By now you should know that ChiStepper’s “Summer Series” of articles is a quest to find the hottest club Steppin night of the summer. Our search led us to DJ’s in Dolton, one of Steppin’s hottest Sunday night Steppers sets in the city hosted by DJ Cross. It’s interesting to me that most of the club nights now are hosted by DJ’s and not promoters. This is a relatively new phenomenon, as promoters would traditionally promote a set and pay a DJ to spin. It really shows how the role and power of the DJ has changed in recent years.
As for the set, when I arrived at DJ’s at exactly 9:28, I surprised to be able to find a park in the lot … many parks actually. This is not a good sign, because when DJ’s is packed, not only is the parking lot full, but both lots across the street are packed as well. I checked my phone to make sure it was Sunday, because my days do run together sometimes. Then I called a buddy to make sure DJ’s was still the place to be on Sundays.
When I got inside, I immediately saw familiar faces and I knew everything was good. I walked past the bar to tease my buddy Candace, only to learn that she no longer worked there. I don’t know the details but I hear she didn’t leave on her own terms and a lot of Steppers are upset about this. Candace has been a staple in the place since it was called 3G’s. I walked a little further looking forward to seeing Bushrod sitting on his stool, but I learned he was let go as well. So then it started to make sense, maybe DJ’s is going through a transition.
As for the party however, Cross did his thing as usual. While the numbers of total Steppers was low, the number of good Steppers was actually higher than average. DJ Cross attracts a crowd of real dancers, so there were plenty of awesome Steppers to dance with, and we danced until well after 1am. Cross dropped all of the popular hits and then live mixed a T. L. Williams’ “Getting More Money Than You” instrumental with an acapella version of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” layed over it. It sounded so crisp and clean that I thought it was prerecorded, but Cross told me previously that he never prerecords his mixes. In his words, “Prerecording is cheating. I always mix live and it’s always perfect. I’m a real DJ.”
I can honestly say that I love visiting DJ’s. It reminds me of my favorite years of dancing. It helped that there were tons of people in the spot last night that have danced with me for over a decade in that very place including Andre Blackwell, Tori Lynch, Darren Ulmer, Ken Hilliard, Pete Frazier, and Nikki Holloway. These Steppers would remember Darrel Davis and Margette’s “Tighten Up Tuesday’s” at 3G’s. There were also a number of other awesome dancers in the building including Qiana Wilson, Nikee, Pharies and Tracy, Robin Summerise, Naomi Harden, Nate Powell, Kevin “Doc” Dockery, Opal Jones, Marcus Reynolds (who was celebrating his birthday), Yolunda Townsend, Melvina Johnson, Shenina Fletcher, Keisha Gilmore, Cheryl Sykes, Lolita Cobb, Cheri Lilly, Carlos Fortune, and Dewitt. With a line up like that, how could you not have fun?
So with DJ’s under my belt, the Summer Series moves on. So far we’ve been to The Dating Game (Thursday), The Blue Note (Thursday), and DJ’s (Sunday). ChiStepper’s quest to find the hottest club night of the summer will continue. We’ll give you the list at the end of August. See you on our next night out!