Dirtybird BBQ: Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, and Crew at Villa 221 in Miami

Photo by Kat Bein
Claude VonStroke cookin' up beats at the Dirtybird BBQ.
Dirtybird BBQ
With Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, and the rest of the crew
Villa 221, Miami
Thursday, March 22, 2012

Better Than: Any other company barbecue in existence.

Everyone knows a cheeseburger and French fries are perfect together. But the Dirtybird crew says, "Screw that noise. You don't need those carbs. What your burger needs is a side of bass."

We were greeted at Villa 22 by the smell of grilled meat and the sound of Catz and Dogs laying down some chill, laidback vibes. The weather was just too gorgeous and everyone was lounging about on the astro turf in bathing suits, shorts, and tanks, getting mad loose. The only thing that would have made the picture more perfect was a pool.

There was an old-school block party vibe to this party. The Dirtybird crew walked around the venue exactly like everyone else, mingling and sipping back booze as if it were just another summer day in the neighborhood and all the fans were simply part of the extended fam.

From noon to 9 p.m., the vibe continued to build as each member took the stage. J. Phlip, the resident Dirtybird boss bitch, started off real soulful and upbeat, working in more spacey tunes as her set progressed. Not once did she stop bouncing up and down.

In fact, the whole flock don't stop moving back there. Leroy Peppers (AKA Christian Martin) bobbed his head like some kind of gangster funky chicken. He also took the energy up a couple of notches, cranking the bang level from about 6 to 8. He kept the beats bumpin' and worked in a lot of hip-hop, like a shout out to local boss Ricky Ross with "Hustlin."

Label head Claude VonStroke took things into even more abstract directions, breaking out tracks with all kinds of different textures and weird noises. Yet even when working with odd rhythms and tones, VonStroke stays smooth and sexy, which is why he's the big man. Well, that and he's very tall.

The biggest cheer of the night came when Claude dropped his classic "Who's Afraid Of Detroit." Although, the place definitely went bananas when Phife Dawg hit the stage. He performed a slew of classics by his group A Tribe Called Quest, including "Can I Kick It?," "Scenario," and "Check the Rhime." It was an interesting break in the day's non-stop dance music.

Justin Martin closed the evening outside with more deep and dark grooves. The sun was disappearing into the horizon. Ravers started to break out the poi. And soon, it was time to wash up before the afterparty. It had been a chill time And the best part: Everyone's bellies were full.

Except the vegetarians. They were probably screwed.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: Walking up to the party and seeing Tribe's Phife Dawg on the set schedule was one of the most random and best surprises ever.

The Crowd: Scenesters, industry folk, and banging beach bods in their mid-20s or older.

Best Auxiliary Characters: A deer-like creature and a bird-headed dude were dancing together. And that was pretty weird.

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Location Info


Villa 221

221 NE 17th St., Miami, FL

Category: Music

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