The vinyl sits in a crate on a table next to the disc jockey’s LP player. Speakers on each side exert a forceful sound which reverberates through the swaying bodies wishing to remember—to dance like no other for this night.
This is the Night of the Blaxican.
Also named the “Kickback for the Ghetto,” the proclaimed party movement that occurs on select Friday and Saturday nights — with locations announced through Instagram — has had an exponential rising in both popularity and relevance for the generations of Raza wanting to experience a lost era spanning from the 60’s to the early 90’s. A time where our parents and their parents lived for themselves, this party was una noche de recuerdo in the City of Watts on Grape Street.
People roll in nonstop, dressed to impress, the style a mixture and in limbo between Pachuca/o and contemporary fashion.
These lost souls, la Raza, occupy this space filled with color. Its music is oldies, but goodies; it’s nostalgic of a time where Rucas y Vatos partied the night away—the Brown and Black energies coalesce for a sense of community, of a space for Chicana/o oldies memory.
Entering through an alley, the disco rainbow lights penetrating in all directions in ecstatic motions, the sounds of surface noise from spinning records, you get the warm feeling of home. In the Soul, Funk, and Doowop, from the G-Funk of Snoop Doggy Dog to “Lookout Weekend” by Debbie Deb, the music is the conduit to a transcendental sense of belonging—all of us Brown and Black folk belong in this space.
El Memo Blaxicano—a growing community activist of South Central, Los Angeles, self-identified Afro-Indigenous—is the creator and head of Night of the Blaxican. The life of the party, Memo is a colorful personality as he has a deep love for both his community and gente.
As a social media personality, the growth of this House Party has reached unprecedented numbers, giving fame to this local community organizer as he provides a space for anyone willing to dance. He is passionate for his gente, and he speaks of the streets in a fervor of spiritual connection to Brown and Black unity.
Night of the Blaxican, Memo’s cultivated project, voices the emotional attachments to the hoods some of us grew up in, but more the life some of us never lived and choose to remember—we consider the barrio life, the life of Vatos and Rucas, and we dig deep in community memory a life still here along side us.
And when will this house party movement stop? When will the DJs stop spinning 45s and long LPs? When will the bottles stop cracking, the smoke start clearing, and the sweat begin drying? Will the Night of the Blaxican ever stop? Will it continue forever, as we reminisce of the past for a daring present, for a future filled with oldies?
Who’s to say when this party movement will stop? All we can draw from it are the powerful energies hoping to create something from nothing, to provide an accessible space for gente of all ages and economic standings.
Night of the Blaxican is a testament to Brown and Black familia in Communities of Color, and it will remain in local history as a night to remember, always.