Thurs Oct 16
Straight up: the world needs more dance parties. This is one motivating factor behind Volume, the new monthly DJ party curated by Portland hiphop megastars the Lifesavas, debuting this Thursday with guests Pam tha Funkstress (the Coup), DJ Unity, and Marquez.
With Volume, Lifesavas are interested in getting back to the roots--before rap became the focal point, and the DJ was hiphop's locus. "Jumbo started off as a DJ, doing house parties and after-hours parties," explains emcee Vursatyl, about his rhyming/producing compatriot. "Now, there's an absence of the DJ coming out of North and Northeast Portland. A lot of kids now are into rhyming, but back then, most rappers started out carrying the DJ crates. That's how they earned their right to be an MC."
By mixing the best Portland DJs with the best national ones (guests from the Beatjunkies, Invisible Skratch Picklz, and Quannum crews are planned for future Volumes), Lifesavas hope to reclaim the bangin' dance soiree. Vurs observes, "The element of the DJ at the center in relation to the party and its spirit of fun could really bring life back to the scene. We wanted to be proactive and give something back to it."
But hiphop parties aren't the only thing Lifesavas are giving back to the community. All proceeds from Volume will go towards the Lifesavas Foundation which, Vursatyl hopes, will develop into a summer program that teaches kids the elements of hiphop. "B-boying, DJing, MCing--once again, we're all about the essence [of hiphop], and that's where the program will startÉ teaching kids what that means.
"But the Foundation will extend beyond that. We also grew up with a Can Jam--back in the day, they used to have Can Jams at the community center, you could come to the party for two cans of food, and that food was donated to a charity. Those are things we wanna do annually even beyond the holiday season; we just wanna throw Lifesavas can jams, you get a free concert for two cans. Can jamsÉ that's how we came up. That's where hiphop was. We're just trying to keep it going."