "And when I go back to New York, you can take a train to somewhere where you can see break-dancing, and old acts that are still doing shows. I like the underground, man. I really dig it. There's more flava to it. Also, I'm an '80s guy, and they play '80s music here, too."
Just then I eyeball the switch-hittin' Karrine Steffans over near the men's pissoir where she's cornered DJ Al Page and his squeeze Robyn, a petite dime-piece outfitted in a slinky green top. (One of Page's protégés has taken over the decks from him for the moment.) Page's taller and rockin' a gray cap and a black Emerald Lounge tee, which almost makes me wanna shed a tear for that dearly departed waterin' hole. Jett looks like she could swallow either one of them whole, but when I approach and ask Page for an interview, he drags me into the dudes' dumper so we can have some privacy.
"Al, we have to stop meeting this way, people will try to put a George Michael rap on us," I smirk, as he closes the door to the john.
"Oh, fuck that shit, man, what's the dilly?" he says to get the ball rollin'.
"That's what I was about to ask you -- specifically, how did this night get started?"
"Well, I snowboard a lot," he relates. "And when I go to other cities, like Seattle or wherever, they have the coolest places to hang. But Phoenix doesn't have shit! Everything's happening in Tempe and Scottsdale, and the music's really wack. All they play is radio crap. So I was like, 'We gotta do something here.' My friends are all DJs and they're paid very well to play Scottsdale clubs. I used to DJ at one, too, but they had me playing Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Man, fuck that, I want to play some real music. My friends all said, 'It's not gonna work,' but I'm like, 'It's gonna work because there's a need for it.'"
"Most definitely," I respond. "An alternative is required."
"Everyone in that room is so cool," asserts Page. "There's no attitude. Nobody's worried about their 20-inch rims, how heavy their fuckin' chain is, or how big their damn fake tits are. Ain't no plasticity up in this bitch. I don't care if they're black, white, Hispanic, Asian, whatever. They're all in here -- the breakers, the rhymers, the realpeople. Because, man, trust me, if it's being played on the radio, it ain't getting played in this motherfucker."
I'm feelin' Page's enthusiasm, but there's also a fella banging on the door outside who's feelin' like he's about to pee his britches. So we cut short the confab and Page returns to the wheels of steel, where he proceeds to drop a wicked assortment of tracks from the likes of Masta Ace, Hieroglyphics, De La Soul, DJ Shadow, Felt 2, N.W.A, Mr. Lif, Common, KRS-One, and so on. He even goes way back in the crates to 1982, when Ronald Reagan was the Prez and kids were still playing with Rubik's Cubes, for "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" off Michael Jackson's Thriller album. Ah, yes, back when Wacko Jacko was still a black man instead of a Liz Taylor wanna-be, and all was right with the world.
But where, oh where, has the Jettster gotten to? Despite her stated affection for both sexes, the easiest way to locate her still is to look for the gaggle of the finest femmebots in the room. And there, indeed, I see her, over in one corner with a cluster of comely chicas, spittin' as much game as the law will allow. The most booful of them is this lass Carolina, who's in a viridescent, Victorian-esque gown, and has her hair up. I soon discover Carolina's a model, and has come from a fashion show where she played catwalk clothes-rack for her roommate, designer Emily Uriarte, owner of a local clothing company called Arte Puro. It's Emily's design that Carolina's wearing, the V-neck of which is showing off Carolina's butter-pecan cleavage, much to Jett's obvious delight.
"It was my first time modeling," Carolina's telling the Jettster as I ease up beside them. "I was a little nervous when I first walked out and saw all the people, but then I just got out there and worked it."
"You're so curvaceous," admires Jett, eyes bulging. "Were all the guys hitting on you afterward?"
"I did get a lot of compliments, but they weren't all over me, or anything like that," says Carolina, smiling.
I notice that Jett's about to goose poor Carolina, so I jerk her aside before she gets fresh. "Leave that gal alone," I warn her. "She's out of your league."
"Lemme go, Kreme," yelps the J-unit, trying to free herself from my grip. "Carolina's one of those states I always wanted to spend some time in."
"Better get your mind out of the gutter, Jett," I growl. "Otherwise, you'll be in a state of disbelief over the fat foot in your fanny."