Words by LargeUp Crew, Photos by Kevin Ornelas and Taylor Viera—
Monday night New York’s most infamous monthly dancehall party Rice and Peas (consisting of DJ Maya, Micro Don, Orijahnal Vibez, Federation Sound’s Max Glazer and DJ Gravy) celebrated five years of bashment madness in collaboration with Shaggy’s new record label, Ranch Entertainment. Shaggy, Rayvon and Red Fox were all on the bill as a “3 the hard way” type performance segment but were joined by surprise appearances from none other than the “King of the Dancehall,” Beenie Man, as well as singer Tony Curtis and Mr. Easy. Bobby Konders of Massive B and Hot 97 hosted the event and introduced the performers by telling old stories about Shaggy “before he was rich!” Dancers (who you may know from the NY dancehall scene or from LargeUp’s coverage of ‘em) like Miss Likkle Bit, Lindsay Hall, Hanna Herbertson, Korie Genius, Shernita, Daoud and LargeUp’s own Emily Shapiro were all there, whining down to mark the occasion.
In addition to all of this, a full production crew and dozens of scantily clad women (some actually wearing nothing but body paint) were at Santos Party House several hours before doors opened as part of Rayvon’s music video shoot for his new single, “Selecta.” The track is dedicated to DJs and sound system crews around the world, look out for it coming soon right here on LargeUp
LargeUp’s own DJ Gravy founded Rice and Peas back in Spring ’07 with in an effort to create an environment where women could feel comfortable to wild out free of the perils of many dancehall parties, where they are grossly outnumbered and hunted down like wild game. Gravy also set out to make an Rice and Peas an industry-friendly event where record execs and the like could come experience the rush of a proper dancehall party, and where a wide range of people from every background and every scene come to hear the hottest new dancehall cuts.
The monthly party has lived up to that promise, hosting release parties for Wayne Wonder, Assassin, Gyptian, Alison Hinds, Chino and performances by Richie Spice, Leftside, Mr. Vegas, Ricky Blaze, Mr Lexx, Glen Washington, soca artist Tallpree and The Madd Stuntman. Attendees have included luminaries from Sean Paul to Damian Marley. While many have attempted to recreate it, there is only one Rice and Peas Party.
Scroll through for pics of all of Monday night’s madness—and if you’re in the New York area on the first Monday of the month, make sure you’re following Rice and Peas on twitter so you can experience this most unique NYC bashment for yourself.