Tuesday, January 31, 2012

At MJQ, Sofa King Evil is downright courteous

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Sofa King Evil at MJQ
  • DJ AHuf
  • Sofa King Evil at MJQ
On stage, three guys reeled in their right fists as their left fists shot in the air simultaneously. "Put your hands up," Lil Jon's voice commanded through the speakers. One person raised his arm in the air, though everyone else continued to listlessly step from side to side.

DJ AHuf, visiting from Charlotte, was standing in front of MJQ's Saturday night crowd — an audience that Sofa King Evil of Cobra Corps (Jay Envy, Heroes x Villains, Martina McFlyy) faces three times each month. AHuf, who's opened for DJ Scratch, played what their crew members liked — namely, songs frequently spun on Hot Spot ATL. Sofa King Evil, however, played songs that people didn't even know they wanted to hear.

At 11:30 p.m., Sofa King Evil warmed the crowd up with a few spurts of sirens, a sped-up version of Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and then the first few verses of Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Otherside" — a song that he'd also weaved into his 2010 Christmas mix. A group of girls, sporting jeans and leggings underneath their skirts, skipped onto the dance floor. By then, people had already started to nod and shrug their shoulders as they took the first sips of their $3-$6 drinks. One woman even started to sway and grind behind her date as he laid down bills at the bar.

As MJQ started to fill up, AHuf introduced himself with Drake's "I'm On One." This pick foreshadowed the slew of Take Care singles to come, like when a go-go beat flowed seamlessly into bonus track "The Motto," then dipped into the introduction of Missy Elliott's "Work It," and out just as quickly, into J. Cole's "Work Out Plan." While a few dancers recited every word of AHuf's picks, the rest of the crowd stood up and sat back down, migrated back and forth between the bar and the floor. When AHuf cued up T.I.'s "What You Know," the entire floor bent and dug their bodies into a deep groove. When he played Bonecrusher's "Never Scared," clueless girls started to form a single line and walk toward the bar. And as he spun "Kryptonite" by the Purple Ribbon All-Stars, a woman raised her plastic cup in the air at the start of the second chorus. About a dozen men raised their arms in response.

Sofa King Evil, however, refused to let the crowd breathe. When he stepped back into the DJ booth, he reintroduced himself with his own spin of "The Motto." At the end of Lil Wayne's verse, he spun the track back to its very last line, a nod to Sir Mix-A-Lot: "Oh my god, Becky / look at her butt." And as he repeated it once, then twice, then three times, Sofa King Evil teased out a familiar beat plagued with Restless Leg Syndrome — the start of "Baby Got Back" itself. Even after last call, he handed out standard bar music with a twist: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and the Outfields' "Your Love," followed by Spice Girls' "Wannabe" and NSYNC's "Tearing Up My Heart." Groups of friends, including the guys who had participated in AHuf's rap karaoke sessions, faced each other to belt every single lyric.

Sofa King Evil mostly averted his gaze to his setup, but his blend of old (spurts of Little Richard's greatest hits) and new (Big Sean's “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay") showed that he was also closely reading the crowd. Before setting Jay-Z's "Public Service Announcement" to a dubstep melody, he blasted T-Pain's first few words of DJ Khaled's "All I Do is Win."

"... and every time I step up in the building, everybody's hands go up!"

This time, more than half the crowd shot their arms into the air.

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