Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Friday, July 28, 2006

    music: "Women Beat Their Men" by Submission

    Last weekend I attempted to go to some black gay clubs for a friend's birthday, and we realized something .....house music is dead. Not resting, not on hiatus, not trying to make a Janet Jackson comeback, BUT dead. It's actually pretty sad.

    I remember when I first started going to gay clubs, I loved hearing this style of music that couldn't be heard on the radio, or in the the boring straight clubs. It wasn't techno or rave -- it was HOUSE with drums, bass and crazy sounds that weren't even human. It was a sound that made you dive into the rhythm without inhibitions, or restraints. You had to move with every inch of your body and let it enter you like a spirit.

    There were different types of house ... tribal house for the folk who liked to get their African dance on with songs like "GET YOUR LIFE ... WHAT-WHAT-WHAT-WHAT," or "KOMSABI - KONGGGGGGG" ... there were the vogue cuts for the kids who wanted to slam a beat like "The Ha," "Din-da-da", or "Cunty," which you have to go to a ball to hear now ... there was classic house where they spinned legendary songs like "Love Hangover" by Diana Ross, "Love Thang" by First Choice, or "I want to thank you heavenly father for shining your light on me... " by - I have no idea.

    It was an amazing feeling ... you just don't get that anymore. Straight people used to go to gay clubs just for the music alone ... there were the days of the Nile in Philly, Tracks in D.C., and of course so many New York clubs like The Sound Factory, The Sound Factory Bar, Red Zone, The Garage and many more.

    My friend and I tried to figure out what happened to house and we realized house is dead because of hip-hop. Hip-hop has touched nearly every part of the world, which in some ways is a good thing, but in many ways it's awful. Hyper ideals of masculinity are glorified and worshiped -- who would have ever thought the global affect of hip-hop would affect the sub-culture of black gay communities who are basically rejected by hip-hop? Many gay people associate house music with being feminine with the "thugs" (PLEASE!) are in the hip-hop room. I remember when hip-hop would play in the gays clubs and people would dance to it as a joke, mimicking the straights --- and it would play for no more than thirty minutes.

    Going to a gay club now seems to have no individuality -- everybody is on the primal hunt for a date and the music isn't important anymore. There is nothing wrong with wanting a date, but damn, do you have to kill the music with it? Everyone is caught up in their drag of masculinity and I guess playing homophobic artists like DMX, Beenie Man and Foxxy Brown makes them feel like more of a man.


    You need SOUL to dance to house music ... bobbing your head back and forth just isn't enough. You have to FEEL it from your BELLY to appreciate house music ... grinding up with some random man is not dancing. You have to be confident dancing to house music ... drowning in an image an of baggy clothes and timbs is laughable. There are clubs like the Shelter, but it just isn't the same. Some white and Latin clubs play "club" music, but they are not playing HOUSE music that was particular in black gay clubs. I wonder if it will every revert to the old days, but I highly doubt it ... hip-hop has officially killed house.

    Labels: ,

    Posted by Clay :: 12:15 AM :: 17 comments

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