Anybody who's ever heard a track by Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers knows the deep power of go-go, that mighty blend of pure funk and raw soul that could only come from the streets of D.C. It's a heady mix of down-low and way-up-on-high that brings to mind nothing so much as the party of your life.
So it stands to damn good reason that DJ D-Up calls what he does, simply, "party music." After all, the cat was born in our nation's capitol. Better yet, his pops was a DJ too, back in the proverbial day. Which means D-Up's had that throwdown sound ground into him from the cradle to the streets.
Thank Zeus our first president's namesake city doesn't have the juice
of the M.I.A., 'cause otherwise D-Up might not be here bringing all our
party people to life. Dig it: As a teen, D-Up would sneak into clubs
and catch what who-knows-who was pushing. Then he'd go home to his
basement and push it further, farther, and deeper.
Once he got
to college at UVA, he turned those skills into a residency at Soccer
House, the frat-like hangout of the team to which he belonged. Thing
about it is, D-Up found himself better suited to the turntables than
the field, so he started slipping back across the Potomac and into the
Before long every hotspot in D.C. ended up having him
spin: Play Lounge, Saki, Josephine's, Club Five, Andalu, Fly Lounge,
Kstreet, 1223, Eyebar, and Tattoo among them. Eventually D-Up ran out
of dance floors to conquer and headed on down South.
to now: Saturdays at the Delano hotel's infamous Rose Bar, where the
parade of wildlife is a colorful as an early 20th century promenade on
Easter Sunday. Sure, there are a few tourists in shorts, as well as the
odd cross-causeway interloper. But for some reason even they turn
almost hip when they fall under the sway of D-Up's head-spinning. Like
he says, it's party music, so you don't need instructions to get with
it. It does help, though to have an open mind and an open soul.
again, it's not hard to open up to the Jungle Brothers crossed with
Common, or The Pharcyde's "Passing Me By" running into Pitbull's "Whoop
T Whoop." Maybe that's why Mokai has also begun putting D-Up on the
tables once a month or so, and why swank spots such as the Shore Club
and Bella Rose have had him handle the action as well. Sometimes it
pays to go where go-go has gone, and where all good parties end up --
with a DJ named D-Up.
DJ D-Up's Current Top Five:
1. "Universal Mind Control," Common
2. "Paranoid," Kanye West
3. "Whoop T Whoop," Pitbull
4. "Greenlight," John Legend feat. Andre 3000
5. "Listen Up," EPMD
Saturdays at the Rose Bar at the Delano, Miami Beach. www.myspace.com/diallosharif