"It's my family down here," said Talib Kweli, who made a surprise appearance and was seated beyond the rot-iron gate and hexagonal bar, under the vibrant stain-glassed portraits of naked women in the dark, swanky, dropped-down VIP lounge at Deity in Brooklyn on Friday September 17, where DJ Pete Rock and Q-Tip performed for I Love Chocolate, a hip-hop fueled night dedicated to high-class drinks, a lively crowd, and even more enthusiastic music.
It's no wonder why over 300 people packed into the acclaimed downtown Brooklyn venue, a central spot for neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, and Cobble Hill. DJ Pete Rock has been a driving force in the New York hip-hop scene since the early 1990s, with heavy collaborations with The Wu-Tang Clan, gaining acclaim with his innovative integration of jazz and funk influences into the gritty, street hip-hop of the day.
Q-Tip kept the crowd shaking, as well, with his critically acclaimed roots of A Tribe Called Quest, and his consistently impressive solo efforts since the band broke up in 1998, including his eight-years-in-the-making, 2009 album Kamaal/The Abstract.
The records kept spinning and the crowd kept thumping as 4 a.m. rolled around and the early morning, late September chill settled in on downtown Brooklyn, and anyone that climbed the staircase from the underground hip-hop hooplah at Deity to have a cigarette or catch a ride home would, as least for a minute, stand outside among a crowd of people who couldn't stop talking about what an event this was, their conversations bursting out from the smiles plastered on their faces.
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All photos by Greg Rollins