On Saturday, September 9th, four dynamic community collectives — The Arena, Everyday People, Trillectro, and Electric Circus — came together to host one kick-ass party called Crosstown Cookout. Folks were lined up at The Knockdown Center, a beautiful, sprawling multi-purpose venue in Maspeth, NY, from the early afternoon to see a killer line-up of DJ’s like Odalys and Moma, and most importantly: T Pain. The party took place outdoors and there was a brisk feel in the air, but after a couple of Henny-coladas and a few throwback Travis Porter twerk jams, every body was nice and warmed up.
Food was provided by nonprofit social enterprise, Drive Change, who provides a 1-year Fellowship for young people returning home from jail or prison so they can obtain “preferential employment and educational opportunities.” The food truck offered a range of their classic BBQ menu items, giving the party a “backyard” vibe that lived up to the ‘cookout’ in the name.
The speakers blared, “Uhhh, I like it like that she working that back I don’t know how to act slow motion for me!”
Anyone who wasn’t already crammed up front by the stage made their way there in that moment. DJ Yellow R Kel started things off on a good note with some old school bump-n-grind songs and only got better as the sun went down. Yellow R Kel grabbed the mic to close his set, and announce that DJ Moma would be on next, but before he could finish his sentence, the unmistakable voice of T-Pain came blasting from the speakers. T-Pain himself was at first nowhere in sight, and then suddenly he bolted on stage and the crowd erupted in a harmonious cheer.
“Snap ya fingers, do ya step, you can do it all by yourself!” T-Pain crooned into the audience.
T-Pain kicked his set off with the classic “Buy U a Drank” and not one person in that crowd missed a single word. It was like a high school reunion for people from literally everywhere — east to west coast and all the in between. I feel bad for anyone in the back who didn’t catch a glimpse of T-Pain’s very sturdy milly rock and had to watch through the see of iPhone’s in front of them. He kept his moves going with the next hit and another crowd favorite, “You And That Booty.”
I was reminded of just how much I appreciated T-Pain when he broke into his hook from Kanye West’s “Good Life.” One of the highlights of his set came when he performed a song that he featured on, which is a talent in and of itself. After he got all the ladies in their element with “Up Down,” he brought the night to a close with the ultimate club banger…
“All I do is win, win, win, no matter what!” Hands bopped up and down vigorously.
I can’t think of a better way to end the night. Check out a photo recap by Mel The King below: