Last week, influential L.A. funk and hip-hop club the Root Down returned from a year-long hiatus after more than a decade running.
With a new location (the G-Club in Hollywood), a new host (KG Superstar), plus a handful of familiar faces and an always booming sound system, the Root Down is back in effect.
One of those familiar faces is founder “Music Man” Miles Tackett. The weekly's launch was last Thursday, but the party's really going down tonight, as Tackett's legendary 10-piece hip-hop band Breakestra makes its return to the stage too.
Rap, of course, is all about respecting roots — you can't look forward without first looking back. Here, Music Man Miles shares his top five moments in Root Down history.
5) Big Daddy Kane with Connie Price and the Keystones (2008)
Miles' Memory: The best of a funky ass live band who's got the sounds and flavor of those old funk-and-soul breakbeats, backing up one of the planet's dopest emcees. Big Daddy Kane owns the crowd, whether he's whipping lyrics on ya at breakneck speed, or laid back in the pocket.
4) The Breakestra “Gethco Soul Together” video shoot (2000)
Miles' Memory: Though it was a separate event and not on a Thursday night, the video shoot for “Getcho Soul Togetha” brought together a whole bunch of L.A.'s underground hip-hop elite together under one roof — DJs, beat-makers, emcees and dancers. It really captured the energy of a Root Down party.
3) Root Down Soundclash Round 1, Cut Chemist vs. Madlib (2001)
Miles' Memory: Originally [deceased former co-host] Dusk and myself were intending the Soundclash to be more of a beat exhibition than a battle, but Cut and Madlib showed up with a healthy heap of Bronx-born competitive spirit. The second Soundclash with a pre-superproducer will.i.am and underground underdog beat meister Thes One had even more sparks though. Still friendly at the end of the day, of course.
2) Blackalicious (??)
Miles' Memory: Blackalicious did it live with an extra energy that undoubtedly was fueled by the ready-rock crowd in the house. Sweatin' funk!
Not from the Root Down, but you get the idea:
1) DJ Dusk's first night joining the Root Down sound system (1999)
Miles' Memory: We had been in effect at our second location for a few months but hadn't found our rhythm. Our guest DJ Cut Chemist was killing it as he always does, but our new resident and captain DJ Dusk really surprised us with both his perfectly timed, funky world beat and bop selection, and his incredible hosting skills. The Artist Mear was there doing his thing live on a canvas. The crowd was packed in. Dusk and Cut set off the vibe for all Root Downs to come. DJ Dusk is always remembered in our heart beats, and is always in the mix wherever the Root Down sound goes.
Unfortunately, there's little footage of Dusk at Root Down, but this tribute video catches a little bit of the magic: