Continuing in what is a now longstanding tradition of top-notch events booked by energy drink company and global entertainment brand Red Bull in the Nation’s Capital is Saturday afternoon's BC One break dancing event occurring at Southwest DC’s Blind Whino art club from 3-9 PM. As exciting as a day of popping and locking should be, the 21 and over afterparty from 9 PM - 2 AM at NE DC’s Lodge at Red Rocks featuring DJ extraordinaire Cosmo Baker should absolutely take the evening to the next level.
The Philadelphia born and New York City-based Baker may be the ultimate DJ’s DJ who in being able to navigate the era in which disco, rap, house and EDM all exploded forth from soul music and prospered, has for 25 years discovered the ties that bind them all and keep revelers on the floor.
Cosmo Baker’s career benefitted from exploding in two areas synonymous with inventive and urban takes on pop music in the past 50 years. His native Philly was the home of Philadelphia International Records, the disco-friendly label whose house band MFSB released “The Sound of Philadelphia” -- better known as the most iconic version of the theme to Soul Train. As well, New York City’s the cradle of hip-hop and a growth center for house music. Intriguingly, all three sounds play a significant part in his evolution.
Listen to a Cosmo Baker set and you’ll hear DJ abilities as a selector and mixer that rival other legendary names that he actually counts as contemporaries including King Britt, Jazzy Jeff, Frankie Knuckles and Masters at Work. As well, if a more modern music fanatic, you’ll hear how Baker mixes records and you’ll pick up on cues that compare to the likes of A-Trak, Diplo and Mark Ronson. All three of these current superstars are DJ/producers who all can point directly at how Cosmo Baker’s seamless blend of sounds between prog and indie rock, ‘70s funk Top 40 rap and classic house influenced not just how they DJ sets, but the sounds of iconic tracks from the likes of acts with which all three are affiliated like Duck Sauce, Major Lazer and Bruno Mars.
Saturday night’s headliner has pretty much played music on every continent inhabited by people worldwide. Baker’s credits also include being a founding father of Philadellphia’s late 90s-early 2000s Neo soul rap/dance party The Remedy with fellow DJ Rich Medina. The party hosted the likes of The Roots and iconic rap producer J Dilla, and was called “[T]he dopest continuous weekly hip-hop jam in the United States" by hip-hop culture groundbreaker and DJ extraordinare Bobbito Garcia. As well, Baker wa sone-third of the trio behind Brooklyn’s critically acclaimed “open format” dance party The Rub (alongside DJ Ayres and DJ Eleven).
While being an underground legend, Cosmo Baker was opening doors in the mainstream too as one of the first DJs to bring “open format”/multi-genre DJ sets to Las Vegas in the early 2000s. A trailblazer in so many senses of the word, Baker was dropping Neil Young hits next to EPMD boom-bap raps and classic disco cuts a decade before Vegas became synonymous with glamorous parties in enormous nightclubs.
Alongside Baker, warming the crowd up on Saturday night will be two more DC-based disc jockeys who clearly follow in his lineage. Trayze is a Red Bull Threestyle World Finalist who as a turntablist blends modern technology with encyclopedic knowledge of beats and breaks from a plethora of genres to keep ears piqued and the energy high. As a DJ in the club, that still benefits the quality and diversity of his selections. As well, Sharkey’s long been considered a top DJ in the Nation’s Capital and is a well-regarded and globally-released recording artist in his own right. Counting Baker as one of his absolute favorite DJs in the world, he’s an ideal choice to round out the night.
For more details on the Red Bull BC One Official After Party at The Lodge at Red Rocks click HERE.